If your calf melds into your ankle, chances are you could have cankles. ‘Cankle’ is the more commonly used slang nowadays, but the proper term is ‘edema’, a condition where excess fluid can get trapped in particular parts of the body. This swelling most commonly occurs in the legs, ankles, feet and hands.
Now before you associate cankles with people who are overweight, there are actually a whole range of factors that can result in the condition. Genetics can play a part in your tendency to develop cankles or it could be a symptom of a number of underlying disorders such as heart failure, issues with the lymphatic system, kidney disease or blood clots. Venous insufficiency (when blood becomes pooled in the veins) can also result in edema, as can the condition Lymphoedema.
And every woman who’s ever been pregnant will assure you, swelling of the feet and ankles is a very real symptom and extremely common.
When looking for shoes for edema, always choose comfort, flexibility and a style that are easy to put on and remove, such as orthotic flip flops. Footwear will need to be wide enough to accommodate the swelling and it’s sometimes necessary to buy a size bigger than usual. As always, opt for arch and heel support where possible to help distribute weight evenly across the feet.