I can only speak from the Rheumatoid Arthritis point of view. I have no clue about any other form of Arthritis. But RA starts in fingers and toes. It spreads throughout the hands and feet after that. So those are the first and continual reminders: aggravating, frustrating and painful. Even when there is no pain, they are a constant reminder of my RA. My hands... their deformities. My feet... when I walk too much, wearing the wrong shoes, or none at all.
One of the first things besides the pain, was that I started to loose the arch in the foot. In the beginning that was easily overcome with shoes that had a good support. Later on, as it got worse, with inserts. Yuck...yes, yuck!
Have you ever tried to wear inserts in a sandal or open shoe? It's impossible! Unless you constantly want to pick up after yourself, haha. Sure, you can glue them in, but that is so restrictive and inserts were issued only one pair a year, so they have to be transferable. Well, I can tell you one thing though, it sure eliminates a lot of shoes and cures you rapidly from your "Imelda Marcos" syndrome :-)
Slowly but surely my bunions started to bother me and I could hardly wear any shoes at all because of the pain that it generated. No problem, there is surgery for that. Bunion problems are not a result of RA. Anyone can get it. In my case the RA accelerated the process.
There are some preventions you can take yourself. For instance: watch what kind of shoes you buy, and exercise. I saw the need for wearing good shoes and not torture myself any longer by following fashion. I got a great pair of tennis-shoes and Thank you Lord! I can walk on them for days without pain if I had to ( I have to give hubby credit here as well, he urged me to get them and guess what....I listened!!! haha.)
It's best to set that foolish pride aside and do what is needed. Even when it is not always what I want:-)
Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.