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Best Shoes After Foot Surgery Reviewed & Rated

last updated Mar 19, 2019

Any kind of surgery can set us all back a few steps. Our bodies need to rebuild, rest, and work our way back into our pre-surgery shape. We can, usually, get back to our normal day-to-day routine in a short period of time with a little care and caution to the area of the operation. The foot, however, is our lifeline to mobility and needs special attention post-surgery if you need to be on the move, as we all do.

So, we have compiled a list of the 10 best shoes after foot surgery to help you make a wise choice if this unfortunate situation ever happens to you.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
BraceAbility Post-Op
94.6/100 our score
Use
97
Materials
94
Support
95
Durability
95
Value
92
BraceAbility Post-Op
Why is it better?

Wide Range Of Sizes

Squared Toe Section

Medical-Grade Closures

Open, Breathable Design

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
BraceAbility Post-Op
Test Winner: BraceAbility Post-Op
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
15
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1100
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Kris Kierstead-Lewis
By Kris Kierstead-Lewis:

In our latest update, we've switched out some products to properly reflect the best post-op shoes in 2019. We also added a subsection discussing the bottom line in regards to what you should look for in a shoe.

Sorting Options
Use Materials Support Durability Value By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Use
97%
Materials
94%
Support
95%
Durability
95%
Value
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.05.19)
Amazon Link
$21.99
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
Use
95%
Materials
93%
Support
96%
Durability
94%
Value
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.05.19)
Amazon Link
$25.34
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Use
94%
Materials
90%
Support
91%
Durability
92%
Value
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.05.19)
Amazon Link
$20.43
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Use
89%
Materials
92%
Support
93%
Durability
90%
Value
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.05.19)
Amazon Link
$17.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
Use
93%
Materials
90%
Support
88%
Durability
91%
Value
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.05.19)
Amazon Link
$10.59
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Use
89%
Materials
91%
Support
90%
Durability
89%
Value
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.05.19)
Amazon Link
$11.95
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Use
87%
Materials
89%
Support
92%
Durability
91%
Value
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.05.19)
Amazon Link
$55.99
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Use
87%
Materials
89%
Support
90%
Durability
89%
Value
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.05.19)
Amazon Link
$14.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Use
86%
Materials
89%
Support
90%
Durability
85%
Value
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.05.19)
Amazon Link
$24.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Use
83%
Materials
89%
Support
88%
Durability
85%
Value
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (24.05.19)
Amazon Link
$17.94
In Depth Review Top 10
  • BraceAbility Post-Op BraceAbility Post-Op
  • AliMed Classic AliMed Classic
  • Darco Slimline Darco Slimline
  • Vive Walking Boots Vive Walking Boots
  • ProCare Squared Toe ProCare Squared Toe
  • Darco Med-Surg Darco Med-Surg
  • Aircast Short Pneumatic Aircast Short Pneumatic
  • MARS Wellness Premium MARS Wellness Premium
  • Corflex OrthoWedge Corflex OrthoWedge
  • Darco All-Purpose Darco All-Purpose
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Shoes After Foot Surgery

1. BraceAbility Post-Op

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
BraceAbility Post-Op
Amazon Link
Use
97
Materials
94
Support
95
Durability
95
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$21.99
Pros:

Wide Range Of Sizes

Squared Toe Section

Medical-Grade Closures

Open, Breathable Design

Cons:

Long Straps

Protection is the name of the game with this all-purpose boot from BraceAbility. A squared toe section helps to keep your feet safe from accidental bumps, while the medical-grade straps are designed to both accommodate casts and swelling, as well as ensure a secure fit on your foot. It is also available in a wide range of sizes, though we would advise you to look at the size chart for good measure.

Read more

One of the most important things to consider with post-surgery boots is how well they protect your feet. While occasionally stubbing your toe against a table leg or the corner of a shelf may not be as bad when you aren't recovering from surgery, even the smallest bump can cause complications in some manner. This is why the toe section in the BraceAbility boot is squared off, as this helps to protect your toes from bumps and table legs.

