Many people in the UK suffer from swollen feet and ankles. The condition is an irritating one and can seriously impact someone's comfort and mobility. In particular, standard socks, shoes and other footwear can all be difficult to put on and take off.
Squeezing into standard footwear can be a painful experience, particularly because someone's swelling may vary from day to day. Because of this, soft footwear with a variable fitting can be beneficial.
In the home environment many people opt for special slippers which have both a wide fitting, a spongy interior and a wide, variable-size fixing strap.
Essential Aids supplies a selected range of slippers for swollen feet, along with shoes and other footwear. These items are designed to be accommodating and in some cases allow feet to breath, while still offering support.
Slippers for both women and men are available, all with larger than normal apertures for inserting the foot, and roomy interiors. The 'Ladies Comfort Slippers' for example, are constructed using a stretchy material, providing plenty of 'give' in the fit.
They also feature a wide fastening strap which can be set at various widths, making the slippers flexible enough for the amount of swelling present at a particular time. Because foot swelling varies greatly at different times in the day, this is a valuable property. Like most slippers in the range, they have a non-slip sole and are machine washable.
While the Ladies Comfort Slippers have a low ankle, Essential Aids also supplies home footwear with more of a raised, 'boot' design. These give a little more support around the ankle, preferred by some wearers.
The 'Dunlop Betsey Ladies Slippers are one such example. These again feature the extra wide aperture and hook and loop clasp fastenings, ideal for people with distended feet.
The fastening flap extends right down the foot, almost to the start of the toes. This provides plenty of room for the foot to slide in and out, but holds the slippers firmly in place once fastened.
For men, the Essential Aids range is equally extensive. As for the women's slippers for swollen feet, it features various different designs, some with the lower fitting and some with the higher 'boot style' ankle sections.
The popular 'Gents James Bootees' again have the characteristic extra wide aperture and large, deep fastening strap. Available in shoe sizes from 6 right up to 12 and in two colours, they are among the best sellers in the range.
The velcro strap gives great flexibility in terms of fit, and the 'boot' style provides support to the ankle. This combination of features makes these slippers excellent for swollen feet or for people with bunions.
For those whose swelling makes wearing boot style footwear difficult, Essential Aids supplies a range of slippers with a lower cut. For example, the 'Whitby Extra Wide Slippers', as well as having the wide fitting and exceptionally wide aperture, also have a very hard wearing and supportive sole.
They also feature a removable insole and are made from material with antibacterial properties, protecting against infections. These slippers for swollen feet are also machine washable and are 'breathable', reducing the build-up of moisture or heat.
For some people swelling may be either so great or so inconsistent that even wide slippers are not enough to relieve the discomfort. For those in this situation, Essential Aids has some open-toed, ultra soft lined footwear for the home.
One of the best examples of this type are the 'Fleece Open Slippers'. They provide both warm and extreme comfort to the foot, without applying pressure to the skin or bone joints.
With two adjustable velcro straps, they hold in position without restricting the foot in any way. Providing exceptional warmth and comfort, the split which allows entry and exit of the foot stretches from the ankle right down to the toes.
The Fleece Open Slippers also feature high ankle sections, rolled over to ensure minimum friction. This also keeps swollen ankles warm, without digging into them.
The open fitting means they are suitable for a wide range of foot widths, even those with extreme swelling. They are made of lamb's wool and come in three sizes.
This footwear is also excellent for people with sensitive feet due to fragile skin conditions or who have bony parts vulnerable to pressure sores or abrasions.
One particular innovative product designed to ease aches and pains in the feet is the combination pack of 'Microwavable Slippers and Neck Warmer Set'. The user wears them after gently warming them in the microwave oven; the integral heat pouches absorbing and retaining it for a prolonged period.
The soft fabric makes them comfortable for people who take a range of shoes sizes.
Some people find relief from foot pain by raising their legs. Essential Aids has a range of leg and foot rests which elevate the lower part of the body. A foot rest is a tried and tested piece of equipment for raising the feet and improving use comfort as they sit down.
One of the most popular models in the range remains the 'Contoured Leg Rest'. As its name suggests, it features a curved platform, sympathetic to the curves of the back of the legs.
Height adjustable, it can be set to the required elevation necessary for maximum comfort. The cushioned platform has a vinyl cover, which is wipe-clean and hard wearing.
With chrome plated legs, this product looks good in any sitting room. It is available with standard legs or with wheels. The latter is an excellent choice if you might need to use it in different locations.
Some people find an angled foot rest more comfortable than a model with a horizontal surface. Essential Aids' 'Adjustable Padded Leg Rest' may fit the bill, with its tilted, padded resting cushion.
It features an easy-to-use pin-clip adjusting system, which allows its height and angle of tilt to be set to the desired degree. With an attractive Draylon cover, it is hard wearing and versatile.
'Rocker-style' leg rests are another option if you're looking to support your feet and lower legs in a slightly different way. These have an 'L-shaped' design which simultaneously raises your feet while directly contacting your soles and lower leg.
The 'Bexhill Rocker Style Foot Rest' and the 'Tuffet Leg Rest' are two products in the Essential Aids range which have this characteristic.
The Bexhill also features a curved leg design, similar to that found on a rocking chair. This means that as the feet and lower legs rest within the L-shape, the legs enable a comfortable angle of support, determined by the height of the seat being sat in.
The Tuffet on the other hand has a solid non-rocking base, but offers a similar style of support. In this case, it has a unique 'double-sided' nature. This means it can be flipped over and used as a conventional horizontal cushion foot rest, if required.
If you're confined to bed for long periods, you might also find comfort in raising your legs and feet. Foam moulded sections can help here, providing a solid feeling way of elevating the lower half of your body, either under or outside the duvet.
These tend to be more effective than simply stacking pillows. One reason is that you may need quite a few pillows to reach the desired elevation, but the shape of the support is more stable and not prone to collapse!
Essential Aids supplies a range of products designed to raise the feet in a stable position. Most are made from foam with a material covering, and come in either regular pillow-like shapes, or more contoured designs to improve comfort.
The 'Z-Tec Leg Support' is ideal for raising the feet in a supported position while lying in bed. It is easy to position to provide gentle elevation and help align the body in comfort. It has a soft, luxurious cover which promotes hygiene.
The 'Memory Foam Leg Pillow' does a similar job, but comes with the additional benefit of sweeping ergonomic curves, ideal for raising the legs and reducing any twisting in the back.
The integral high-density memory foam moulds to the user's own contours, again improving the sense of support and comfort. It also comes with a washable cover and features a velcro strap, enabling it to be fixed in the preferred position.
Another similar option is the 'Foam Leg Raiser'. This one is not made from memory foam and its contours are subtly different, this time providing a more gradual incline for the legs. For some people spending long periods confined to bed, this 'contoured wedge' design is the most comfortable and provides the most consistent support.
It is worth noting that these contoured foam wedges tend to be better for elevating the legs than the more standard 'bed wedges'. The standard versions are typically triangular in design and although they can be useful for positioning the body in the bed, they are usually better for supporting the back rather than the lower body.