Hi! I've checked back and forth on the forum and I hope I'm posting this on the right area.

My father insists on going barefoot at home because he says his toes give him more anchorage. He says slippers make him trip easily and I guess the shoes are too hot in a tropical country. Our floors are not carpeted and the floorboards may be intact but I know it will wear out the soles and balls of the feet.

I read about MBT shoes (Masai Barefoot Technology) being helpful to PWPs and I was wondering if this is a proven fact? My father said MBT shoes are made to propel you off your feet more easily. That means he'll go faster than he already is going when on meds and make him feel less balanced. So that doesn't sound like it's being helpful now, does it?

I'm really running out of ideas for footwear. I hope you can help me out, maybe share your experiences on MBT or any shoe that made things easier.

Thank you so much!
I have never heard of MBT butI have found the following footwear co. helpful - Birkinstock and Ecco. Both can be ordered on-line. Neither are very pretty but who cares? They are comfy if a tad too expensive for my liking.
Hi I don't think we have met,

There was a thread called "MTB (anti-shoe) shoes" started on this section of the forum in December 2008 by Cecily. You could use the search forum facility to find it. Cecily was considering buying them at that time but I am not sure whether or not she did. You could PM her and ask whether she went ahead with the purchase and gain feedback from her. Hopw this is some help.
My husband swears to his Crocs whic are easy to get in and out of, very light, and have small raised bumps on the soles that give a slight foot massage which he reckons helps with his toes cramps / dystonia. One pair for indoors and one for short walks outside. For longer walks and for driving, he needs something more close-fitting like sneakers (with velcro instead of laces).
I have just googled MBT shoes. My they are expensive!
I did buy some MBT trainers last summer and yes, they were very, very expensive. At the time my walking wasn't very good and I had a lot of back pain as a result. My osteo sugested trying them. At the time they appeared to work well but there are drawbacks. They are very heavy and also because you are walking in a compltely different way there are 'adjustment pains' Problem is you really need to wear them all the time to get full benefit. This is ok for a man but I certainly didn't want to wear them with everything, and when you go back to ordinary shoes the problem is still there. At that time I was only on a dopamine agonist (ropinerole) but since starting on a small dose of siminet my walking has improved 100% and is virtually normal most of the time. I tend to wear Birkenstocks most of the time and the MBT's are at the back of the cupboard. I'm not saying they were a mistake but I dont wear them at all at the moment. Also if your father is having problems with his balance forget them as they tip you forward. There is a dvd which comes with them (at that price I should hope so!!) I suggest you see if a kind stockist of the shoes will let you see that first. Good luck

I'm not totally sure why you are worried about your father walking about in bare feet. I do that most of the time I am at home (including in the garden). Admittedly I have done this most of my life so the skin on the bottom of my feet is quite hard, but I think it helps my stability as well as exercising my feet and toes

Hi all

I too spend a lot of time barefoot - the thought of going up or down the stairs with anything on my feet terrifies me! With nothing on my feet I feel much more confident. I think nothing of nipping out to peg our the washing or to the bin with bar feet - but yes the downside if filthy feet (an Avon plastic foot shaped scrubber which has suction pads to hold it firmly in the bath gets well used) and a foot file and lots of moisturing cream to combat the hard skin. The winter months are more difficult.

Crocs are comfy, inexpensive and very light to wear. Unfortunately, they are not exactly elegant. How I wish I could find nice shoes that fitted and were comfy to wear. I yearn for those halcyon days when I tripped around in 4" stilletos - you can't be elegant and feminine in crocs!!!

At present I am having lots of problems with my right foot and ankle - some parkinson related and some other causes and it becoming a real problem fmdomg foorwear as my feet are now different sizes. It seems the cheapest solution is to buy shoes in two different sizes and use one of each. If anyone has the same problem but the opposite way round perhaps we could come to an arrangement.

Oh I do like this shoe thread! I have recently purchased on-line A pair of Clarks pumps. Not ballet pumps. These have a n all in one sole with the heel slightly raised. I find it even more difficult to walk in totally flat shoes . And they have an elasticated bar acroos the front so no fighting with buckles or laces but they stay on. At least I hope so - I haven't received them yet.
OMG - My feet have got worse over the last couple of months with constant dystonia - last year I had to say goodbye to the 4" heels, now it seems I can't wear anything except trainers. I have spent the last month wearing trainers constantly when out of the house (definitely crocs in the house), the problem being they don't look very good with my work suit!

I needed flatish shoes, but need some tye of strap so they actually stay on my feet.

So after 4 weeks of looking and moaning about having to wear ugly shoes just because I have Parkinsons, I brought a pair of Sketchers. They have a raised arch, and have a strap which fastens using velcro. They don't look beautiful and certainly aren't a match for Louboutins :disappointed:, in fact with the imprinted flowers I look as if I am wearing my first ever pair of shoes from Clarks!

But I guess at least I should be able to walk now :laughing:
We do take walking very much for granted. It is only when it becomes difficult that we look back and appreciate it.

