If you are about to have hip replacement surgery or a hip resurfacing then you need to start thinking not only about the procedure but what you are going to put on your feet during the recovery process. Finding the best shoes after hip replacement surgery doesn’t have to be difficult but you do need to take certain factors into consideration as your old shoes might not be suitable.
I want to share my experiences and knowledge about learning to walk again after this surgery as hopefully, it can help you to make more informed decisions when you are thinking about what to wear on your feet.
My hip resurfacing surgery was done over 10 years ago but I really didn’t prepare myself properly. Hopefully, I can help you to pick the right shoes for after your surgery so you won’t be trying to organize things after the operation which is of course never ideal.
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These are my top three picks for the best shoes after hip replacement surgery.
These Sketchers Go Walk Joy Sneakers are affordable, comfortable, and perfect for safe walking after a hip operation.
Orthomcomfoot Slip-on Loafers have a wide toe box, comfortable cushioning, and a rubber outsole.
Vionic shoes are a little more expensive but they are my go-to shoes when it comes to foot health and I now wear them every day after my hip surgery.
Can You Put On Shoes After Hip Replacement Surgery?
So let’s start by discussing the first issue can you wear shoes immediately after your hip replacement surgery?
Well, my answer is there are three distinct phases that you go through after this type of surgery. Each of these phases will determine what you can wear on your feet and how far you are able to walk. These phases are:
Hospital Time – Recovery from the surgery usually takes 3-5 days.
Recovery At Home – This can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks.
Recovering Muscle Strength – The full recovery process can take 6 – 12 months.
During the first two phases, any footwear that requires you to bend down to put them on and tie them is going to be a problem. This means that lace-up shoes are not going to be helpful. Instead, you need to think about buying good slip-on shoes that have adequate shock absorption, rubber soles, and a flat heel.
Why is this? Well after surgery you are usually told you can’t bend your legs more than 90 degrees to allow the muscles and tissues in your hip to heal. This isn’t a large range of movement as I found out so you need easy to put on comfortable shoes that you can slip into to prevent any problems occurring after the hip surgery.
So if you were thinking about wearing lace-up shoes or sneakers you need to think again as you won’t be able to bend to do them up.
Should You Buy New Shoes After Hip Replacement Surgery
If you already have slip-on shoes that meet the criteria that I lay out further down then you shouldn’t need to buy new shoes.
If however you have a closet full of high heels, lace-ups, and flip-flops then you really need to think about buying new shoes whilst your hip is recovering.
This is so important because if your shoes jeopardize your recovery and prevent your hip from healing properly you could face further surgery. Wearing the right shoes is essential after your surgery so don’t try and get away with wearing something that isn’t suitable to save money.
Can You Put On Socks After a Hip Replacement?
The same complications occur with socks. Normally I would bend down to put on a pair of socks but after you have undergone hip replacement surgery this isn’t possible without using a sock aid.
A sock aid is a device that allows you to put on your socks without bending down. It is great for the elderly but also for people to use post-surgery. You just place your sock on the device and drop it to the floor and you can glide your foot into the socks.
To complicate matters you also need to think about compression socks. I had to wear them for weeks after my surgery. These are much harder to put on because they are designed to be tight to increase blood flow. I got away with my husband changing them every morning for me but now you can buy compression sock aid devices that allow you to put them on by yourself.
What Are The Best Shoes to Wear After Hip Replacement?
After hip replacement surgery you should really make sure that your shoes have certain key features to help you not only put them on but to keep you safe after the surgery.
As I’ve said before certain shoes like lace ups are no good to you in the first few months after your surgery so you need to think of alternatives to wear. Here are some of the main features I feel are essential when you are walking around in your early recovery period.
Easy to Put on And Easy to Take Off
I’ll start with the obvious first which is the best shoes after hip replacement need to be simple to take on and off. I preferred shoes that I was able to put on standing up that required no adjustments which was why slip-ons are perfect.
Some people might however need an extra long shoe horn to help the shoe go over the back of your heels. I bought one but found I didn’t need it.
After hip replacement surgery you need to be super careful not to impact the healing process, especially in the first few months. This is why you don’t want to risk shoes that slip off the heel or are not secure. A secure fit is essential for safety as it stops the possibility of you tripping or twisting your leg.
Rubber Sole To Provide Good Traction
Shoes with rubber soles or great traction are not just something I just bought for my operation they are something I continue to buy now years later. This is because if I fall and hurt my hip again the surgery will be more complicated the second time round. It, therefore, makes sense to wear shoes with proper traction year-round to prevent any problems down the line.
Roomy Toe Box Area
When you first have your hip replacement surgery expect your feet and legs to be a little swollen. Plus you are going to be wearing compression socks for the first month or so which adds bulk inside your shoes.
This means that any shoes you use immediately after surgery should have a wide-toe box so that you can fit your foot inside them.
Walking after hip surgery is more difficult than you would expect after major surgery so it makes sense to make it as easy as possible for you to move around in the months after your op.
This is why I think a cushioned insole is really important as it will help with shock absorption and keep your feet as comfortable as possible as you start to move around again.
Stable and Supportive Footwear
Whilst a rubber sole is important for your shoes so are shoes that offer stability and support.
You want your shoes to feel secure on your feet and for them to feel stable as you walk. Stick to solid slip-on designs with closed toes and adequate support where possible and avoid sandals such as Birkenstocks or FitFlops in those early months.
Low or Flat Heels
Flat or low-heeled shoes should also be a given. Don’t even think about trying to wear high heels, wedges or elevator shoes in the recovery period to help with your hip recovery.
