How To Put On Shoes After Hip Replacement

After hip replacement surgery, some surgeons may instruct you to follow hip precautions to reduce the risk of dislocation and postoperative complications. These precautions usually place restrictions on bending or moving at the operated joint, which can affect daily activities such as dressing.

This article will discuss the steps to put on shoes after a hip replacement surgery, but first let’s highlight the common hip precautions and how this can impact dressing.

Hip Precautions and the Impact with Dressing

Joint restrictions after a hip replacement are meant to promote optional healing of the surgical site and operated joint to reduce the risk of a dislocation and other surgical complications.

Common hip restrictions include:

  • No crossing of the legs or ankles
  • No twisting of the legs and toes inwards or outwards
  • No bending forward from the hip more than 90 degrees (regular upright sitting posture)
  • Sitting on firm tall surfaces so the hip is higher than the knee

While hip precautions can vary in length depending on the surgical approach used, hip restrictions are usually expected to be followed postoperatively for 6-12 weeks.

That said, the surgeon is able to provide a more specific timeline on joint precautions for your individual case. Depending on the surgical intervention, it is possible that only minimal activity restrictions need to be followed. Always consult your surgeon to understand what your restrictions and limitations might be.

Surgeons may also arrange medical follow up visits to:

  1. Examine the healing of any surgical wounds
  2. Remove any surgical staples or sutures
  3. Evaluate the range of motion of the joint and its strength
  4. Prescribe exercises and arrange rehabilitation programs for strengthening and conditioning

While it can be challenging to dress the lower body with bending, twisting and other movement restrictions, it is unrealistic to not dress for the duration of these precautions. Fortunately, the use of adaptive dressing aids and changes to dressing technique can make someone less reliant on caregiver support and more independent.

These are the steps to put on shoes after a hip replacement:

  1. Putting on socks – use a sock aid

Before putting on your shoes, you will need to put on your socks.

Many individuals wonder when can you put socks on after hip replacement? The answer is almost immediately with the use of dressing aids provided the doctor cleared you for activity and you modify dressing techniques to obey joint precautions.


Socks can be put on without bending at the hip by using a sock aid. This tool has a flexible contoured plastic shell that the sock is placed over to expose the opening for a foot. 

Simply place the sock onto the device while sitting, hold onto the handles connected to the plastic shell and drop it to the floor. Then place a foot into the sock and pull on the handles to drag the sock up along your foot. This process is then repeated for the other side.

  1. Putting on shoes – use a long handled shoe horn

After hip surgery, many people inquire how to put on shoes without bending over. With the use of a long handled shoe horn, this can easily be done.


A long handled shoe horn is placed into the shoe near the heel section, and allows a foot to glide into the shoe without bending over. The long handle allows someone to hold the tool from standing or sitting in a chair and reduces the need to flex at the hip joint.

  1. Tying shoe laces – use elastic laces

Many people wonder how long after hip replacement can you tie shoelaces? The answer is almost immediately when replacing a shoe’s existing string laces with elastic laces.


Elastic laces can stretch and compress under their own tension. This means that the laces will stretch out as someone places their foot inside the shoe, but tighten on their own once the foot is inside. Essentially, the foot is secured in place without needing to tie the laces.

What are the best shoes to wear after hip replacement?

Good shoes for hip replacement recipients are easy to put on and secure to the foot. Let’s learn more about what constitutes a good shoe and a bad shoe for recipients of hip replacement surgery.

Good shoes

Some people prefer slip on style shoes for use within the home. While these shoes are easy to put, a built in heel guard needs to be present to prevent the shoe from coming off the foot.

For most people the best shoe to wear after a hip replacement are sneakers with a snug fit on the foot. Ideally, they should be easy to put on with the help of a caregiver or the use of assistive dressing aids such as a long handled shoe horn and elastic laces.

Bad Shoes

High heels and heightened platform shoes should be avoided as it is harder to balance in these shoes and falling after a hip replacement surgery can negatively impact recovery, lead to further injury or worse. Shoes should have a flat sole with good grip to minimize the risk of stumbling or sliding.

It should also be mentioned that Velcro shoes are not recommended after a hip replacement because the strap is difficult to secure or remove if one needs to follow bending restrictions. A better alternative is to replace string laces on existing sneakers with elastic laces to eliminate the need to bend over to tie your shoes.