While traditional plaster casts are great for supporting recovery after broken bones or major surgeries, they are also one of the least breathable materials. A lack of breathability can cause very uncomfortable sweating, as well as irritation and the potential for odor. The open, sandal-like design on this boot works to prevent that from happening, as it has similar breathability to that of a sandal.

2. AliMed Classic

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
AliMed Classic
Amazon Link
Use
95
Materials
93
Support
96
Durability
94
Value
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$25.34
Pros:

Compression Straps

Wide Range Of Sizes

Rocker Outsole

Non-Skid Design

Cons:

Clunky

While swelling and fluid retention can often be a natural part of the healing process after surgery, it's important to keep this to a minimum. Excessive swelling can delay healing and be a sign of further complications, which is why you want at least some compression out of your post-op shoe. The AliMed classic features a simple design with secure Velcro straps that provide just the right amount of compression without being uncomfortable or overly constrictive.

Read more

Rocker soles are an unconventional choice in regular shoes, but in post-op shoes, they can be very useful. A rocker outsole can improve the overall stabilization of your foot, reducing pain and swelling. It also works to better absorb shock and other forces, lowering the impact that each step will have on your feet.

Medical products need to be able to accommodate a wide range of sizes, from larger sizes typically seen in athletes and record books to smaller sizes intended for children. This classic boot from AliMed is available in a wide range of sizes, ranging from pediatric to as large as a US men's 16.5.

3. Darco Slimline

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92
Darco Slimline
Amazon Link
Use
94
Materials
90
Support
91
Durability
92
Value
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$20.43
Pros:

Full Support

Left/Right Foot Compatible

Velcro Closure

Bulky Bandage-Friendly

EVA Sole

Cons:

A Little Heavy

Designed more for surgeries that involve heavy bandaging or different levels of casting, this boot will protect your foot well. Higher on the calf to provide all-around stability, this is a shoe ready to give you ample comfort and support, as this can be important; depending on the location of your foot surgery.

Read more

This boot is designed for use immediately post-surgery. The overall larger design allows for larger dressings, compression wear, fiberglass casts and other lightweight casts. This will allow you to be mobile from day one. This boot is designed to hold your casted foot in place. The strapless forefoot closure system can be adjusted to accommodate the cast or bandages and can, also, be switched from a left to right closure to suit your needs. The center strap made from wide elastic secures the neck of the ankle to set the casted foot in place securely.

This shoe falls into the midrange of cost association when compared to other post-op shoes on this list. It is an ideal choice for someone who needs something a bit more stable and secure than a minimalized version of a post-op shoe. In other words, this is a good investment.

4. Vive Walking Boots

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91
Vive Walking Boots
Amazon Link
Use
89
Materials
92
Support
93
Durability
90
Value
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$17.99
Pros:

Lightweight

Square Toe

Accommodates Bandages & Casts

Non-skid Rocker Sole

Left & Right Foot Compatible

Cons:

Size Runs Big

Vive has offered up a shoe that is both lightweight and durable, giving a great approach to an, otherwise, heavier build. This post-op shoe has a square toe for those having toe injuries and accommodates both bandages and casts. Furthermore, this shoe is left and right foot compatible. It is made with a non-skid rocker sole which provides arch support and helps to relieve pressure away from the forefoot and heel.

Read more

This is a multi-use shoe ready for most types of foot injuries. It is stiff; yet, effective in its design; allowing features to be enjoyed by several types of injuries. The extra-strong Velcro straps are adjustable to fit around a minimalist casting if needed. This shoe, also, allows you to alleviate pressure at several different points in the shoe.

The Rocker sole of the Vive shoe ensures no soreness around the forefoot and heel areas often associated with foot recovery, as the rocker sole provides arch support and alleviates pressures in both the forefoot and heel area. A midrange priced shoe seems to be one of the favorites. Some have voiced that they used the shoe past the allotted time, as it was a good shoe for the money. It brings you stability and comfort which are important attributes when considering life after foot surgery.

