Best Shoes for Amputees


Shoes are sometimes an item that a lot of people take for granted. For amputees, the performance of the shoe is the most important part. We look at the best shoes for amputees and what makes them better than others.

Shoes for amputees are not just a fashion statement. They must offer functionality as well as balance. An uneven shoe can cause problems and must be carefully selected. Once a good pair is found they should be brought to a prosthetist to make sure that they are meeting the criteria.  

When picking out a pair of shoes an amputee has a lot of things to consider. Shoe weight, heel angle, and height to name a few.

Some people only need one shoe, this makes it difficult to pick out when all you have are pairs to pick from. This can always be a lonely event.

Believe it or not, some amputees missing only one leg have been lucky enough to find their “sole mates.”

This occurs when two people missing opposite legs go shoe shopping together for a pair and each gets to take one of the shoes. How cool is that!

Others may be missing both legs and have to find a pair that they are comfortable in and that allows them to move around with their prosthetics.

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The Different Types of Shoes

There are a lot of shoes on the market. Some offer better support than others for amputees. There is everything from flat shoes to high heels. So let’s take a look at some of the different shoe types.

  • Running Shoes
  • Flat Shoes
  • Sandals
  • High Heels
  • Dress shoes
  • Custom Shoes

With so many shoes and styles to choose from it can be hard to decide which are the better choice for amputees with prosthetic legs. There are options as long as you know what to look for.

Running Shoes

Running shoes are great because they have a lot of cushion and offer multiple styles that can be great for balance and functionality. They are usually a good height and have the best shock absorption.

Flat Shoes

Flat shoes aren’t the best choice for amputees. They do not have the cushion or angle that works best for prosthetic legs. When a sole is too flat and not thick enough it can cause unbalance and puts more strain on the knees.

Sandals

Believe it or not, sandals are also a choice for those with prosthetics. When choosing the right sandals you want to make sure that the straps are adjustable while also being sturdy and tight. They need to fit snug around the prosthetic.

High Heels

High heels are a tricky shoe for amputees. A nice pair of high heels for a lady or a pair of cowboy boots with tall heels can be hard to find with an amputee in mind. These taller heels make it hard for someone with prosthetics to control their balance and is even harder on those who are missing their knees.

Dress Shoes

Many dress shoes come with fewer options for cushion and mobility. They are oftentimes a thinner shoe and don’t have as good of support. To get the most of a dress shoe those with prosthetics will want to find a shoe that has cushion and a thicker sole.

Custom Shoes

A custom shoe can be a great choice for an amputee but it not completely necessary. We do recommend taking any shoe you choose to your prostheticist to learn the best ways to make that shoe work. A custom made shoe can be tailored to your needs.

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List of Best Shoes for Amputees

We know how important finding the right shoes can be for those who have prosthetic legs. So we have made this list of the best shoes for amputees.

Best Shoes for Amputees:

  1. New Balance WW847
  2. Saucony Kinvara 8
  3. BROOKS DYAD 10
  4. Prophecy 8 Running Shoe
  5. New Balance WW928
  6. Tacoma – Stretchable
  7. Merrell Men’s Moab 2
  8. Clarks Women’s Ashland Spin Q

These are all shoes that provide cushion and support for amputees. One of the most important things to consider is what type of injury led to your amputation. If diabetes is the case, then having support on the other foot that is still in good condition is paramount.

Take into account that you will know what works best for you and if you have any questions or concerns contact your prosthetist. Let’s take a closer look at these awesome shoes.

New Balance WW847

The New Balance WW847 shoe is a walking shoe that has cushion and support for those who are missing one leg. This shoe will keep your good foot in good shape and allow you to keep up with your lifestyle.

There is support around the ankles that provide your good foot with the protection it needs.

These also have larger toe space if you are planning on wearing the other shoe on a prosthetic foot. This can be an extremely beneficial function.

Pros:
✅ Lots of cushion and protection.
✅ Great for walking.

