Swollen feet or edema is a common condition with a wide variety of causes. Pregnant women often develop swollen feet especially as the pregnancy progresses into the second and third trimester. Certain diets or diabetes can also cause an accumulation of fluids in the feet, particularly if you are of certain age.
For others, their feet tend to swell when they spend too much time walking or standing, especially if the weather is hot.
It is extremely important that you wear the right footwear to accommodate your condition. Otherwise, you could cause serious damage to your feet by wearing ill-fitting shoes. When you go shoe shopping, look for wide-fit shoes that give your feet plenty of wiggle room. To help you get started, here are 10 great options we found.
Best shoes for swollen feet in the UK: Our top 10 picks
We took several factors into consideration when making these picks. The most important one was size. Only wide fit shoes were considered. We gave priority to shoes that had adjustable straps. They are more comfortable especially if swelling changes through the day.
We also made efforts to include as many styles as possible. So whether you are looking for something to wear to the office, a friend’s party or for weekend shopping, we have some good recommendations. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, use the shopping guide further below to find the perfect pair.
These extra wide shoes (5E+) can be used for both casual and formal occasions. They come in four styles including Stone Leather, Navy Leather, Black Leather and Loganberry Leather. A hook and loop closure provides an easy way to open and close the shoes. Furthermore, the strap can be adjusted to fit different foot sizes.
- Stylish and versatile design.
- Easy and quick closure. This ensures you can take them off quickly, a huge plus for those with swollen feet.
- Roomy with soft innersole and lining for maximum comfort.
- The seams can be irritating if you have bunions or wounds on your feet.
Another comfy pair from Cosyfeet. They come in five styles including Black Leather, Taupe Leather, Black Patent (a type of leather with a glossy finish), Navy Leather and Warm Red Leather.
The hook and loop strap makes it easy to remove or put on the shoes. Even better, it is adjustable making these shoes perfect for those who experience swollen feet only at certain times.
- Lightweight design with a spongy foot bed. You can spend all day in them without feeling uncomfortable.
- Shock-absorbing sole. This helps improve comfort when walking or standing.
- Adjustable and easy-to-use closure strap.
- Has a formal and preppy look. They are ideal for the office or school but not for casual events.
If you want to make a fashion statement without tolerating any discomfort, try this stylish boots. They come in three styles: Loganberry Microfibre, Navy Microfibre and Black Microfibre. With a 5E+ wide fit, they will easily accommodate your swollen feet. The adjustable strap ensures that you can change the fit through the day as your swelling goes down or up.
- Easy-to-use hook and loop closure.
- Soft and stretchy foot bed and lining.
- If you have a bunion or wound where the seam is, it could cause some irritation.
A wide EEE fit makes this pair of stylish shoes perfect for those with moderate to severe foot oedema. The soft inner lining makes it super comfortable while the outer leather material ensures durability through all kinds of weather. The touch fastener ensures you can put on or remove the shoes in no more than a couple of seconds.
- Easy-to-use fastener.
- Comfortable thanks to the roomy interior and soft foot bed.
- Not ideal for formal wear.
If you love the classic Mary Jane shoe style, these are for you. An extra wide EEE fitting ensures that your swollen feet have plenty of room. The outer leather lining keeps the shoes looking good for years. A soft foot bed and stretchy lining keeps your feet cozy through the day.
- Adjustable Velcro straps.
- Very comfortable for those with swollen feet.
- Despite the shoe being wide, the toe area is a bit narrow. For those with an extra wide toe area, these shoes can be a tad uncomfortable.
These boots have a versatile design that is perfect for both casual and formal wear. They come with an easy and quick zip closure located on the side. A soft leather upper and padded collar ensures you can wear them all day without feeling any discomfort. Their extra wide fit can accommodate wide and swollen feet.
- Very comfortable thanks to the soft and roomy interior.
- Easy zip closure.
- Flat heels to avoid straining your feet especially if you plan to do a lot of walking or standing.
- Those with extra wide ankles may find that the zip cannot go all the way up.
Two touch fastening Velcro straps give these trainers a snug fit. They can also be adjusted to ensure a perfect fit. They are made from real leather, giving them longevity through all kinds of weather. The insole is soft and does a great job of cushioning your feet especially when you are on the move.
If you are looking for high quality extra wide trainers, we highly recommend these.
- Durable leather outer.
- Roomy and soft for maximum comfort.
- Lightweight design.
- Not ideal for formal wear.
For something you can wear at home and around the neighbourhood, these are our top recommendations. They have an EEE wide fit to make sure your feet have plenty of room. The touch and close fasteners ensure you can slip in and out of these slippers in a second. They are also adjustable.
- Super comfortable especially for those with severe swelling.