5. ProCare Squared Toe

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.8
ProCare Squared Toe
Amazon Link
Use
93
Materials
90
Support
88
Durability
91
Value
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$10.59
Pros:

Square Toe

Reinforced Heel

Firm Support

Velcro Strap System

Rocker Sole

Cons:

Size Runs Big

ProCare’s post-surgery shoe is not a unique design but has all the qualities one would look for in a post-op shoe. Many of the issues we have post-surgery have to do with comfort, ease of use, and pressure-relieving abilities. This shoe has a square toe design which acts as a bumper to help prevent further injury while in recovery. Furthermore, a rocker sole provides decent mobility and reduces pressure.

Read more

The architecture of this shoe is its best trait. It provides maximum mobilization and adds further protection of the forefoot and toe areas. This helps to ensure progression for post-operative rehabilitation. The rigid rocker sole allows a firm transition from heel to toe.

This shoe has a lot of coverage, ensuring your foot is well supported and protected. The high ankle strapping secures your foot, thus allowing your foot to remain in the correct position during recovery. The reinforced heel area, also, helps to prevent unnecessary movement, thereby providing you with a secure environment.

6. Darco Med-Surg

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Darco Med-Surg
Amazon Link
Use
89
Materials
91
Support
90
Durability
89
Value
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$11.95
Pros:

Forefoot Closure

Square Toe

PegAssist Insole

Rigid

Multi-purpose

Cons:

Size Runs Small

The Darco Med-Surg Post-Operative shoe has been designed with your recovering foot in mind. Darco’s research team ensures that most injuries are addressed and they support that research by addressing many of the common needs of a post-op shoe.

Read more

The square toe design protects the front part of the foot as a bumper to further damage and, also, provides the space you would need if K-wires were part of your foot surgery. They have designed MetaShank™ protection which gives more rigid control under the metatarsals. This is a huge bonus if it was your tender tootsies that were injured.

Foot surgeries have many different stages of healing. Darco’s entry into this list has a fit that is great for all stages of recovery. While your foot is fully dressed post-surgery, the expandable forefoot closure relieves any pressure; yet, also adjusts to the point that even without bandages you have a comfortable-fitting shoe.

7. Aircast Short Pneumatic

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.8
Aircast Short Pneumatic
Amazon Link
Use
87
Materials
89
Support
92
Durability
91
Value
85
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$55.99
Pros:

Rigged Support

Universal Fit

Multi-Adjustable

Low Rocker Sole

Right/Left Leg Compatible

Cons:

Expensive

Much more popular today than most other post-surgical shoes, the Aircast will look familiar to most of us. Specifically designed to provide you with mobility and support for everyday use, there is, also, no hiding this cast for the weeks you may need it. With many adjustable points, anyone will benefit from this walkable cast.

Read more

The most evident feature is right in the name, Aircast. Built right in, you will find a hand bulb air pump which allows the Aircast to be filled to the amount you need, in order to provide you with the comfort and support needed. A generous full boot insole provides a tremendous amount of comfort. There is a substantial strap at both the top and forefoot of the boot. It allows for the foot an easy entry; as well as, full support to dissuade movement.

This is a pricier shoe to buy. I believe the technology of the air pump is the reason for the price. All-in-all, this is a good value for the elevated price and it has its return on investment for sure.

8. MARS Wellness Premium

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
MARS Wellness Premium
Amazon Link
Use
87
Materials
89
Support
90
Durability
89
Value
88
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$14.99
Pros:

Square Toe

Removable Insole

Right/Left Foot Compatible

Padded Heel

Adjustable Ankle Strap

Cons:

Better For Toe Surgery

This square toe post-op shoe is perfect for those having broken toes or after having toe surgery. the structuring allows you to get around without movement in the toe area, thus you can remain comfortable in knowing that the procedure will remain undisturbed. A removable insole helps to provide you with other options, and this is a shoe which is both left and right foot compatible.

Read more

Soft padding in the inner helps you to remain comfortable should you need to wear this shoe for long periods of time. Furthermore, the padding ensures a nice fit after surgery. The padded heel allows for better foot placement. This, in turn, prevents unwanted slipping while moving about; an important feature when considering the pain involved after surgery.

