How Do You Know If You Need Orthopedic Shoes
“The most common reason we prescribe orthopedic shoes is for foot deformity or ‘at risk’ feet,” explains holistic podiatrist Robert Kornfeld, DPM. “Patients with diabetes and non-diabetics with peripheral vascular disease and peripheral neuropathy are considered at risk.”
Still, even if those conditions don’t apply to you, you may want to consider a pair of shoes that is designed to offer support and alleviate pain. Or you might simply need a pair that can accommodate a custom orthotic, which is an insert that works to bring your foot into alignment.
Keep in mind, there are plenty of off-the-shelf shoes out there that label themselves as orthopedic but might not be a total fit for your needs. “An authentic orthopedic shoe is fabricated off a cast of the patient, so all of the anatomy and contour is considered in the construction of the shoe,” Kornfeld explains. “There are companies who claim to make ‘orthopedic shoes’ that supposedly put the foot in its proper anatomical position for function, but there are too many variations in foot structure and function for me to feel confident that they would be fine for my patients.”
The orthopedic shoes on our list are a great starting point for addressing foot pain on their own or with the help of an orthotic insert. But if you’re hoping to get a better understanding of your own specific footwear needs, it’s best to see a podiatrist to get to the root of the problemespecially if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort.
Naot Women’s Kayla Sandal
A little bit of height without any of the associated pain: meet Naots wonder shoe, officially known as the Womens Kayla Sandal. Erring ever so slightly into a flatform shape, these stylish orthopaedic sandals are great for those days when you dont want to suffer with heels but fancy a little extra height.
Despite its lightweight design, theres substantial arch support from these sandals and the multiple straps help to keep your feet supported all day. Their Birkenstock-esque style with a cork footbed nods to traditional summer footwear, while the large number of colours means youll easily find a pair to match the rest of your wardrobe. Keep it classic with black or splash out with coral, olive or white.
New Balance Fresh Foam 880v11
With almost 800 positive reviews from the New Balance site alone, you can buy yourself a pair of Fresh Foam 880v11s without too much hesitation. Widely regarded as some of the best trainers with orthopaedic support for women, New Balance is a winner not just when it comes to comfort but also to style.
Perfect for gym workouts or those early morning runs you keep telling yourself youll soon start, the Fresh Foam 880v11s were designed with comfort in mind. Some of those impressive features include responsive top-bed foam, a plush midsole and an engineered double jacquard mesh to allow for an intuitive, soft fit. Theyre super breathable and come in black, off-white or blue/grey.
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Women’s Orthotic Friendly Boots Heels And Footwear For Comfort And Style
Peter Sheppard stocks Australias most extensive range of European footwear. The range includes stylish styles for the discerning buyer who doesn’t just want to look good they value comfort as well.
Peter Sheppard carries boots suitable for all-day wear and shoes to suit the lifestyles of women on the go. Say goodbye to chunky, awkward shoes and hello to footwear you will not want to take off. Thanks to new technology and innovative designs, being comfortable no longer means you must sacrifice style.
Orthofeet Womens Sierra Shoes
Best Orthopedic Shoes for Ankle Pain
- Sizes: 5 to 12, regular to extra wide
- Special Features: Arch support, gel cushioning, removable insert for custom orthotics, ankle support
These Orthofeet orthopedic shoes provide arch support, gel cushioning and extra foam padding. Covered in a wool blend material, they are great for colder temps. If you do have a custom insert, you can add them to these shoes, since the insoles are removable. Fits great, comfortable for bunions and great arch support. Wore all day lots of time on feet and walking end of day feet did not hurt! And, not only comfortable, but really attractive footwear well constructed and good material used for uppers and soles, writes one reviewer.
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Fernlern Steel Toe Safety Shoe
Best Womens Orthopedic Safety Shoes
- Colors: 14 color options
- Special Features: Steel toe offers protection, ultra cushioned, shock-absorbing sole, ankle support
These slip-on steel toe shoes are one of the top-selling safety shoes on Amazon. Not only do they offer protection, but meet ASTM standards for impact. They also feature an ultra cushioned, shock-absorbing sole and ankle support. One of the many fans on Amazon writes that the shoes cured her plantar fasciitis. I thought I had it from walking on concrete floors for all these years, but after wearing these I havent had any pain since! They are so comfortable and easy to put on. I am shocked at how good these are for the price.
Best For Walking: Vionic Walker Classic
Clove shoes are extremely popular among healthcare workers but you dont need to be a medical professional to rock your own pair. These shoes are lace-free and super supportiveagain, designed for healthcare workers who are on their feet all day. They also have plenty of room for custom orthotics if needed. The outer material is water-resistant and wipeable, and the insole is odor-resistant and machine washable, too. Something else we love? Clove has donated more than $300,000 worth of shoes to front-line healthcare professionals across the country since March 2020.
