Best Shoes for Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD)?

Shoes for Peripheral Arterial Disease
Both Gizzy and I prefer minimalist shoes for walking and running. We each have to choose what works for us, however.

Having struggled to continue Ironman training with peripheral arterial disease for the last four or five years, selection of the best shoes has been an interesting journey. I tried Hoka One Ones, various other “orthotic” running shoes, you know, the ones with loads of support, plus a big thick heel. That said, I consider walking and running to involve a conversation between my feet and the ground.

If you lock your feet into highly supportive, thick soled shoes, how can your feet feel and talk to the road. The other aspect of this issue, for distance runners, it whether one’s feet can handle minimalist shoes, that is, without any support. It comes down to conditioning and skill.

I’ve finally opted for Nike Free Shoes, which are minimalist, zero rise, but I, I mean my feet, can feel the ground. They talk to each other, and progress is being steadily made, but progress involves plenty of training, combined with caution, to avoid injuries.

Whether my feet will be ready for Ironman Arizona, 2022, in November, remains to be seen. The White Lake Half Ironman, in May, will be a useful indicator. That said, it makes sense to me that my feet need to be involved in the running process, with optimal movement maximizing blood flow to and from these remote appendages. Remote from the systolic pressure driving blood to those distant tissues. When I work with the ground, I feel it massaging my feet, especially if I’m well conditioned, combined with an active stretching routine for flexibility of all those upstream muscles that help to run the remarkable machines that are my feet.

Handling the calf claudication is another interesting challenge, but this training is essential for my continued survival.

When it comes to the important issue of shoes, we each have to work out what works best for us, personally, for our feet, the rest of our body, and the current state of our vascular systems.

Wishing you happy trails,

kev aka FitOldDog

shoes for peripheral arterial disease
Grey is muscle, white is fat, clear ring around the central white spot (bone marrow) is the femoral bone. Note the loss of both muscle and bone mass in the sedentary guy.


  1. Thanks Kevin for advice on shoes. Keep on running.

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.