Types of Shoes
Your prosthetic foot is sized to fit your existing footwear, so you will not have to buy new shoes to fit your new prosthesis. Most styles of shoes can be worn with a prosthesis, although tennis shoes are preferred when you start physical therapy because they are lightweight. Cowboy boots and work boots can be worn with a prosthesis, although they are much heavier and have a larger heel height than most tennis shoes.
Let’s talk about your heels!
Women are not the ones only who think about heels- all amputees do too! Almost every shoe on the market has some type of “heel.” Most shoes can be worn with a prosthesis, although the heel height must be considered to optimize the function and safety of the prosthesis. The average tennis shoe has a 3/8″ heel. Most prosthetic feet have 3/8″ heel, so when worn with an average tennis shoe, the prosthetic foot will be flat on the floor. If the heel height of the prosthetic foot is different than the heel height of the shoe, you may feel off balance!
If a flat shoe, like a slipper or loafer is chosen (0” heel) with a prosthetic foot of 3/8″ heel, you may feel like you are falling backward. Your prosthetist can provide you with a heel wedge, (a small piece of foam) placed underneath the prosthetic foot (inside the shoe) to prevent you from feeling like you are falling backward. Alternately, if you choose a shoe with a larger heel height than the prosthetic foot, such as a cowboy or work boot, you’ll feel like you are falling forward. A small wedge of foam can be placed underneath the toes of the prosthetic foot inside the shoe to make you level.
Many women choose a prosthetic foot with an adjustable heel that can accommodate up to a 2” heel. This type of foot can be easily adjusted by the patient to wear shoes with different heel heights without needing to add foam wedges. The specialists at P & O Care will help you select the right prosthetic foot and footwear for your lifestyle. We always recommend wearing the prosthesis with a shoe to ensure your safety.