Shop Online to Buy Shoes for Problem Feet

by KathleenDuffy

Shopping for footwear can be difficult when feet are painful, swollen or an awkward size. Online shoe shopping solves the problem by sending shoes direct to the home.

Shopping for shoes on the high street when feet are painful, swollen, arthritic or just larger and wider than what the manufacturers see as 'normal', can be a nightmare.

A man or woman in this situation knows how embarrassing it can be to expose problem feet in a public place to an assistant who may not be particularly knowledgeable or sympathetic to one’s needs.

In addition, the sheer fatigue of shopping for shoes when feet are painful can be a deterrent. In particular, the elderly and/or disabled shopper will find internet shopping so much easier if they have access to a computer.

Fortunately there are plenty of shoe retailers on the internet who understand these difficulties.

Advantages of Shopping for Shoes on the Internet

Online footwear retailers can send footwear direct to customers so that they can try on shoes in the comfort of their own homes. These shoe outlets will also have a returns policy with full refund or exchange of goods. Often they have a courier service, which means that if the goods need to be returned, there is no need to go to the post office - and stand in line for half an hour!

Men's Merrell Jungle Moc Nubuck Brown - Wide Fitting
Men's Merrell Jungle Moc Nubuck Brown...
Women's Extra Wide Shoe
Women's Extra Wide Shoe

You May Be Exempt From VAT

If you are in the UK

In some cases, shoes can be obtained free of VAT if a person has an ongoing chronic problem such as arthritis, diabetes, or multiple sclerosis. Some online retailers, such as  Cosyfeet   give details on their websites about claiming VAT exemption.

In the words of Michael Caine - "Not a lot of people know that!".

Men's Wide-Fitting Sandals
Men's Wide-Fitting Sandals
Women's support sandal
Women's support sandal

How To Make Sure You Have The Correct Size and Width Fitting

Many online shoe retailers, like  The Shoe Tailor  have detailed instructions, including charts and a video lesson, on how to measure feet and calves accurately.  Click on their tab: Our Guide to Healthy, Happy Feet for details about how to find your correct width and size..  

Incidentally, The Shoe Tailor has sizes which go up to 'Extra Super Wide EEEEE'.  HURRAY!

Online shoe retailers who cater for problem feet usually go out of their way to explain their sizes and fittings in great detail. Well, they want you to buy their shoes so they really put themselves out. Often they include illustrations of the structure of the shoes, the materials used and the advantages for specific foot problems.

These details can be studied at leisure, which is obviously a great advantage for the reluctant high street shopper.

Men's Estra Wide Slip-on
Men's Estra Wide Slip-on
Women's Extra Wide Shoes
Women's Extra Wide Shoes

Some Things to Consider When Buying Shoes On Line

Especially if you have diabetes, arthritis, gout, etc.
Seamless Classic Man's Lace-up
Seamless Classic Ma...

*Be sure that seams don't  cover painful areas. For instance, if bunions or gout cause problems, ensure that seams do not run across the big toe area.  The pain when this happens is sheer hell...I speak from experience!  Many online retailers sell shoes with seam-free fronts as well as seam-free interiors.     


*Diabetics often suffer from numbness of the feet and should consult their specialist to ensure that the shoe they are considering is correct for their condition. I notice some retailers have a special section on shoes for diabetics.


*If it is necessary to wear an insole or a specialist corrective device, some online shoe retailers, such as DB Shoes Limited, have an inner removable sock supplied with their shoes so that an orthotic device can easily be inserted. This removable sock also has the advantage of making the shoe slightly wider or narrower, which may be useful when feet become swollen.


*When buying summer sandals, and an insole or orthotic device is necessary, check that the sandal has a heel guard at the back so that the device or insole will stay in place.


*Those suffering from stiff or arthritic hands may consider shoes with Velcro fastenings. Some shoe styles are available in both lace-up and Velcro styles.  

