Feel tingling or numbness in your feet? The answer could be neuropathy, often referred to as peripheral neuropathy. The condition is related to damage or dysfunction of one or more nerves that typically results in numbness, tingling, muscle weakness and pain. Neuropathy is considered a common disease, estimated to affect about 25% to 30% of Americans, with 60% to 70% of those with diabetes expected to develop neuropathy in their lifetime. Since feet can be sensitive, finding shoes that will provide both comfort and protection is essential. Look for styles with arch support and cushioning at the heel to help reduce pain upon impact that can travel to the knees, heels and back. Uppers should be soft to gently embrace the foot, with soles that are lightweight yet supportive. Styles with removable insoles allow for easy replacement with personal orthotics. However, before deciding on shoes for any medical condition, consult with a professional. Here, FN has rounded up a range of therapeutic styles.
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1. New Balance Men’s Walking Shoe
The padded tongue and collar offer cushioning for sensitive feet, with a suede and mesh upper providing enhanced breathability. Wide toe box allows for toe movement and prevents friction.
Pros: A sturdy upper offers maximum support when walking, while a padded insole provides shock absorption and is long-lasting. This pair is suitable for light hiking and available in wide widths.
Cons: The lining and mesh upper did not hold up after only a short period of wear.
2. Skechers Men’s Afterburn Sneaker
This everyday walking shoe includes a padded tongue and collar to prevent irritation and flexible outsole suitable for light hiking. Plus, it’s available in wide widths.
Pros: It offers out-of-the-box comfort due to cushioned insoles, and a generous toe box for wiggle room.
Cons: Soles wear out after six months.
3. Orthofeet Men’s Mesh Walking Shoe
Certified by Medicare and approved under the A5500 of the Diabetic Shoe Bill, these are designed to relieve foot pain from neuropathy, diabetes and arthritis.
Pros: Contoured orthotic with arch support and gel padding under the heel to reduce pressure under the foot. Available in narrow to wide widths and feature a wide toe box. They come with a 60-day wear test with money-back guarantee, in case the style isn’t right for you.
Cons: Tongue and sides are stiff and can cause irritation.