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Some of the key features you should look for in your shoes after Knee Replacement Surgery are:
- Shoes that are well cushioned to absorb impact forces and reduce shock
- Shoes that are supportive but custom insoles can improve this,
- Shoes without too much heel to toe drop,
- Shoes that are available in various width fittings as swelling is common, and
Shoes that have excellent traction to avoid slipping.
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Last Reviewed on 12 March 2019 - Minor Update - 22 January 2019 - Content Additions for 2019 & All New Reviews
by Jennifer & Curtis
The Best Walking Shoes After TKR for Men & Women in 2019 Are:
Brooks Adrenaline GTS19, Propet Wash N Wear Slip on II, ASICS Cumulus, Z-Coil Shoes
If you want to learn more about why I have chosen these shoes, about TKR Surgery and why you need new shoes afterwards that may be different to those you bought before TKR then skip past the reviews using the blue button directly below.
Navigation Table & Quick Look
Best Walking Shoes for After TKR in 2019
Brooks Adrenaline GTS19
Brooks is a very well respected sports shoe maker which is well deserved.
Making some of the highest regarded shoes in the business the Adrenaline is their latest model that provides excellent cushioning.
There are several shoes by Brooks which might be suitable like the Glycerin (hard to get), the Cumulus (overly stabilized) and so on.
The Adrenaline has all the cushioning for a stable landing and comes in many width fittings so finding the right size should be no issue.
The shoe is brimming with technology to help your post op TKR issues of walking softly and without gait correction.
The shoe does have guiderail technology to compensate for both over and under pronation and encourage a neutral gait which is most likely exactly what your doctor ordered.
Propet Wash N Wear 3851 Slip-On
At the cheaper end of the scale, the Propet 3851 slip-On Sneaker provides a lot of cushioning and adequate support for the money.
One of the best things about these shoes is that they’re incredibly easy to put on. Simply slip them on with an easy heel to pull it up your foot.
They’re wide and provide a broken-in feeling, so you don’t feel as though your foot is cramped. This is particularly important if your legs and feet are swollen.
The insole is made of EVA which soaks up impact, making sure your knee takes less damage when walking.
The sole itself is made of a tough grip to ensure that you don’t slip. The inside of the shoe also has a nylon lining which helps reduce moisture. This keeps your feet cool and comfortable.
Finally, the maintenance of this shoe is incredibly easy. If you want to clean them, all you need to do is toss them in cool water, and then let them air-dry. That’s it!
ASIC S GEL-Cumulus
The ASICS Gel-Cumulus used to be a very highly cushioned shoe. For some inexplicable reason the manufacturer seems to have changed the insoles which are now a bit less cushioned.
There is still a lot of cushioning but not as much as the most cushioned shoe on the market - the Hoka One One Bondi 6 - but then again I did not recommend that shoe because the cushioning is too much when you have just had TKR.
The Cumulus offers a good balance between stability and cushioning for you as you walk. Too much cushioning has to make the shoe less stable as your foot will press into the cushion, which will give, if it starts to rotate. Not what you are looking for.
The shoe has a nice breathable upper and a neutral strike path to encourage you towards the optimum gait which you can achieve with your new knee and a decent pair of shoes.
The Cumulus are an excellent pair of shoes!
The Jaquard uppers provide some nice flexibility to make them easy to get on if you open up the laces and get the right size. With these shoes order a size wider and half a size longer.
Z-Coil Freedom Tennis Shoe
The Z-Coil range of shoes are manufactured to help people with serious problems. Arthritis, Plantar Fasciitis & Knee Issues.
The sprung coil under the heel absorbs 50% of the impact forces of walking and greatly reduces pain in the knees.
The shoe is a neutral shoe that is well cushioned but will allow a natural gait. It has a wide sole for excellent stability without rollbars and the like.
It is a shoe that will help TKR patients in first stage recovery where every step is a trial but to be honest, once you have passed the first 6 months or so in recovery you will probably look for one of the other more normal shoes in this list.
For the utmost protection against shock this is the shoe.
The downside to this shoe is that they only come in Medium width fittings and full sizes. They are supplied with spacers to improve fit if you are really inbetween sizes.
They are expensive and clumpy looking but if they stop the pain then who the heck cares?