Compare prices on Amazon here.

Saucony Kinvara 8

The Saucony Kinvara 8 shoes are running shoes that are a favorite for those who have a foot amputated but still want to keep up with their runs and walks. These shoes are extremely flexible which adds to the functionality of these shoes.

They offer lots of support around the ankles and have enough cushion and shock absorption to allow you to move around with agility.

The sleek design looks good and feels good on your foot. If you have one or two prosthetics, they fit tightly around your prosthetic with their flex fit technology.

Pros:
✅ These shoes look and feel great.
✅ Flex fit technology.

Compare prices on Amazon here.

BROOKS DYAD 10

The Brooks Dyad 10’s have thick soles which make walking easier. They add enough support that your knees will thank you. These are one of the best shoes for amputees, with shock absorption and a great looking design.

The thick sole is made from a foam-like material and is padded enough to keep your good foot comfortable and your prosthetic snug.

When it comes to cushion and thick soles you will want to check these shoes out since they meet all of the criteria for an amputee.

Pros:
✅ Thick soles with shock absorption.
✅ Thick tongue adds support to the ankle.

Compare prices on Amazon here.

Prophecy 8 Running Shoe

The Prophecy 8 running shoe is made by a company called Mizuno. They have been making shoes since 1906 and offer quality and years of testing. When it comes to running shoes these are a great choice for amputees and those with prosthetics.

They come in black and look very sleek. The dual-density foam sole gives you the cushion and shock absorption that you are looking for in a running shoe for amputees.

These shoes hug your good foot or prosthetic tightly, making sure that you have the support you need.

Pros:
✅ The best sock absorption.
✅ They fit snugly and have great support.

Compare prices on Amazon here.

New Balance WW928

New Balance makes great shoes, from running shoes to walking shoes. If you are looking for a great pair of sneakers or just one shoe to go with your good foot, you won’t regret giving the New Balance WW928 a chance. These are walking shoes that offer support for your foot and a sturdy but comfortable sole.

When walking with a prosthetic leg you need your one good foot to have support and comfort. They fit snug on prosthetics and will allow you to walk with a healthy stride.

New Balance is always improving their shoe designs and leading the way in comfort and stability in the world of shoes.

Pros:
✅ Healthy shoes for walking.
✅ Durable leather shoes.

Compare prices on Amazon here.

Tacoma – Stretchable

Tacoma Stretchable by Orthofeet is an awesome shoe that is made from a stretching material that fits your foot or prosthetic perfectly. Their soles have cushion and support that are designed especially for those who have diabetes and others that need something with extra support.

These shoes have great arch support and one of the best walking shoes out there. For an amputee, these shoes can mean keeping your good foot healthy and having the support and shock absorption you need to keep your knees from aching.

They have a wide toe box and good depth perfect for those who wish to wear a shoe on their prosthetic foot.

Pros:
✅ Orthopedic support for feet.
✅ Sleek design that looks and feels good.

Compare prices on Amazon here.

Merrell Men’s Moab 2

If you are looking for a hiking shoe that will work well for an amputee or someone with a prosthetic then look no further. The Moab 2 hiking shoes are water-resistant and are made to fit tightly around your ankle and provide the support that you need when hiking.

They are made from a breathable material while still keeping the wet conditions out. The rubber toe support makes them rugged and enduring when going on long hikes. This sturdy design could be just what you are looking for if you have a prosthetic leg and are still able to go hiking.

Keeping your good leg in good condition is paramount when you have just one prosthetic. The Moab 2’s give your foot the support it needs while still allowing it to breathe and perform.

Pros:
✅ Sturdy design perfect for walking.
✅ High-quality materials.

Compare prices on Amazon here.

Clarks Women’s Ashland Spin Q

If you are a lady with a prosthetic and still want something that looks nice and is comfortable for your good foot then the Clarks Women’s Ashland Spin Q could be the right choice for you. These sandals will fit snugly to your foot or prosthetic.

