Golf Shoes & Arthritis

Updated November 21, 2016

Arthritis can be debilitating, and can certainly effect your golf game in a negative way. Pain in the ball of your foot and your toe can ruin your golf swing, says The pain in the big toe joint can make it hard for you to follow through on your swing. Arthritis in the ankle creates instability and interferes with the shifting of your weight when you swing. Your foot contains 30 joints and 28 bones, as well as ligaments, which are bands of tissue that maintain proper placement of joints and bones. When arthritis affects these bones, joints and ligaments, it can hamper your ability to walk as well as to play golf.


Arthritis is the main cause of disability in the United States, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS.) Arthritis has no cure, but can be treated so that you can go about your business, including playing golf.

There are three kinds of arthritis that can strike your feet and ankles. The first is osteoarthritis, which is degenerative and a result of long-term stress on the areas affected. The cartilage in your feet become frayed and worn out over time and with age, and this causes joint pain, swelling and inflammation. The second form of arthritis is post-traumatic arthritis, which occurs after an injury to your foot. Rheumatoid arthritis is the third form. It is an inflammatory disease that destroys cartilage.


If your feet are killing you, you probably are not going to play a good game of golf, and you may give up the sport altogether. Your swing, for example, depends on how stable and at ease your feet are as they transition through the swing cycle. Getting shoes that are specifically designed for your feet, and provide support and comfort, helps you play a more pain-free game of golf.


Consider making an appointment with a certified pedorthist or C. Ped, a specialist in foot orthotics who also specialises in the use of shoes, shoe modifications and other pedorthic devices designed and worn to correct problems with your feet. The Pedorthic Footwear Association (PFA) was established in 1958, with the objective of designing, manufacturing, modifying and fitting shoes and shoe inserts called orthoses that help remedy problems caused by long-term stress (osteoarthritis), injury, congenital conditions and disease (rheumatoid arthritis.)


Wear spikeless golf shoes, which may be easier on sore, aching feet and less stressful on the joints.


Treatments for arthritic foot pain include wearing shoes specifically designed to address the problems you are experiencing; wearing an ankle foot orthosis for support; putting arch supports or pads in your golf shoes; and taking anti-inflammatory drugs, which minimise swelling. Controlling your weight and stretching before playing golf can help reduce your arthritic foot pain.

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About the Author

Cindi Pearce is a graduate of Ohio University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She completed both the undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the Institute of Children’s Literature. Pearce has been writing professionally for over 30 years.