- Available in both red and navy colours.
- Soft and cozy inner material.
- Even with the adjustable straps, these slippers are still quite wide. They may be too loose for those with mild oedema.
Elastane is a type of polyurethane material that is extra stretchy. The elasticity allows wide feet to snugly fit into these shoes without any problem. If you have bunions, oedema or constantly changing foot width, these are the best shoes for you.
They come in three colours: Navy, Black and Beige.
- Comfortable yet stylish.
- Versatile design.
- The stretchy synthetic material easily adjusts to accommodate any changes in your feet width.
- They have laces, which means you will spend a little longer fastening and loosening them.
Who said slippers have to be ugly or plain? Dr Keller’s orthopaedic slippers combine comfort and style. Whether you need them for a trip to the mall or to spend the day in at home, they are perfect. There are almost a dozen different colours to choose from including black, navy, heather and multi-coloured.
- A wide array of styles to choose from. You can choose your favourite style or buy several to suit different occasions and moods.
- Durable gum rubber sole.
- Comfy and warm inner material.
- The toe room is a bit narrow, a problem for those with a wide spread across their toes.
How to buy shoes for swollen feet
Buying shoes for swollen feet is tricky. There are more issues to consider than simply style and size. Here is a rundown of the most important things to keep in mind as you browse for the perfect pair.
- The width is the most important thing. Make sure the shoes have an extra wide fit, usually indicated as EE, EEE or a series of more Es. Some shoes will be marked as being 2E, 4E and so on. The higher the number, the wider they are. Others will use X, XX and so on to indicate width.
- Determine where your biggest spread is. Sometimes, swelling may also affect the toe and ankle area. If you have a wide spread across your toes, look for shoes with a wide and rounded toe room. If the swelling is most severe around your ankles, avoid boots or look for those that have adjustable straps around the ankles.
- Look for shoes with adjustable straps. This is absolutely essential for your comfort. You can loosen the straps, when the swelling is highest and tighten them again when swelling goes down. All the shoes we have recommended above are adjustable.
- Avoid high heels. These are a big no-no for people with swollen feet. They will put a strain on your legs and force your feet into an unnatural alignment. Over time, you could cause serious damage to your feet. If you want to make a fashion statement, there are plenty of low or flat heeled wide shoes that have great style. We have included a few of them above.
- The best time to test shoes is in the afternoon when they have most likely swelled to the widest point. This will help you determine whether they are a good fit or if you should return them for something a bit wider.
- Check that the interior of the shoe is comfortable. This includes the foot bed, which should be cushioned, and the inner lining, which should be soft. This is especially important if you also have bunions and blisters to deal with in addition to the swelling. A comfortable interior ensures that your feet are well cushioned and the lining does not aggravate your feet.
- Make sure the fabric is breathable. With swollen feet that take up a lot of room, sweating is a common problem. So make sure that whatever shoes you buy have a breathable fabric that lets hot air and moisture out. This will keep your feet comfortable and odour-free through the day. For those with diabetic feet, non-breathable shoes can worsen sores and wounds and even cause an infection.
- Look for shoes with an easy closure. The most common are hook and loop, laces and Velcro straps. You should be able to remove or put on shoes quickly without much effort.
- Determine what style you want before you go shopping. Do you want something formal for office wear, casual for parties or super casual for home use? You can also look for a versatile style that can be worn to different occasions.
Years ago, having swollen or extra wide feet meant buying ugly shoes. Things have improved a lot in terms of variety and style. Today, there is no shortage of stylish and comfortable shoes for those with swollen feet.
So don’t punish your feet with the wrong shoes simply because you want fashionable footwear. There are plenty of wide fit shoes that are just as stylish. Start with our top picks above.
Frequently asked questions
1. Why do I need shoes for swollen feet?
If you have feet oedema, swelling caused by fluid retention in your feet tissue, ordinary shoes will not cut it. They are too narrow and uncomfortable for your feet. Wearing them for extended periods could cause serious damage to your feet. If you have diabetes-related oedema, ill-fitting shoes could cause serious injury requiring amputation.
Shoes for swollen feet are designed to be extra wide with a soft inner lining, a low heel and adjustable straps.
2. What if I only experience swelling occasionally?
It is still important to keep a pair of wide-fit shoes around. Wearing narrow shoes for even just a few hours will cause a lot of pain and discomfort. A better idea is to make a complete switch to shoes for swollen feet.
Look for those that are adjustable. They will fit both when you have no swelling and when swelling kicks in.
3. Who are these shoes for?
Anyone who experiences swollen feet for whatever reason. It could be from a major health condition such as diabetes or kidney disease or a temporary condition such as pregnancy. They are also ideal for those who experience swelling when they walk too much or when the weather warms up.