This is a budget-friendly purchase. It is well worth the investment for anyone having toe surgery or dealing with a broken toe. Furthermore, this shoe is well built and should last, as well.

9. Corflex OrthoWedge

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Corflex OrthoWedge
Amazon Link
Use
86
Materials
89
Support
90
Durability
85
Value
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$24.99
Pros:

Angled Bottom

Square Toe

Velcro Closures

EVA Sole

Cons:

Difficult To Walk With

The OrthoWedge from Corflex sports a unique design that is best used after bunion surgery or any other procedure on the toes. What sets it apart from other post-surgery boots is the angled bottom. This 15-degree angle alleviates pressure placed on your toes when standing or walking, allowing them to better heal without difficulty.

Read more

The majority of post-surgery shoes will use a Velcro closure with straps. This closure type allows for a more customizable fit, which comes in handy when you need to accommodate for a cast or post-op swelling. As your feet heal, you can tighten the straps to provide compression that keeps future swelling and instability at bay.

Another important feature of this shoe is the squared toe section. This is common in post-surgery shoes, as it keeps your toes safe from bumps and other further damage that can hinder the healing process. This square toe, along with the angled bottom, puts your toes in the right position to properly facilitate healing.

10. Darco All-Purpose

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Darco All-Purpose
Amazon Link
Use
83
Materials
89
Support
88
Durability
85
Value
84
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$17.94
Pros:

Closed Toe

High-Top Design

Ankle Strap

Deep Opening

Cons:

Limited Size Options

Having a secure fit is paramount when it comes to post-surgery shoes. A secure fit will promote the healing process, and keep the foot from moving around in the shoe and causing difficulties. The ankle strap and high-top design on the Darco All-Purpose shoe ensure a solid fit, especially around the heel section.

Read more

A lot of post-surgery shoes have an open toe section. This can be good for breathability and to accommodate a cast or other dressings. However, an open toe can become a problem in the event of poor weather, be it cold or rain. The Darco All-Purpose boot has a closed toe section to prevent this, as well as further promote a secure and stable fit.

Compression can be helpful in the post-op period, as it works to alleviate some of the pain and swelling that naturally occurs after surgery. This is often done by way of Velcro straps and compression fabrics, which provide the right amount of compression you need without being too constrictive.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Use

Foot surgeries can vary from the minor removal of a bunion to the more invasive Achilles tear or plantar fasciitis repair. So, depending on what surgery you had or may be facing, the purpose of the shoe in question is crucial.

You would not get an AirCast boot when you are trying to gently ease your foot into a walking motion; nor, would you get a Slimline Cast boot when mobility is a key to your rehabilitation. The designed purpose of your post-surgery shoe is the foundation of your checklist of must-haves when considering this type of shoe in conjunction with your recovery.

Materials

You may notice that Nine West or Louboutin do not have lines in this facet of the shoe world. Function over fashion is the name of the game in the post-surgery shoe market. The construction material used for each shoe should serve a purpose. If it is a soft, subtle feel you need for your foot, you will find it.

If weather-resistant or easy cleanup is what you have in your sights, it is out there, as well. Oddly enough, you will, also, find post-op shoes that do concentrate on the fashionable side; albeit, ever so slightly.

Support

Support in a post-surgical shoe is an often overlooked feature in this type of shoe, as most concern themselves with the rocker feature; yet, both are keys to recovery, as many of these industry’s customers are sporting this footwear immediately following a casted foot.

Once the cast is off, a well-bandaged foot will need a continued level of support, in order for the muscles to gently get back into form. High-sided, wide Velcro strapped shoes provide the support needed to restore your foot gingerly and gradually to the shape it was well before that first ache or pain.

Durability

The shoe you choose for after surgery needs to have the correct features and offer the best stability and comfort you need during your recovery. Hopefully, the period of time you have to wear a recovery shoe is not too long, but you definitely need your shoes to last.

