You spend time looking for that perfect pair of shoes for your feet. Did you know that your prosthetic limb needs the perfect shoe as well? It’s true. Not having the right fit on the prostheses can lead to complications such as performance problems, and your socket not fitting properly. When shopping for your new shoe, there are three things to take into account:

1. Shoe length

  • Foot length for prosthetics is measured in centimeters, an English standard.
  • Adult feet measure anywhere from 22 to 30cm.
  • In order to properly measure for the shoe, take the metric tape and start on the inside of the shoe at the toe and stop at the heel.
  • Round it down to get the length you need.

2. Heel Height

  • This is the difference in the height between the heel and the front of the foot. This is a very tricky measurement.
  • Take the amount of the sole under the heel and subtract it from the amount of sole under the forefoot.
  • Getting this measurement wrong can lead to functionality problems with the prosthesis.
  • The heel height of the average tennis shoe is about 3/8”. If you place the wrong rise in the shoe, the prosthetic will lean backwards, making wearing it impossible.

3. It should fill the forefoot

  • This fit should be snug. If you notice that a small portion of the shoe material pulls away from the shoe, it is snug enough.
  • When choosing the shoe, always opt for either laces or Velcro for a closure of the shoe.
  • Slip on shoes can loosen over time even with normal usage.
  • Keep an eye on Velcro closures. Though they provide a snug fit, if not cleaned out regularly, the hooks will not catch, and your shoe will fall off.

For more advice on finding the right shoe for your prosthetic, schedule an appointment with your orthopedic doctor. They will be able to fully explain how to measure the shoe and how to calculate the rise for the shoe.