Shoes You Already Own
First, look at the shoes you already have. Slip-ons should be the easiest to put on since they have no fasteners. You may need a shoe-horn to help, but don't use those 4" ones that require you bend double to reach your heel. Look for a long-handled one you can use while standing. This one is 25" long and was a promotional give-away to advertise an arthritis drug.
I found some of these at my local WalMart by Shoe Gear/Rhode Island Textile Company called "Why tie? Shoelaces". These are elastic curly-cue shoelaces that I just have to pull on to tighten â No tying knots or bows!
Of course, I wouldn't go running or participate in sports or athletic activities with these because they don't hold the shoe firmly enough for those situations. But for situations where a "slip-on" shoe is appropriate, they save me from tying and untying which I can no longer do easily. This old pair of sneakers I use for garden shoes just require that I grab their corkscrew ends, and pull to tighten.
Purchasing New Shoes
SLIP-ONS are another good choice to spare arthritic fingers.
In my opinion, a slip-on that slips off when I don't want it to is absolutely unacceptable. When I have slip-ons that too easily slip off, I end up sort of gripping them with my arthritic toes, trying to keep them on. My feet become cramped, my toes hurt. It is not worth it. When I purchase slip-ons, I take extra care to find slip-ons that fit well and are not cut so open that they don't stay on my feet.
Velcro-closure shoes are widely available. I have a pair of "bicycle shoes" from Wal-Mart with velcro closures that are great for puttering around the house.
So remember that these options are available when you are shopping for shoes. Tell the salesman you need shoes that close with velcro, elastic or are slip-on. Refuse to look at shoes that have complicated closings or fasteners that would be difficult for you to use. Once you try them on, the salesman has a lot easier time talking you into buying something that would not be a good choice in the long run. Putting on shoes is a daily task. The easier it is, the better your day will be.