Many people swear by them and have been wearing them for years after and other people cannot abide the look.
Recommended for first stage recovery because of their wide soles and unsurpassed shock absorbant qualities for first stage recoverers of TKR.
So, you’ve decided to take the step towards a painless life and undergo a full knee replacement surgery. As someone whose partner had the surgery before, I can tell you that you’re making an excellent decision.
After it’s all said and done, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do it sooner in the first place. However, there’s more to the recovery from a knee replacement surgery than just rest.
Knee replacements are usually required when the knee joint has become severely degraded.
Essentially, there’s a cushion between the bones of your knee (see here for more info), and once that cushion is eaten away over time – either through injury, arthritis, or something else – you start to feel the pain of bone basically rubbing on bone.
That’s a lot of pain. The surgery’s goal is to replace that deteriorated joint with a fabricated joint piece.
As you might imagine, there’s a bit of recovery time after the surgery has been performed. While knee surgery has vastly improved over the years, you’ll still need to take some time off to recover at home.
Physical therapy is required, too. You’ll also want to consider an often looked-over concept: What Shoes to wear.
Shoes and Recovery Time
One of the key problems you may face after a surgery is tenderness in your leg.
Walking is a recommended exercise to keep your new knee from locking up and remaining flexible.
There is no argument that walking is a much preferred exercise to running because the forces on your legs are much less.
Running has you legs dealing with forces up to eight times more than standing still, whilst walking is more like a maximum of three times the force - much less yet still providing excellent exercise to keep knee function improvement as you recover from TKR.
However, if you wear the wrong pair of shoes, you might end causing yourself more pain than necessary.
You might even injure your knee again (see my article about good shoes for bad knees).
What Features do TKR Shoes Need?
Shoes that are well cushioned to reduce shock from the forces of walking
You will be looking for cushioned shoes because the main cause of pain will be from the jarring on your new knee as your heel hits the ground. It is also helpful to give comfort through your stride and into the push off stage of the walking cycle.
Shoes that are stable but usually not motion control shoes
You want shoes that are stable, but this does not mean shoes that are inflexible such as motion control shoes. Motion control shoes are reinforced to stop longitudinal flexing to correct severe overpronation. You are looking to follow a neutral path so neutral shoes are better.
Shoes that are supportive to your foot arches
Shoes that support your foot arches are important to help distribute forces evenly while you get used to your new knee and a whole new way of walking properly that knee replacement surgery gives you.
Some brands do not have very good orthotics but other technology in the shoe is excellent. In these cases, where the supplied orthotics are not good enough, you can replace the stock insole with a better quality custom one. In fact in most cases this will bring you additional benefits.
Shoes without too much heel to toe drop
High heels are an ovbious no-no but even shoes with small heels are not recommended for at least 6 months after your op. Choose shoes with lower heels around 1 - 1.5 inches or 25-35 mm or lower. This ensures better balance which you need while you get used to the new way of walking.
Shoes that are available in various width fittings
Shoes that come in a range of width fittings are also important because you will be looking to order shoes that are wider than you wore before. You need wider shoes to allow for swelling that will likely occur in the afternoon or after you have been on your feet a while.
As well as that wider shoes allow room for orthotics which may be a great help to you.
The last thing you want are shoes that cramp your feet and constrain your toes. Remember that your toes perform a very important job in giving you balance.
Shoes that have excellent traction to avoid slipping
Perhaps the biggest danger to you as you recover is potential serious injury from falls. When your knee is still new, it has not reached its full strength. Add to that the fact that you have not yet become acclimatized to the new way you will be walking and you do not have complete balance.
This leads to an increased likelihood of stumbling because of balance and if you fall the danger of dislodging things.
So you need shoes that will not make the situation worse because they have insufficient grip.
Avoid flat soles and soles made from hard rubber with poor grip.
Post op, especially, can be a dangerous time if you slip and fall.
You’ll also want to consider shoes that are easier to put on your foot that doesn’t require a lot of bending.
Slip-ons can serve you well here, or shoes that open wide so you are not trying to wriggle them on.
In addition, because swelling sometimes occurs during recovery time after TKR, you may want to select a shoe that is wide enough to provide comfort during any swelling periods you might have.