As we already mentioned, these shoes will primarily be focused on cushioning and comforting your foot post-surgery. A fact that you will have to face, however, is that most shoes for after surgery will wear down as you are using them. You can't expect them to last months and months or years, but we made sure that the choice on our list would last you a typical post-surgery period. That way you don't have to worry about buying multiple pairs.

Choosing higher quality shoes will ensure you get the most bang out of your buck, but so will wearing the correct type of shoes for your type of surgery.

Value

It's important to look at the value for any shoe but it's especially important to look at the value of shoes when you're shopping for shoes for after surgery. You want to make sure they are inexpensive to fit your budget, especially after an expensive surgery, but you want to make sure they are going to help your foot to heel and that they will last long enough to see you through the end of your recovery.

We've taken into consideration the value of all of the boots and shoes on our list to help you better decide what is the right option for your specific injury/type of surgery.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

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expert tips icon
Recovering From Surgery

While true recovery times can vary between individuals and surgery types, generally speaking, it takes around 6 weeks to recover from foot surgery. While this timeframe seems unimaginable, it's vital to follow doctor's orders to rest and let your foot heal. If you start walking or putting pressure on the foot before it's ready, you may end up re-injuring the foot, or initiate some other undesirable effect.
Take your time when recovering, and slowly get back into the swing of daily life when you're ready, and when your doctor approves.

Reducing Swelling From Surgery

Depending on what medications you're taking, anti-inflammatories can be quite helpful to reduce swelling after surgery, as well as help alleviate pain. Keeping the foot elevated will help circulation and swelling, wearing supportive socks (if possible) also helps, and eating a lower sodium diet can help prevent water retention.
If swelling is an issue, always check in with your doctor for advice!

Other Factors to Consider

Bottom Line

While recovering from surgery can be a difficult and frustrating time, be aware that the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risks. Recovery can be complicated, from having special instructions when you are sent home from the hospital to weeks of physical therapy. Having the right kind of shoe can make this process much smoother, so talk to your medical team about what would work best for your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Where do I start?

a:

Best bet for a perfect shoe for you is to speak to your doctor or even perhaps your post-surgical care specialist. They will advise you what the key features you will want for your particular case. You can never ask too many questions!

q: Most of these types of shoes look weird like they have warped in shape. Is this normal?

a:

There is some serious engineering behind the funny look of these shoes. The rocker bottoms you find on these shoes alleviate the foot from having to bend, in order to have a normal walking form. This rocker feature you see is a key to protecting the small muscles underfoot during the healing process; making walking more natural and easy for you.

q: How accurate is the fit on these shoes? Should I go a size bigger or smaller?

a:

Many of these shoes are designed to fit a full cast, heavily bandaged cast, or a socked foot. Depending on your needs and given the Velcro adjustments on most of these models, bigger would be better. You need room, just not too much of it. Again, it is important to ask your doctor what can be expected. Multiple surgeries may cause a lot of swelling, and so forth. Also, keep in mind that each shoe is different. This means some may run smaller than others when considering the same size.

q: Are these shoes ambidextrous?

a:

It would be fair to say that 95% of the shoes offered in this range would be good for either left or right feet. Best to read the description, carefully, or fully investigate their ability to fit either foot.

q: Do post-op shoes come in pairs?

a:

Most of the time, these shoes are sold as a single unit; that is, you would need to make two purchases to receive a pair, per se.

q: What is the difference in the square and round toe post-op shoes?

a:

The square-toe design is specific to handling toe surgery. It provides a bumper, as it were, and further protects the toes from injury and limits movement via a rigid shank. If your surgery occurs in the heel area, however, a round-toe design may suffice. At the end of the day, however, you need to ask your doctor for the accurate expectations you need to find in your post-op shoe.

Sources

  1. Sheehan, K., What Shoes to Wear After Foot Surgery, article; blog
  2. hortonsoandp.com, How to Find the Best Post-Operative Shoes for Your Feet, article; blog
  3. Hughes, M. DC., Six Ways to Restore Foot Health After Surgery, article; blog
  4. webmd.com, What is the treatment for a broken foot?, article; blog
  5. Mayo Clinic Staff, Broken toe, article; blog