Touch and Close Flats
Touch and Close Flats
Sandal With Heel Guard
Sandal With Heel Guard
Shoe With Velcro Touch Fastening
Shoe With Velcro To...

Can Problem Feet Be Stylish?

Just because feet are a problem, it doesn't mean they can't be stylish.  And that goes for both sexes.  Some of us might be challenged in the walking department, but that doesn't mean we want to look frumpy.   Many of the specialist shoe retailers are trying hard to improve their design image.  And let's be honest - they could do with it!

However, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and put that pair of gorgeous, slimline, elegant pumps aside and go for comfort.  Comfort is the watchword here.  In the meantime, those shoe manufacturers should definitely up their game and give us style and comfort.

It's definitely getting better though.  Whilst none of these retailers will be recommending six inch glam stiletto heels for women with severe foot problems, or studded, heeled cowboy boots for the men, stylish low heels can be found along with clever seaming, quality leather and smart colour combinations.

Women's Elites Cimmaron Cognac Roughout Leather
Women's Elites Cimm...
Women's Bella Vita Sharon Red Silk
Women's Bella Vita ...
Men's Bostonian Bolton Black Smooth Leather
Men's Bostonian Bol...
Men's Propét Stability Walker Choco/Black Nubuck
Men's Propét Stabil...

There is admittedly room for improvement in this area of the market, but more attractive styles are definitely becoming more available. Both men’s and women’s sections will often have a selection of attractive suede and leather boots for autumn and winter.

And don't forget Ugg boots which are so comfortable, whatever your age group.

Those lucky people who don’t suffer with pain but whose feet are extra wide, large, or both, obviously have more style choice.  There are many online shoe retailers who sell large-size, wide-fitting shoes with plenty of fashionable appeal for everyday wear or that special occasion.

For instance, Viva La Diva  is only one of many online shoe outlets who cater for women with large feet, whilst  Walk Tall  has stylish shoes for men. There are many others to choose from.

Why Not Spread the Cost?

It is often possible to open an account with online shoe retailers. This means that you can pay for goods monthly, spreading the cost of your shoe purchases.

Some retailers may send shoes on approval so that you will only pay for your shoes if you want to keep them.

Shopping Online for Shoes Is a Good Option

If shopping for shoes on the high street is a nightmare, consider the advantages of shopping online.

Make a cup of tea, put those problem feet up,  relax and shop at leisure.




The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.

Care for your feet

Items from
Updated: 02/15/2014, KathleenDuffy
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Debra on 11/04/2014

I was so happy to discover NICE wide shoes online. I refuse to suffer, I insist on comfort and not deforming my feet. I LOVE Propet! I discovered Lem's Shoes, too and quite a few other brands that are proper. Why we ruin our own feet with the over-rounded toe boxes, I will never understand. OH I just discovered another brand, "Strike movement" AWESOME.

KathleenDuffy on 04/05/2014

Hello ologsinquito - You are so right! (any excuse to buy shoes!) Thank you for the pin. :)

ologsinquito on 04/05/2014

This is a good time of year to be looking for shoes, because the seasons are changing. Pinned to Our Wizzley group board.

KathleenDuffy on 02/17/2014

Hello Sheri - I am really happy that you thought it was useful! Thanks for your nice comment! :)

Sheri_Oz on 02/17/2014

This is a wonderful and helpful article so buying shoes online is less of a risk.

KathleenDuffy on 02/15/2014

Thank you younghopes! Yes, we awkward-footed people are beginning to be recognised for the divas we really are! :)

younghopes on 02/15/2014

This is such an informative post and i loved the way you have added so many stylish shoes too

KathleenDuffy on 02/01/2014

Hi Mira - Yes, things are really changing for people with problem feet. I am one of them and Hotter is a make that I rely on!

Mira on 02/01/2014

I love those Hotter shoes, too. I'll have to look at the brand closely. I didn't even know it existed.

KathleenDuffy on 01/28/2014

Hi ologsinquito - Thank you so much. I like Hotter shoes too and it's good to know I am stylish! :)

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