I'm starting my first job on 7th of October. And yesterday I broke my ankle while playing football. My ankle is now casted. So, for the workplace what footwear do I wear, which will be acceptable along with my plastered leg, formal shoes or slippers or sandals.

  • 11
    It depends entirely on what your company's policy on footwear is, exceptions they may or may not make for medical reasons, and what your doctor says and suggests.
    – DA.
    Sep 29, 2015 at 9:04
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    I think it would look a bit ridiculous if you showed up in a cast wearing formal work shoes, nice and shined. Wear some black trainers or pumps, if you're on crutches wear some sports socks or something. It would take a very anal boss or HR department to bring you up on this.
    – Pequod
    Sep 29, 2015 at 10:45
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    I bought the largest black socks I could find and pulled one over the cast to both keep my toes warm and hide their unsightlyness in a discrete way. The other foot I wore exactly what I normally would have worn if my foot hadn't been broken. If you haven't figured this out yet and you don't already have one, get a backpack so you can carry stuff while you walk with crutches. Sep 29, 2015 at 19:07
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    This is unanswerable without details. At the very least a country? Or a line of work? Ultimately you need to ask the actual company. I don't see how this is answerable. Sep 29, 2015 at 23:14
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    I agree with @LightnessRacesinOrbit in that you need to contact your companies HR or your supervisor. If you were working construction, you might not even be able to enter the premises without a steel toed boots.
    – Keltari
    Sep 29, 2015 at 23:32

6 Answers 6


Whatever you need to wear. It's obvious you've got an injury, and people will understand if that means your footwear isn't as formal as it might otherwise be.

  • 29
    However (and this could be a comment on every answer) if you're in doubt about the condition of the footwear, consider shopping for a new piece. Your old rugged sandals that have been on so many hikes they're missing pieces and falling apart give another impression than a brand new pair of sturdy sandals.
    – Konerak
    Sep 29, 2015 at 12:01
  • Two things not mentioned: Make sure the shoe on your good foot has enough grip. You don't want to slip and have two broken legs or worse. Make sure you know how to rest the broken leg properly. Ask your doctor about thrombosis or whatever problems might arise and prolong your medical problem. Don't be shy to ask for another chair to elevate the leg or bring something with you, it shows you are trying to improve quick. Get well!
    – user42476
    Sep 29, 2015 at 23:43

What footwear do I wear along with a plastered leg?

Follow your doctor's advice!

You have a medical condition. Whatever your doctor says to make your ankle recover sooner and better is the answer. Your manager and your colleagues will not say much about what you wear because they all want you to recover as soon as possible so that you can work as a normal person in the workplace again.


it may depend on your job as well of course. If you have required safety footwear for your job, you may well be unable to do your job if you can't wear it because of your injury. In which case you should contact your (future) boss and ask what to do (most likely it won't matter much for the first few days which are often induction training, paperwork, and things like that but it may well become an issue).

In my experience wearing "less formal" clothes or footwear is rarely an issue, especially in positions without physical customer contact and certainly if there's a good reason for it (and having a foot or ankle so swollen that you simply don't fit in your regular shoes would certainly count as a good reason).


While generally you will be "given some slack" because your ankle is in a cast, you will find some people retain rules you cannot break. For example in many workplaces your toes are a part of you that must never be seen under any circumstances. You don't have experience in this workplace, so to be on the safe side I recommend:

  • put something on the injured foot that covers your toes. If this is a loose and comfortable shoe, great. If it's a slipper, or a cut-up slipper, ok. If it's a sock, so be it. For anything nonstandard in an office, make sure it's a new item, or at least new-looking, not something battered and aged that you already have. (You may want this anyway - many people find their toes get really cold without some form of covering.)
  • unless the height difference would interfere severely with walking (I don't know if you have a walking cast or are using crutches) wear the usual footwear on your "good" foot. This shows that you know what is normal in the office and have a medical reason for whatever is happening on your "bad" foot.
  • make sure your cast is visible if your foot is visible. That is, don't wear long loose pants that entirely cover the cast so just your inappropriate footwear is showing. (Rolling up your pants leg is one way to deal with this.)
  • I know it's a lot of work while you adapt to a new job and deal with a healing bone and walking with a cast and/or crutches, but look at everyone's feet and observe how people react when meeting you, how they look at your foot, and any comments they make. This should enable you to adjust your adaptations on the second or subsequent days.

Mentally file the extra expenses, shopping time, and general hassle for shoes etc as part of the cost of this injury, not as "starting a job" stuff, because this is unlikely to ever happen again.

  • 3
    "In many workplaces your toes are a part of you that must never be seen under any circumstances" - Is this a cultural thing? In what countries would this apply?
    – IQAndreas
    Sep 30, 2015 at 3:32
  • In Wales for instance.
    – blarg
    Sep 30, 2015 at 10:47
  • I don't think it's country by country. I know many North American offices where it applies, and others where it doesn't. Plenty of places consider "business casual" to include closed-toe shoes, no exceptions, men and women. Sep 30, 2015 at 11:11
  • It seems strange that companies would value appearance over safety? In some countries, it could even be illegal eg. tripping due to a sock getting stuck to a corner in a staircase, however unlikely. Oct 1, 2015 at 13:12

So, for the workplace what footwear do I wear, which will be acceptable along with my plastered leg, formal shoes or slippers or sandals.

Unless your condition requires a change, you wear whatever everyone else wears on the job. (This is something you either noticed during your interviews, or must ask about).

Some workplaces are very informal, others prohibit sneakers, sandals, etc.

If you are unable to wear formal shoes due to your cast (or doctor's orders), then wear whatever you must, even if the office normally requires formal wear. If asked, explain the medical necessity.


For this answer, I'm going to assume that you cannot get any kind of shoe on the casted leg. I'm also assuming you don't work construction or something like that as you are counting to be able to do your work even with the casted leg.

For the healthy leg I suggest using the shoe type that is on correct formality level for the job, along with the appropriate clothing. So, if it's suits and tie kind of work, then formal shoe. If it's jeans and sneakers -type of job, then the sneaker. Exception for this rule is shoes that would compromise your safe walking with crutches, for example high heels, should they be part of proper formal wear. Also, if you have difficulty to get trousers on the cast, choose the most formal attire you can manage and fit the shoe to that.

For the casted leg you can choose a knitted woolen sock that matches in color with the shoe you use in other leg. For example black sock with black shoe in the other leg. Woolen socks are usually bit thicker and sturdier looking than normal sock. In addition they are warmer, as without the shoe your toes might be feeling cold, if the climate or office temperature is such. Wool also breathes quite well, so I think it should be relatively comfortable too.

This is something I've seen used here and while obviously you can see they are not wearing formal shoes, it does not stick in the eye too badly and in my opinion looks good for considering the situation.

I don't agree with Kate Gregory for necessarily trying to make it obvious that you have cast. Try to maintain professional enough look in your attire. Cast affects it, but can be worked around to some degree. Obviously contact boss before starting the work and inform about your injury. It might affect other things too, even if you are still capable of working. You can also take the opportunity to comment for the boss that you have a plan to make your attire as professional as you can, and if they have some kind of policy placed regarding work attire when injured.

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