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What Are Edema Shoes?

The foot of a person with edema.
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  • Written By: Paul Woods
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 23 July 2014
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Edema shoes are a specific type of footwear designed to ease the discomfort of swelling and skin sensitivity that typically accompanies a medical condition called edema. The shoes usually are oversized, made of soft material and can be fastened with adhering strips, such as Velcro®, or loosely laced. The two general kinds of edema shoes are manufactured both for men and women and for indoor and outdoor uses.

The swelling and sensitivity that indicates edema occurs when the body begins to retain excess fluid caused by gravity drawing the fluid to a given pocket in the body. Edema can occur almost anywhere in the body. For example, fluid on the brain is called cerebral edema, pulmonary edema affects the lung’s blood vessels, and edema can result as a reaction to surgery, which often affects the foot or ankle and requires edema shoes.

The shoes come in two general categories. There are slippers, designed primarily for indoor use, which resemble traditional house shoes but are larger to fit comfortably over swollen areas. The second category resemble traditionally-styled footwear for work and everyday use. In men's styles, these typically resemble loafers and lace-up shoes. The shoes also are available for women as flats and slip-ons.

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Edema slippers often feature a thick, padded interior lined with fleece or a fleece-like synthetic material. Exteriors often are made of quilted material or a durable synthetic. The shoes typically have a rubberized soul to prevent slipping and generally are machine washable. Work shoes also have padded interiors but often have leather exteriors and thick, durable soles, usually rubber. Both types of edema shoes come in a wide variety of colors.

Both the slipper style and more traditional style of edema shoes are oversized to accommodate a swollen foot and are deeply padded. There usually are two side flaps and a tongue each of which can be bent back to create a wide top opening, which makes it easier to insert the foot. In some styles, the shoes open in back or are backless so the wearer can easily slide the foot in. Both the top and back openings are closed with adjustable straps or laces.

Edema shoes also come in a boot shape, which is designed for those suffering with ankle edema. In addition to the features mentioned above, the padded material at the back of these shoes tops out about mid-ankle. This additional material can provide support and protect sensitive, affected skin.

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Discuss this Article

turquoise
Post 4

I have a small online shop that sells medical supplies and edema shoes are one of the top sellers.

I used to sell about six different kinds, some made of plastic, some from leather and others made from cotton and polyester pads. The cotton and plastic ones were sold the most though, mainly because they are much cheaper than the leather ones and equally comfortable. So I've stopped selling the leather edema shoes for now.

Edema swelling is the top reason for why people purchase them. Most of my customers are either pregnant or are experiencing swelling because of a health condition or treatment. It's a good product for people with diabetes, arthritis and who are taking chemotherapy treatment because these conditions cause swelling a lot.

I also have customers that purchase them for uncomfortable skin conditions, like a bone deformation or painful calluses and corns. It really is a very popular product.

fify
Post 3

@burcidi-- I'm sure they could!

I wore them when I got a tattoo on my left foot and had swelling because of it. My foot became huge and I could not walk around with sandals because it was January and freezing cold. I was lucky to get a pair of edema shoes with overnight shipping because the swelling lasted for a week and I could not wear my regular shoes at all.

It really was comfortable and warm. I was really happy that they were over-sized because I didn't have much material touching my tattoo either. I even walked on snow with them and it didn't get wet or anything. I don't plan on getting any more tattoos on my feet but I'm holding onto the edema shoes just in case.

burcidi
Post 2

My sister-in-law experienced really bad edema when she was pregnant. She was around forty when she found out she was expecting and the pregnancy caused her blood pressure to increase and in turn, cause swelling, especially in her feet and legs.

My mom got her edema shoes, I think they're commonly called pregnancy shoes, to help ease her pain a little bit. My brother also got her the slippers so she could wear the slippers indoors and the shoes outdoors. She told me that they're super comfortable and help lessen the pressure in her soles so that her feet and legs don't ache so much.

I think pregnant women who don't have edema would be comfortable in these shoes as well because of all that extra weight that gets added during the pregnancy.

dfoster85
Post 1

These are what I needed for after my C-section! I didn't know they made special shoes for edema. I had had fluids during a long labor, then a C-section, and my feet got so swollen that I had to wear my slippers home from the hospital! It's a good thing I had brought slippers, because it was January and going home barefoot would *not* have worked! It was days before I could get my regular shoes on.

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