Taking Care of Post-Injury Feet
April 14, 2023Apr 14, 2023
3 MIN READ living outside wellness
Foot injuries. They’re no fun. Whether you hurt yourself on an over-ambitious hike or just stepped off the curb weird (it happens!), a sprain or a fracture can stop you in your tracks. If you’ve ever been through it and spent some time on crutches or in a boot, you know what we’re talking about. (Maybe you’re dealing with it as you read this — ouch!).
Once you’ve gotten some medical attention and a doctor has declared you out of the woods, you still need to protect your feet. We’ve learned a few things about how to treat feet right, especially when they’re healing.
This is the most important rule: No going barefoot. Seriously, even when you’re just walking around at home. If you’re standing up, and you’re barefoot, it better be in the shower.
Speaking of the shower: Flip-flops and slides are known as great shoes for showering and lounging, but not if you’re dealing with the aftermath of a foot injury. Flip-flops and slides are out too.
Instead, look for shoes with the following attributes:
Most people need arch support — only people with very flat feet won’t benefit from it. (Not sure what kind of arches you have? Check out this guide to arch support.) Look for shoes with arch support that match your foot’s natural arch, or put in your own insole to get it just right (many KEEN shoes have removable insoles so you can add your own).
Speaking of insoles — they add comfort and stability to your shoes. But if you’ve had those shoes for a while, they could be due for a replacement. Insoles tend to wear out way before your shoes are out of life, and old, worn insoles can impact the way you walk (for the worse). To give your healing feet the best possible environment, swap out any insoles that are cracked or damaged, super-flattened and compressed, or stinky. KEEN sells new insoles to refresh the feel and fit of your most trusted shoes.
A Wide, Roomy Toe Box
Give your toes the space they need to spread out. It’s important all the time, but it’s especially important when you’re recovering from an injury. Most KEEN shoes feature our Famous Comfort Fit with wiggle room for your toes, such as Targhee and Ridge Flex hikers, and Newport sandals.
A Closed Back
Backless shoes like flip-flops and slides (even ones with good support) can have you clenching your feet and gripping with your toes when you walk. If you’re recovering from an injury, choose shoes that don’t put the extra strain on your feet — they have enough to worry about.
If an injury leaves you with a need for a permanent orthotic, you’re not alone. Many of our fans appreciate that KEEN shoes work well with their orthotics. Here’s a letter from a KEEN fan who uses an orthotic brace with her shoes:
“I wear a brace (ankle foot orthotic — AFO) on one foot to help me walk. Finding a shoe that fits is difficult enough, but finding one that fits and has some style is next to impossible. Imagine my excitement when I found your shoes. I own two pair and they are both the most comfortable and stylish shoes I own.
“The removable footbed/insole allows me to buy one pair that fits both feet. I remove the footbed/insole for the foot where I use the brace, and I add an insert to the non-braced foot to make up for the half-size larger I must buy to accommodate the brace.” — Laurie
Laurie was able to make one size work for both her feet. But some people find that they need a pair of shoes in two different sizes (it’s called “splitting sizes”). KEEN can also help you if you need to split sizes — either because of a difference in foot size or the need for extra space to accommodate a brace. If there’s at least one whole size difference in the shoes you need, KEEN can help. Get in touch, and we’ll get you into the right sizes without paying extra.
P.S. Thanks to Laurie for writing in! We love to hear from fans about their experiences with our products — if you have a story to share about your KEEN shoes and how they’ve helped you through an injury, please send it our way at email@example.com!