Feet and Footwear

Hi Everyone,

Well, frustrated. .... I typed this entire post and then LOST it, so starting over (sigh)..... I have had CIDP for 2 years with severe weakness, numbness in feet (but no pain), and my doctor/staff do not seem to be able to answer my question.

Here it is: What is the best, more optimum shoes/footwear we can get to help with our condition?

I've been wearing tennis shoes (just regular, not athletic shoes), with socks for months, and this helps, but I do find at the end of the day at times, my feet are more numb.


Also, do you find your symptons are worse when you drive for several hours? When I do, I'm just a mess for several days unless I get to the gym. Suggestions to minimize problems?

Thanks all,


Hi Barb,

I wear leg/foot braces so that helps with the weakness in my feet and legs. The braces aren't that heavy but they aren't as light as a feather either, so to minimize the heaviness that some shoes could add, I wear Vans LXVI's which are super lightweight. I believe any lightweight brand would help and tying them tight but not too tight at the top might help.

Hi Barb,

My feet are very numb and tingly and I wear FoamTread slippers inside the house and sometimes outside the house and they are a lot more confortable than my regular runners. Not sure if they would work for driving. They have a good rubber sole for increased traction in the house, for surfaces like hardwood and ceramic.


I'm curious about the post above regarding Vans. Are they wide enough to get a leg brace in?

Hi Calaart,

Yes, I wear full bulky leg braces that support the back leg and ankle/foot (keeps the foot @ 90degree angle with no give) and I also wear a newer slender version that supports the front of the leg and a solid piece of plastic comes down the ankle and under the foot (these newer braces give some so the ankle can move) You might want to leave a shoe stretcher in for the first 2 days. They also come with an inside side band that kind of holds the tongue down, you can cut it if you feel like its too tight, it didn't bother me. I hope this helps.

Stay Strong

I wear "New Balance" walking shoes with Dr. Scholes socks for diabetics. The socks have a cushion that makes you feel like you are walking on soft new mown grass - that is the best I can describe it -- I take neurontin every 6 hours. At the end of any 6 hour period, my feet feel heavy and the grass feels more like a gravel pathway. I use a sock machine to get my socks on and a 2 foot shoe horn to get the shoes on.

I have had 2 hip repacements as well as GBS/CIDP - the regimin described above has been developed over a 5 year period. It works for me.

In regards to Vans.. yes! I broke my ankle in the army and I could actually fit my whole cast in them. I wore an air cast in them after that for months.

As for the OP. As embarrassing as this is... Crocs are incredible. I have the ugly cheap ones for around the house. They have normal looking shoes as well. I've also recently found that the Reebok with the little square blocks on the soles are great. They are wide enough for my swollen feet.

I wear Merrells. Great support and my neurologist strongly agrees. They carry tennis shoes as well as many other styles. Like you, I have no pain - just numbness. I cannot drive at all but walking is not a big problem. Google the website.
Good luck

After many years of trial and error, I now wear Asics (tennis shoes with mesh tops and sides) with socks. For me they are the best shoe to wear because they allows my foot to move freely. As for minimizing the problem....ugh! I guess it depends on the day you are having, and how long you are on your feet (For me it varies. Sometimes I can be on my feet for a second and have issues). In the winter....Ugg Boots work wonders for me also. Why? I have no clue....but they seem to work.

And yes....when I drive my feet feel it. There have been times I literally have yanked my shoes off while driving just to get some relief. I don't know why this happens, but it does.

I wish you luck at finding the perfect shoe :)

If it were up to me I would wear my house shoes 24/7 and when I hurt my foot after falling I did, even to church:). But I do need to find a more comfortable pair of shoes to wear.

We drove to Oklahoma City the other day which is only a 2 1/2 hr drive and my legs and feet were killing me. I wasn't sure I would even be able to make it into my wheel chair.

Thank you for the responses.


I am wearing special driving shoes, they are light, have grippy soles and are made of suede and nomex. I wear flip flops when I am doing well but are too dangerous as far as tripping/falling otherwise. A lot of times I need to wear steel toe's, I have some low tops by "Slipnot" with special slip proof soles, can only stand them for short periods. 100% wool socks seem to help too but I have been wearing them for years, even in summer.

Interesting to hear comments about long drives, I have been dealing with CIDP for a year, my 3 biggest downturns came after long trips by car, I actually feel OK while driving but a couple of days after I start the slide....

You problem seems to be universal I have found that the lighter the shoe the better but only wear good quality shoes. So I have ended up with Hush Puppies which are extremely light but very comfortable and well made. Not sure if you can get them in the USA though. I live in South Africa. I also find that the more I can walk bare foot the better but you must be careful of cutting or injuring yourself because of lack of feeling. A bare foot walk on the beach is fantastic. When hiking I wear good boots but light. (quite expensive of course).

My hush puppies work well for driving because the sole is thin and feeling the pedals works well.

All the best


Hi Barb, its been 5 years since the diagnosis of CIDP shoes hahaha mycloset is full of my shoes that I had before this and every once and a while I buy a new pair!!!! I have lived in Birkenstock since 2007 and then flip flops in the summer....cant wear socks anyomre they drive my feet crazy...most of the time they feel like they are on fire...I cant get rid of my shoes so when we have an event to go to I wear them for about 15 mins then out comes the birkenstocks..and driving well thats just a bad idea hope you find what works for you Brenda

Any suggestions for shoes that are business casual? I cannot wears heels due to balance so that is out. I also need a shoe with a wide toe area, otherwise it feels like my toes are being squeezed off!


Has anyone else experienced collapsing of the foot arch? I have to wear orthotics in trainers every day, my feet have basically collapsed within the past year. On top of the constant pain....woah. Has anyone ever heard of a nerve block for the feet??

Hi Barb I was just reading your post and my posdiatrist suggested a shoe brand "KEEN" I live in va and there is a sports store that carries a few different styles.
but you can also look online but I suggest finding a store first so that you can be sure youe sized right. I went the other day and tried a few pair on
They are pricy but compared to the blisters & etc . It's worth it