My feet have altered dramatically over the last year - especially my right foot which puffs up like a balloon. The big toe on my right foot turns up and goes rigid whilst the other toes curl under and twist slightly. Add to that a developing bunion and you will understand why none of my summery shoes from last year now fit. I cant walk in anything with a heel and have now given away all my lovely stilletoes.

I have finally found a pair of sandals with elastic inserts in the tops and front and ankle fastenings of velcro. Shoes however are really hard to find as I really need a size 7 for the left foot and a size 8 for the right - extra extra wide fitting. I may end up having to buy two pairs.

If anyone has a similar problem (but reversed) please get in touch


I have had problems with my feet long before I was diagnosed with PD. I have a "hammer toe" on my right foot which makes wearing most types of shoe difficult. I have been seeing a podiatrist who has made me a silicone "insert" which fits around the toe to stop the shoe from rubbing on it, but this doesn't always work. I also have to have the insert remade every year or so, but it's just trial and error whether the podiatrist can make it the correct shape so that it stays on my foot when I walk!

I can wear trainers with no problem, which is fine outside of work when I can wear jeans, but it's more difficult finding comfortable shoes which I can wear with a skirt for work. Fortunately I have never been keen on wearing stilettos or other "fashion" shoes, and I have never worn high heels. I decided long ago that comfort was more important than appearance when it comes to shoes!

The podiatrist recommended Hotter shoes, but when I visited a Hotter shop, there didn't seem to be much available. Hotter shoes can be ordered online or by mail order, but if you have problems with your feet, that is not the best way to buy shoes, is it?!

I have always found Marks and Spencer's "Footglove" range to be comfortable and reasonable to look at. And I recently bought a pair of shoes for work from Clarks "K" range, which I have to say are very comfortable! And yes, they have Velcro straps....I wouldn't buy shoes without Velcro these days!

One problem that I have had, though, is trying to find a pair of ordinary shoes when all the shops are full of sandals. Apparently women don't wear shoes in the I was told when I asked in one shop!

Kathy :smile:
Yes, it's weird isn't it? This summer everyone around here seems to wear either flipflops or knee length boots, irrespective of the weather.
I note no male posters on this thread (at least I think not - appologies if I am mistaken). So PD really does not change everything!
So sorry for the late reply!

Thank you so much for the feedback! And I hope I'm not the only one who benefited from this thread. I really, truly appreciate the insight. Big hug to you guys: sejvej, annebernadette, MarieL, janeyS, AnneG, geminipat, Seabreeze, Kathy C.

Yes, MBT shoes are expensive, aren't they? So I'm looking into the suggestions here (Crocs, Skechers and the Marks and Spencer footglove, Hotter). We want our father to lessen going barefoot because we're particularly worried about the calluses (he doesn't though so I guess that's ok).

Thanks again you guys! Off to research these ;)
Travelled down to London yesterday to se my Specialist. He agrees that the problems with my toes is very likely a sympton of my Parkinsons. He has recommended me to have *********** WAIT FOR IT ************ Botox Injections in my toes!!!!!!!

I shall have happy wrinkle free toes!!!!!! Just call me twinkle toes eh

Monday I see the Consultant regarding my ankle problems - I cant wait to see what he suggests.

Botox for the toes is sooo 21st century! What will they suggest for your ankles - liposuction?
Hi Marie L
I could do with the liposuction higher up!!! Maybe if there is some left over they will use it up on the creases on my face (mainly caused by my immobile face when i get up in the mornings!

Not sure if any of you've seen this helpful publication?

I find barefoot the best when walking around my home or anywhere I find I'm comfortable to do so. A physiotherapist also suggested to do so. Maybe slipper socks could be of help? I suffer with toe curling and painful dystonia but exercises and a toe splint made of gel and place in my shoe help. Prior to starting medication I couldn't wear open toed shoes, especially not flip flops but this last few summers I've been able to do so. I fine the shoes that are designed to massage the feet or give you a mini work out to tone your legs in fact make me worse and throw my balance out. I've got a lovely pair of sandals, which fasten around the ankle with a soft inner-sole. They have a small wedged heel and are a dream to walk in. I find my feet get too hot in trainers and cotton socks are important. I can walk further in a slightly raised shoe compared to a flat shoe. I think this is because it puts less stress on the calf muscles which become short in pwp's due to changed muslce tone and gait. I have found stretching exercises help with this though.

Happy shoe hunting ladies. Ask your gp to refer you to Podiatry.

Cutiepie :smile:
I forgot to mention, during the winter months I have found that it is essential to keep my feet warm. The cold weather makes the toe curling much worse and my feet look like slabs of ice. Am told this is a separate condition called secondary Reynauds syndrome, triggered by PD. Anyone else been told similar? I also have a similar problem with my hands. They find it hard to adjust to different temperatures. Even in the summer months I find my hands and feet find it hard to regulate to temperature.