What Customers Say:
With nearly 1,000 reviews on the Clove website, these shoes have a staggering 4.9 out of 5-star rating. One reviewer who uses custom orthotics says, So comfortable, I can walk 12 hours without any problem. So easy to put on. Most people recommend sizing up a half-size with these shoes, so keep that in mind if youre in between sizes or prefer a more wide toe box. And while they have a lot of fun colors and patterns available, the wipe-clean material might not be for everyone.
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Skechers Go Walk Joy Shoes
Best Orthopedic Shoes for Elderly
- Sizes: 5 t0 13, narrow, wide, regular
- Colors: Multiple color options
- Special Features: Slip-on style, ultra cushioned and responsive midsole and insole, thick sole
Older people in need of orthopedic shoes should look for styles that are easy to get on and off. Skechers Go Walk Joy, a 100% synthetic, lightweight pull-on shoe, is the best-selling walking shoe on Amazon. It offers responsive insole and midsole cushioning and other features, like a padded collar and breathable mesh upper for comfort and comes in three widths and a wide range of whole and half sizes. I am a 60 year old woman with MS and my balance is a little wonky, writes one 5-star reviewer. After slipping and sliding a lot down her driveway even with a walking stick, she ordered a pair. What a difference! They are super comfortable and the thick sole kept me balanced and safe. I was able to walk further than normal without any problems. The shoes did not rub anywhere and I felt very secure.
Comfortable & Stylish Shoes For Men And Women
Whether youre shopping for mens shoes or womens shoes, comfortable stylish shoes that keep up with the current style trends should be a priority. What if you could have all that, with supportive arch support technology to relieve aching feet and pain from plantar fasciitis or heel pain? At Vionic, our shoes for women and men provide arch support technology in the most up to date styles. Made with high quality and breathable materials such as durable leather and soft suede, our footwear is created for all-day wear so that your feet can be comfortable no matter where you are going. Walk in comfort when you slip into a comfortable pair of shoes with arch support from Vionic. Read more…
No matter what shoes youre wearing, you should feel great and your feet should be comfortable, too. Whether youre looking for lightweight sandals or shoes to wear on vacation, dress shoes for work or boots for those cold winter months, Vionic has versatile shoes no matter the occasion or the season. For women, our stylish loafers and comfortable flats are perfect for a casual work day while our heels and wedges are great for going from your day at work to a night on the town. For men, find a pair of sneakers that can be worn anywhere and anytime or a pair of comfortable mens dress shoes made to impress at the office. We even have supportive shoes for medical professionals or comfortable shoes for teachers who are constantly on their feet all day.
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Kuru Footwear Atom Womens Shoes
Best Orthopedic Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
- Sizes: 5 to 12, Medium, Wide
- Colors: 9 color options
- Special Features: Molds to your foot for a custom fit, breathable, extra cushioning.
While not currently considered orthopedic by a medical standard, Kuru specializes in creating comfortable footwear with anatomically correct arch support. Over time, they use your body heat to mold to your exact foot shape, so you get a custom fit, no matter what kind of arch you have. This helps prevent and relieve plantar fasciitis and heel pain. The Atom, one of their most popular styles, features their thickest midsole giving it bottomless cushioning for ultimate comfort. It also features a slimmer forefront compared to their other popular style, the Quantum.
Best Orthopedic Shoes for Extra Wide Feet
- Sizes: 5 to 12, narrow, normal, wide, extra wide
- Colors: Five color options
- Special Features: Anatomic arch support in insoles, extra cushioning, wide toe box, available in four widths
- Sizes: 6 to 12, Available in four widths
- Colors: Black, brown
- Special Features: Cushioned insole, adjustable ankle strap
- Colors: Black, lagoon, linen
- Special Features: Contoured midsole, cushioned footbed, hidden velcro buckles for adjustability
- Colors: 6 color options
- Special Features: Convenient slip-on, deep heel cupping, molded footbed with orthotic arch support
Best Orthopedic Shoes for Nurses
- Colors: Multiple color option
- Special Features: Anatomical footbed, roomy box toes, antimicrobial leather lining
Orthotic Inserts Vs Orthopedic Shoes
Orthotics are shoe or heel inserts that can be custom-made specifically for you or purchased over-the-counter. Sometimes, you may need a prescription from a podiatrist explains Dr. Schaeffer. They are a good, cheaper, and often beneficial alternative to orthopedic shoes, he says. Right now, only 12% of consumers own an insert, yet so many more people suffer from back and lower body pain.
You can even purchase custom-fit orthotics in Dr. Scholls stores. This variety is clinically proven to provide 5-in-1 pain relief from lower back, knees, achy feet and plantar fasciitis and heel pain. Theyre matched for your unique foot geometry at the in-store kiosk. Each insert has three customized layers: the cushion layer which reduces shock, the 3D arch support designed for your arch shape and foot length that allows you to move pain free throughout your day, finished with the soft top cloth layer for the all-day comfort.
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Cloudsteppers By Clarks Casual Sandal
Clarks Cloudsteppers are regularly referred to as the comfiest shoes Ive ever worn throughout their hundreds of reviews. With their cloud-like cushioning and open toe design, theyre proof that orthopaedic shoes dont have to be overly bulky and can be – dare we say it – fashionable, too.
