Best Shoes for Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

best shoes for tarsal tunnel

Tarsal tunnel syndrome, otherwise known as TTS, is a medical condition that occurs when the nerves found in the tarsal tunnel become compressed.

It’s similar to carpal tunnel syndrome, which occurs in the hands rather than the feet. TTS can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort.

A person diagnosed with TTS will need shoes that help reduce pain and facilitate recovery.

Quick Comparison: Best Shoes for Tarsal Tunnel

Product Name Sole Material Orthopedic Insert Features Gel Support
#1. ASICS
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Rubber Yes Yes
#2. Propet

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Synthetic No No
#3. Orthofeet TTS

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Rubber Yes No
#4. Dr. Comfort

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Leather No No
#5. Orthofeet Diabetic

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Orthotic Yes No

Tarsal tunnel occurs when there is constant pressure in the tibial nerve area. This nerve is located in the back of your leg. The pressure causes damage, which then causes pain.

A person’s tarsal tunnel can be found on the inside of their ankle, right beside their ankle bones.

The tunnel is covered in a ligament that keeps the tunnel’s contents safe, protecting the tendons, nerves, arteries, and veins.

Because of this, damage to the tibial nerve leads to the symptoms associated with tarsal tunnel syndrome.

There are multiple classic symptoms. Most commonly, people experience numbness in their feet or a “pins and needles” feeling.

They may also experience a burning sensation that feels like being shocked with electricity. Sharp, shooting pains are the final characteristic symptom of the syndrome.

What to Look For When Picking Tarsal Tunnel Shoes

There are a number of features to keep in mind when you’re picking the best shoes to help with your tarsal tunnel symptoms. It’s also helpful to consult with an orthopedic specialist about the best shoe for you.

Comfort

Your feet should feel comfortable in the shoes. Sizing is one of the most important things. If the fit is off, that could lead to further complications. It certainly won’t help you recover from your TTS.

If you’re buying online, you can’t try the shoes on before you receive them. Therefore, it’s important to find a pair of shoes that have a warranty or money-back guarantee. You don’t want to waste your money on shoes that won’t work.

Ease of Use

You want shoes that are easy to put on and off. Some shoes can be simply slipped onto and off of your foot. Others might have a Velcro closure. Traditional shoes can be tied with laces. Laces are fine if you don’t mind the extra time that goes into securing your shoes.

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Durability

A good pair of shoes should be able to last you several years. This means the design should feature durable materials. Poorly-constructed shoes won’t hold up to everyday wear and tear, and they’ll begin to break down over just a few months.

When you’re dealing with TTS, there’s another element to the durability as well. You need shoes with padding and support that doesn’t wear out. Many soles become worn down over time, and they fail to support the lower half of your body like they did at first.

Insoles

Shoes with proper insoles can make your TTS symptoms better. Insoles also provide stability that helps prevent ankle sprains. You should look for shoes that have support for the heel, arch, and toes. The insoles need to have a formulated cushion that helps prevent the progression of TTS.

Outsoles

Cushioned insoles aren’t the only thing that matters. You also have to worry about the outsoles. The outsole of the shoe is what stabilizes your movement. You want a shoe that has adequate enough traction to reduce friction.

Too much traction can be a problem, though. If your shoes are gripping the ground too hard, you might sustain injury to your leg muscles. You might also develop a number of other potential disorders in your musculoskeletal system.

Support

The best pair of shoes is one that lets you insert medical orthotics to help with your condition. An orthopedist can give you unique orthotic inserts for your shoes that will help with your individual symptoms.

Many shoes offer additional support on top of this. Some have gel cushioning in the heel, which conforms to the movements of your foot. Others have varying layers of padding throughout the shoe.

Width and Length

You need to make sure that the shoe’s width and length correspond to your shoe size. Different shoe manufacturers use different measurements for their sizes, so you can’t rely on your “known size” alone. Measuring your feet might be a pain, but this simple step can save you from ill-fitting shoes that worsen your TTS.

Weight

TTS can be worsened by heavy pairs of shoes. You should look for lightweight shoes that make walking easy. It can be helpful to compare shoe weights. You should also double check user reviews to see if anyone had problems with the weight of the shoes.

Tips When Buying Shoes for Your TTS

There are a number of ways that you can make the buying process easier when selecting the best shoes for you.

First, make sure you measure the width and length of your feet. Any worthwhile shoe manufacturer will have a sizing chart that will help you determine what fit is best for you.

Look for shoes that have adequate space to house orthotic inserts. Some shoes come with a removable lining, while others just have exceptionally roomy space.

If you know anyone else with TTS, you can ask them what kind of shoes they prefer. See if they have any helpful guidance on how to make the best purchasing decision.

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Keep the price in mind. Before you go shopping, you should have a set budget. If you can’t find a pair of shoes within your budget range, consider reevaluating your budget.