Most people probably haven’t thought about buying lightweight shoes but this is something I would highly recommend.
Six weeks after my surgery I attempted to go shopping wearing slightly heavier shoes and I found that my legs felt like lead as I walked around. In fact, I had to pretend to try on some clothes in a shop to get a seat in their changing room because I need a rest. I ended up having to get a taxi home because I couldn’t walk any further.
Clumpy or heavy shoes or boots should be given a miss until you are in the third stage of your recovery and walking well. You need to recognize that you are going to have weakened thigh muscles for a period and whilst you are building their strength lighter shoes will make a difference.
I always like shoes with good arch support and this can be really important after surgery.
Proper arch support can help to support your feet, help with shock absorption and keep your feet in the correct alignment. This is important when you are allowing your hip joint to heal.
Best Slip on Shoes After Hip Replacement
I’ve probably gone on too much about how slip-on shoes are essential when you have hip replacement or resurfacing surgery but I only keep on mentioning it because they are going to be essential to your recovery. Here are some of the best shoes that are easy to put on but also offer maximum support and comfort.
Orthocomfoot creates shoes that are specifically designed for foot health and among the many conditions they can help with is hip pain relief which is why I am so keen on their designs.
This particular slip-on loafer has a canvas upper but an EVA and rubber outsole to prevent slipping.
Once again these are really lightweight and easy to put on which is essential for shoes after hip replacement surgery. They also have orthopedic insoles that are cushioned with memory foam which helps provide adequate shock absorption when you are walking.
They even supply an additional pair of insoles with less support if you need it. This means that as you work on your recovery you can swap the insoles if you want as your hip gains strength and you need less support.
Dr. Scholls is known for making orthopedic shoes that specifically help with foot health which makes the brand ideal when it comes to looking for hip replacement shoes.
These Madison Slip-On Shoes are relatively on-trend and come in an array of colors. They are lightweight and have superior cushioning which means they should be really comfortable wearing them.
They also have a padded collar for extra comfort as well as built-in arch support and a heel cup. Both of these features help with heel support and foot stability which is important after your operation.
With regards to sizing these are for people with a medium to wide foot width. Think about whether this will work while you are wearing compression socks or size up if your feet are extra wide.
Best Walking Shoes After Hip Replacement
The best shoes after hip replacement surgery for walking tend to be slip-on trainer styles. There are plenty of possible designs around but let’s talk about a few of my favorites.
You can’t talk about slip-on sneakers without mentioning Sketchers because they are a trusted brand and usually sell their footwear at reasonable prices.
I like the Go Walk Joy Walking shoe because it has a minimalist design that goes with everything and they are super comfortable.
These have that all-important rubber sole to prevent slips and falls and they are also really lightweight with a wider toe box than some sneakers. Plus they are machine washable which makes them really easy to look after.
Merrell also do some of the best shoes to wear after a hip replacement such as these jungle slip-ons for men.
These are great because they are great not only because they are easy to get on but they also have a really good rubber sole with extra traction. They are also really supportive which is important whilst your hip is healing.
The EVA footbed gives that all-important cushioning plus they are waterproof as well which is good when you are able to take longer walks outside.
An EVA blended contoured footbed provides cushioning where you need it. Plus they have a durable construction with people reporting that they have owned pairs for years before they need replacing.
Best Women’s Shoes After Hip Replacement
As a woman, it can be hard to find fashionable orthopedic shoes to wear after hip replacement surgery but there are some brands that fit the bill. My personal favorite is Vionic because they are so comfortable and supportive.
I didn’t find Vionic shoes until well after my surgery but I wish I knew about them earlier. I now have a number of their shoes that I use for everyday wear and they are super comfortable.
These Zinah platforms have that all-important rubber sole and a leather upper. I love the fact that these have elastic panels in the shoe which means they are easier to put on than some slip-ons.
When you buy Vionic shoes you are really using them because they offer comfort, stability, and arch support. These are the shoes to wear if you want to have stability when you are walking and good foot alignment..
If your budget doesn’t stretch to Vionic shoes then Orthocomfoot is your next best choice for good quality slip-on shoes. These are perfect for hip replacement patients because of their comfort and arch support.
They have a rubber outsole that has been designed to be anti-slip. They also have an orthopedic insole so you can be sure that your shoes will be comfortable and supportive.
The Orthocomfoot brand has a huge range of colors and styles you can look at and most of them are suitable to wear after your surgery.
Can I Wear Flip Flops After Hip Replacement?
The bests shoes after hip replacement surgery need to provide support, cushioning, arch support, and good traction. This means that flip-flops are one of the worst things you can put on your feet.
Flip-flops do not offer stability or good cushioning plus they are not safe for walking in, especially after major surgery.
Save your flip-flops for the beach after you have fully recovered and your hip has fully healed but never be tempted to wear them during the recovery process.
Other Essentials You May Need
Whilst this guide is talking about the best shoes after hip replacement surgery don’t forget there are other essentials that you are going to need in the months following your operation. Here are my top three.
To prevent you from bending your hip too far you are going to need one of these on your toilet. Whilst it might not be the most glamorous thing you have ever bought it is essential for your recovery.
When you can’t bend down you soon realise how often you do it in a day. A long-handle grabber tool allows you to pick up things without moving from 90 degrees. I still use mine well after my surgery as well for reaching things that are too high for me.
Finally don’t forget a knee pillow for when you sleep. As you don’t want to twist your hip too far when you are sleeping they usually advise putting one of these between your legs to keep your legs in a fixed position.
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