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Best Orthopedic Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Comfort

last updated Jan 31, 2019

Although anyone and everyone can benefit from wearing orthopedic shoes, they’re especially beneficial for people who suffer from problems with their feet, such as abnormalities or injuries or are recovering from surgery. Built specifically to support the heel and arch of the foot and provide plenty of space for the toes to rest naturally, orthopedic shoes promote healthy, normal feet and thus lower the risk of back pain, joint damage, limb swelling, and any related discomfort or pain. Even if your feet are fine right now, wearing this type of shoes could prevent you from having issues with mobility or requiring surgery for any unforeseen complications that you may develop in the future.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research

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ASICS GEL-Venture 6
94.8/100 our score
Comfort
96
Support
93
Traction
95
Breathability
93
Brand
97
ASICS GEL-Venture 6
Why is it better?

Rearfoot GEL Cushioning

Good for Underpronation

AHAR Outsole

Removable Foam Sockliner

Good for Wide Feet

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
ASICS GEL-Venture 6
Test Winner: ASICS GEL-Venture 6
Researched Sources
17
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1236
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
18
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
20
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
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By Mackenzie Jervis:

The latest update to this article removes items which have dropped in rating, giving you only the best orthopedic shoes available for purchase in September 2018. Furthermore, the Criteria for Evaluation section has been improved to provide you with the information you need to make the best possible choice, ensuring the health of your feet and a comfortable walking experience.

Sorting Options
Comfort Support Traction Breathability Brand By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Comfort
96%
Support
93%
Traction
95%
Breathability
93%
Brand
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$46.12
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Comfort
92%
Support
90%
Traction
94%
Breathability
93%
Brand
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$84.90
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Comfort
92%
Support
94%
Traction
91%
Breathability
90%
Brand
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$119.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Comfort
91%
Support
90%
Traction
89%
Breathability
90%
Brand
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$57.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Comfort
88%
Support
93%
Traction
87%
Breathability
86%
Brand
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$129.90
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Comfort
86%
Support
88%
Traction
90%
Breathability
89%
Brand
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$74.40
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Comfort
83%
Support
86%
Traction
85%
Breathability
86%
Brand
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$59.95
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.4
Comfort
83%
Support
82%
Traction
85%
Breathability
83%
Brand
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$49.95
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.2
Comfort
81%
Support
83%
Traction
82%
Breathability
81%
Brand
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$59.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Comfort
82%
Support
79%
Traction
80%
Breathability
81%
Brand
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (25.03.19)
$73.60
In Depth Review Top 10
  • ASICS GEL-Venture 6
  • Olukai Nohea
  • Alegria Paloma
  • Vionic Tide II
  • Birkenstock Boston
  • Propet Wash & Wear
  • Propet Travelactiv
  • Propet Balance Bilite
  • New Balance 577
  • Hush Puppies Gil
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Orthopedic Shoes

1. ASICS GEL-Venture 6

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
ASICS GEL-Venture 6
Comfort
96
Support
93
Traction
95
Breathability
93
Brand
97
best offer for today
$46.12
Pros:

Rearfoot GEL Cushioning

Good for Underpronation

AHAR Outsole

Removable Foam Sockliner

Good for Wide Feet

Cons:

Slightly Heavy

Some Users Prefer the GEL-Venture 5

The ASICS GEL-Venture 6 is a pair of trail running shoes that were made to give you the best possible support and comfort features, on all types of terrain. Made for runners, these shoes feature plenty of cushioning and shock absorbing features, but thanks to their simple aesthetics, they can also be worn as a pair of everyday casual shoes if you need some extra support and comfort.

Read more

Good for Underpronation
If you find yourself underpronating - carrying most of the weight on the outside part of your feet, you need to invest in a pair of shoes that will make up for the lack of shock absorption that happens during your gait cycle. With rearfoot GEL cushioning, these shoes will cup the heel, and allow for a smoother transition to midstance, without sending too much stress up the entire leg.

Removable Sockliner
The sockliner in these trail running shoes is removable, which means that you can substitute them for your own custom orthotics. If you don’t need to use custom orthotics, you will be very happy with the high-quality foam insoles that come with the shoes, seeing that they mold to the feet and give the feeling of a custom fit.

Cost and Value
The ASICS GEL-Venture 6 ranks low to average on this list when it comes to price, which makes these shoes an excellent choice for those with pronation issues. You will especially love the comfort features, but will also appreciate the ASICS High Abrasion Rubber outsole which gives good traction on all types of surfaces without showing signs of wear too quickly.

