There are plenty of lists around the web of the “10 best shoes for accessory navicular syndrome”, but when I look at those lists I have no idea how they came up with those shoes and just what it is about the shoes on the list that make the “best” for an accessory navicular.
An accessory navicular bone is an extra piece of bone on the medial side of the navicular. It becomes painful for several reasons:
- Pressure on the lump from the shoe
- Changes in foot biomechanics overloading the bone.
There is absolutely not one shoe that can be recommended that is going to deal with both of those, so those lists of shoe recommendations really are quite nonsensical.
If the pain is due to the pressure on the lump, then the use of shoes that do not push on the lump can be recommended. Flip flops will be ideal for that. Shoes made of a flexible material in the medial arch area can also be useful and shoes that are rigid in the medial arch area should be avoided. This can be difficult if there are requirements for occupational reasons (eg rigid work boots for safety reasons) or sports footwear (eg rigid ski boots). In these situations pads in shoes and other strategies may need be used.
If the pain is due to foot biomechanics issues then the use of shoes with good support, control and stability can be recommended. The aim here is that if the shoes are more supportive, then the joints do not need to move as much and the muscles to not have to work as hard. This reduction in the loads and forces gives the painful area a better chance of heel up.
If you are looking for shoes for an accessory navicular, then determine what is actually causing the pain first and if a shoe can affect that cause.