After you get the shoes, keep track of your pain levels. If you’re experiencing excessive pain after walking in the shoes, they might not be right for you.

If you continue to have pain and inflammation in your feet, and you do not feel your condition is improving, it’s important to talk to your doctor. You may be referred to an orthopedic specialist or a doctor with specialties in muscles or neurology.

Best Shoes for Tarsal Tunnel

#1. ASICS Gel Venture 5 Running Shoes

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These shoes have rubber soles and are designed to provide your heels with gel cushioning. The design is constructed from synthetic material and includes a removable sock liner, so you can use the shoes with foot orthotics.

The synthetic material is durable enough to stand up to athletic wear and tear, and it keeps the shoes cool during use.

For athletes dealing with tarsal tunnel, these shoes may be the best option. With that said, it’s important that you get the right size. An incorrect fit might increase your injury instead of easing your pain.

The shoe outsoles let you walk on multiple different surfaces thanks to the traction and stability. This is a reasonably priced option that’s ideal for athletes and people on the go.

The raised heels help maintain your posture, and the porous mesh keeps your feet comfortable.

There are only a few potential drawbacks to this shoe. The shoes tend to be bulky, so carrying them around is difficult. The padding for the soles may also wear out.

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#2. Propet TravelFit Walking Shoe

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This shoe is another ideal choice since it comes with synthetic, flexible insoles. The flexibility makes the design ideal for people who have TTS.

In addition, the broad toe area lets your toes stretch and curl in a sufficient amount of space. As long as you take proper care of the shoes, the textile and synthetic materials can last for a significant amount of time.

These shoes feature a strap that allow them to be quickly pulled on and off. Unlike lace-up shoes, you don’t have to struggle to get these on. You just strap the Velcro and then unstrap it.

If you like to walk, this is an ideal choice. It allows for a great deal of toe movement, while the insoles help support your ankles and feet.

The design is fashion-forward and able to match a wide variety of outfits. The shoes are also lightweight, so you can easily bring them with you to different places.

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#3. Orthofeet TTS Pain Relief Walking Shoes

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These are shoes that have been specifically designed for people with TTS and other foot problems. They feature an orthotic cushioning system that softens your steps as you walk, thanks to the air cushions and lightweight sole.

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This system also works to ease pressure on your joints while allowing for maximum movement. The shoes provide ideal stability as you walk. They feature a rubber sole and overall leather construction.

The shoes are also designed to make orthotic insole insertion easy. This helps offer additional arch support and soften the heel area.

An orthotic insert helps to ease tarsal tunnel pain, along with pain in the hips, lower back, and knees.

TT isn’t the only medical condition helped by these shoes. They’re also good for people with hammer toes, bunions, and plantar fasciitis.

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#4. Dr. Comfort Therapeutic Diabetic Dress Shoe

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If you’re looking for a more formal shoe, this is a great option for you. These shoes are designed with the highest quality leather, featuring lightweight outsoles and smooth insoles.

The elegant design makes them indistinguishable from non-medical dress shoes.

Not only are these shoes stylish, but they’re also comfortable. The seamless, padded lining provides therapeutic cushioning.

You can also wear the shoes easily and quickly thanks to the lace closures. Though the design is chiefly marketed toward people with diabetes, these shoes are also great for people with TTS.

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#5. Orthofeet Diabetic Tendonitis Pain Dress Shoes

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This is another great option from Orthofeet. Like the other Orthofeet shoe, this design utilizes the orthotic cushioning system to allow unrestricted foot movement.

These shoes come with wide toe boxes and extra depths, so you can stretch your muscles. The soft interior helps cushion your feet, and foam padding relieves stress on your joints.

These shoes are great for people with TTS as well as other foot conditions like bunions, hammer toes, diabetes, or metatarsal pain.

Correct use allows the shoe to ease pain throughout the lower half of the body. The shoes also include orthotic insoles that provide cushioning and support to the pads of your heels.

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Final Thoughts

The ASICS shoe is the best option if you’re an athlete. It has the most durable design, with mesh fabric that’s exceedingly breathable. The raised heels and gel cushioning help keep your feet comfortable.

For ease of use, the Propet is the clear winner. The Velcro closure allows you to slip the shoes on and off without a problem.

While they don’t have gel support, they do have a wide toe box and a comfortable insole, so they’re good for walking.

If you want shoes specifically designed for people with TTS, the Orthofeet TTS shoes are a good option. They provide support and also make it easy to insert an orthotic insole for additional relief.

The Dr. Comfort shoes are perfect if you’re looking for a more formal dress shoe. They provide padding and comfort that relieves TTS pain, but they’re stylish enough to suit even the most high-end events.

The Orthofeet dress shoe is another affordable dress shoe option. It’s ideal because it has a wide toe box, padding on the sole, and an orthotic insert to relieve pain.

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