Available in vibrant sunshine yellow or iconic navy blue, these casual sandals are perfect for all kinds of spring or summer occasions. Bring them along for weekends away and feel smug as everyone else around you complains of an achy back and sore toes. You? Nope, you planned ahead for these occasions with the comfiest shoes on the market.
Features & Benefits Of Stability Rocker Bottom Sole Shoes For Women
- The Rocker Bottom design is excellent for spending long hours on concrete and other hard surfaces
- Exercising benefit: being that your feet are less fatigued, you can walk longer distances and burn more calories!
- Stable design, lets you walk farther & longer on all surfaces
- Removable insoles for using custom made orthotics and other insoles
- Most styles are available in many sizes and widths: medium, wide, & extra wide
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A Comprehensive Range Of Orthotic Friendly Shoes For Women
Peter Sheppard has a range of high-quality flats, heels and boots that, unlike many fashion shoes and boots, allows the insertion of orthotics without compromising on comfort. Our orthotic-friendly styles include sandals, flats, heels and boots with removable footbeds. This easily allows room for the insertion of custom orthotics for all-day comfort and support for your feet. Peter Sheppard carries everyday shoes and boots as well as a range of orthotic-friendly heels. The shoe range includes casual styles, sneakers and walking shoes as well shoes suitable for work.
Whether you’re on your feet for extended periods of time, or you experience painful feet, the right pair of shoes is imperative. Peter Sheppard carries a range of shoes with features and innovative designs to minimise the impact on feet and joints.
Peter Sheppard also carries fashion shoes and boots with inbuilt orthotic support. While open styles and sandals do not always accommodate orthotic inserts, Peter Sheppards range includes styles with orthopedically designed footbeds. This provides your feet with the support they need for all-day or night comfort. This range includes fashionable orthotic heels for evening occasions or events.
Hoka Bondi 7 Running Shoe
Hokas Bondi 7 Running Shoe leans towards the dad sneaker look which, while it might not be stylish in the traditional sense, definitely ticks the boxes when it comes to being on trend. But these bulky shoes arent just designed for style: packed inside each layer is extra support – itll feel a little like youre running through clouds if you choose this pair for the gym.
Stable and cushioning, the Bondi 7 features a symmetrical bed of cushion designed to provide a forgiving impact and ride. And, made from ultra-soft memory foam, its suitable for narrow through to wider feet, providing comfort without squashing your toes or ankles. The only bad part? Hokas Bondi 7 often sells out quickly, so youll want to keep an eye on the website if youre after a specific colour.
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Propet Tour Walker Strap Sneaker
Best Orthopedic Shoes for Diabetics
- Sizes: 5 to 12, narrow to 3X wide
- Colors: 6 color combinations
- Special Features: Made specifically for diabetics, removable insert for custom orthotics, cushioned midsole, velcro straps
These 100% leather shoes from Propet are Medicare/HCPCS coded as a diabetic shoe. They offer a cushioned Eva midsole for comfort, herringbone tread rubber outsole to avoid slips and falls, and a removable footbed for custom orthotics. Other great features include a perforated upper for breathability and velcro straps, making it easy to get them on and off. I have several health issues, diabetes and arthritis being two, and these shoes are far more comfortable and better fitting than any diabetic shoe I have ever had. Correct support and a snug, but not tight, fit. Easy to put on and the straps make it easier to adjust to the needed fit, writes one reviewer.
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An orthopaedic shoe is an umbrella term used to describe footwear designed to support the feet, ankles and legs, says Rob Payne, podiatrist and clinical manager at The London Podiatry Centre. These can either be patient-specific and related to a particular condition, such as cerebral palsy, or generic but with features that may enhance stability and aid gait efficiency.
Some brands simply offer shoes with features such as contoured footbeds and shock-absorbing midsoles with the aim of all-day comfort and being well-fitted. Conditions such as corns and calluses can be caused by footwear that doesnt fit properly, and other foot conditions can be seriously exacerbated by it, so it might be time to ditch the pointy heels or ill-fitting, unsupportive trainers.
Each individual has different needs from footwear, says Rob. However, some of the main components we look for include strong rearfoot stability a wider and deeper toe box trainers tend to provide greater toebox width and depth compared with smarter shoes a rocker bottom or shock absorptive capabilities for individuals with highly arched feet, as such foot shapes typically possess more hypomobile foot shapes this results in localised but heavy pressures, typically on the heel and forefoot.
Below, weve found the best orthopaedic and supported shoes in a range of styles.
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The Science Of Style With Maximum Comfort
Too often, finding the perfect comfortable shoe for women comes at the expense of style, forcing you to choose between comfort and appearance. At Vionic, were disrupting the footwear space by transforming how people view womens shoes – from women’s walking shoes to high heels to slippers and everything in between. Vionic unites comfort and style, offering podiatrist-designed arch support shoes for women in the seasons most coveted trends. Our shoes are all built with superior arch support and high-quality materials to support all-day wear and minimize arch pain for those with flat feet. Read more…