They have thick heels that are shock absorbent and sturdy. This is unique for sandals and makes them an obvious choice for amputees. They have a sleek design that looks and feels nice.

With 100% leather adjustable straps you will be able to keep these sandals snug onto your foot or prosthetic.

Pros:
✅ High-quality leather design.
✅ Thick soles with cushion.

Compare prices on Amazon here.

Shoe Exchanges

For those who only need one shoe, it can be hard to find anyone who is selling one single shoe. Shoe exchanges allow people to donate single shoes that are in good condition so that amputees and those who have prosthetics can choose a single shoe.

Many of these exchanges are non-profits and are dedicated to helping people with disabilities find their perfect shoe.

National Odd Shoe Exchange (N.O.S.E.)

This shoe exchange has a distribution center in Arizona and offers brand new single shoe options for amputees, people with disabilities, and also children.

Odd Shoe Finder

Odd Shoe Finder is a website that is dedicated to helping those who only need one shoe to find their best shoe. With site registration, you can buy shoes, sell shoes, or donate shoes.

Soles4Souls

Soles4Souls is an organization out of Tennessee that has a website for buying, selling, and finding singular shoes. They take donations and help people find what they need.

Consider getting involved with one of these groups or donating to their causes to help people find a shoe that will be safe and nice looking. We all deserve something nice looking and functional.

Shoes for Amputees Exercises

The best shoes for amputees who also need to exercise are walking shoes or running shoes. These types of shoes offer the most support and cushioning and are shock absorbent. Keeping your good foot healthy is something that you will need to consider when getting shoes for exercising.

Other good shoes have thick soles and support but only running shoes and walking shoes have the full absorption and comfort you need for being active.

Shoes for Partial Foot Amputees

For those with partial foot amputations, there are a few health concerns that should be considered. You may need special socks to help keep the skin from breaking down on your foot.

Also, you may need to choose a shoe that allows for a more loose fit or that will not rub too much on your skin.

Check with your doctor to find out exactly what will work best for your foot.

Avoid sandals, dress shoes, and high heels. You may also consider getting a custom shoe made, or having the shoe you choose altered to fit your unique footing.

Tips and Tricks for Amputees Wearing Shoes

Here are a few tips and tricks as well as things to consider for amputees who will be wearing a shoe on their good foot or on their prosthetic.

  • Shoe horns can be a huge help, we put shoes on multiple times per day in some cases and it can be hard.
  • It’s easier to put the shoe in the prosthesis first when the amputee is not wearing the prosthesis. Then put the prosthetic leg on.
  • Consider buying shoes when it is not as busy so that the shoe store worker will be more attentive to your needs.
  • Wear a sock on the prosthetic foot because it will help to slide the shoe on and reduce the friction. It can also help reduce squeaking.

It can be hard when you have special needs dealing with an amputation and have to keep up with your shoes. Try not to get frustrated if it takes a little longer and remember that over time you will get used to walking with your prosthetic and the process of putting on shoes and removing them will get easier.

There are many support groups and organizations that want to help you to find the shoes that work best for you. Ask around at your doctor’s office and find others who are going through the same struggle.

Usually, people who have been at it longer have better tips and tricks for making the process easier and getting through the day.

Find yourself a community of people that want to help and that will support your struggle when you need the support the most. You are not alone and there is no shame in asking for some help or reaching out to talk.

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Related Questions

Will one shoe wear down faster than the other? If you are wearing a shoe on both your good foot and your prosthetic, one shoe may wear faster than the other. In most cases, it will be your good foot’s shoe. Make sure to pick a pair that has thick soles that will hold up to heavy use.

Why are flat shoes bad? Flat shoes do not have the angle that most shoes have, this is bad for someone who has prosthetics and will make them feel as though they are being pushed forwards. If you have flat shoes you may need to add a sole wedge to add an angle.

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Chad Fox

Chad Fox is passionate about footwear. Shoes have always been fascinating and knowing which one's are the best is something that he takes seriously.

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