2. Olukai Nohea

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Olukai Nohea
Comfort
92
Support
90
Traction
94
Breathability
93
Brand
88
best offer for today
$84.90
Pros:

Moisture Wicking Lining

Drop-in Heel

Anatomically Correct Footbed

Removable Footbed

All Weather Rubber Outsole

Cons:

Less Supportive

Will Stretch Out Considerably

This is a pair of versatile slip-on shoes that will work great for everyday wear, but also holidays and the beach, seeing that the mesh upper is quick to dry and provides you with excellent airflow throughout the day. What is more, they come with a one year warranty against any manufacturer’s defects from the date of purchase, meaning that you can rest assured that you are getting a pair of footwear that is of high quality.

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Versatile Heel
One of the aspects of these shoes that make them a good choice for anyone suffering from foot problems is the heel which can be worn both as a regular shoe or can be lowered to be worn as a slide-in slipper. If you are recovering from surgery or have limited foot mobility, you will love this feature.

Anatomical Footbed
The long-lasting anatomically contoured footbed is lined with a microfibre Dri-Lex cover, making it quick to dry and suitable for summer use. Also, it is removable, meaning that you can wash it whenever you feel like you need a fresh shoe, or replace it with your own custom orthotics for maximum comfort and support.

Cost and Value
The Olukai Nohea ranks average on this list when it comes to price. Offering great versatility and high quality, you are bound to love these shoes if you are looking for a stylish but supportive orthopedic shoe. They come in eight different styles and can be paired with any outfit, making them an excellent choice for everyday use.

3. Alegria Paloma

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.2
Alegria Paloma
Comfort
92
Support
94
Traction
91
Breathability
90
Brand
89
best offer for today
$119.95
Pros:

Removable Footbed

Mild Rocker Sole

Non-Slip Outsole

Stain Resistant Upper

Promotes Proper Posture

Cons:

Velcro Durability Issues

Can be Squeaky

Alegria shoes are simply unsurpassable when it comes to high quality, anatomically correct footwear that works well even in a professional setting. The Paloma is a Mary Jane styled model that looks good thanks to the numerous colors and patterns available but offers excellent comfort and support features, including a non-slip polyurethane outsole that is made with a slight rocker bottom, giving you a good amount of energy return with each step you take.

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Removable Footbed
The footbed in these shoes is removable, and if you find that the amount and type of support and cushioning they originally come with is not enough for you, you can easily replace them with your own custom orthotics. Otherwise, these provide the wearer with superior arch support thanks to the cork, memory foam and latex construction that will perfectly mold to the feet creating a custom fit.

Promotes Proper Posture
If you spend a lot of time standing or walking, you will find that a pair of shoes can influence whether you feel any lower back pain at the end of the day. Alegria shoes are made so as to promote proper posture, evenly distributing your weight over the entire foot, and aligning your ankles, knees, and hips correctly.

Cost and Value
Depending on style and size, these shoes rank high to average on this list when it comes to price. If you are someone who spends a lot of time on their feet and needs a pair of shoes that is comfortable, supportive, and easy to care for, the Alegria Paloma might be the best choice for you. Thanks to the simple Mary Jane design, these will look just as good with a pair of jeans as they will with a skirt or suit.

4. Vionic Tide II

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90
Vionic Tide II
Comfort
91
Support
90
Traction
89
Breathability
90
Brand
90
best offer for today
$57.99
Pros:

Lightweight

Fabric Toe Post

Great for Warm Weather

TPU Outsole for Good Traction

Excellent Arch Support

Cons:

No Half Sizes Available

Take Time to Dry

Just because you’re conscious about foot health doesn’t mean you can’t also be stylish. It also doesn’t mean you have to suffer sweaty feet in warm weather. These sandals have all the advantages of orthopedic design such as arch support, shock absorption and padded soles with none of the bulky aesthetic. In fact, they come in various attractive colors and designs. Take a look at the numerous options!

Read more

Flexible and Lightweight
The Vionic Tide II features some of the best arch support you can find in a pair of shoes. The EVA midsole provides good shock absorption without adding unnecessary weight, while you will find that the arch support and heel cup cradle your feet and align them properly, ensuring a pain-free experience.

Fabric Toe Post
Again, ease is of the essence with orthopedic shoes; it doesn’t make sense for shoes that are focused on foot health to be difficult to put on or take off. These sandals are as uncomplicated as any regular flip-flop, and the soft material of the toe post ensures that the space between your toes won’t get rubbed raw. What you’ll also love about these shoes is the neoprene lining on the upper which is soft to the touch.

Cost and Value
These shoes rank low on this list when it comes to price, however, you will find that they are much more expensive than a pair of drugstore flip-flops. Nonetheless, if you want good arch support but with the benefits of a summer style, the Vionic Tide II is an excellent choice you are sure to love.

5. Birkenstock Boston

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.4
Birkenstock Boston
Comfort
88
Support
93
Traction
87
Breathability
86
Brand
93
best offer for today
$129.90
Pros:

Anatomically Correct Footbed

Adjustable Upper

Cork Footbed

Great for Arthritis

Cushioning Outsole

Cons:

Can Get Hot

Leather Should Not Get Wet

These classic clogs by Birkenstock make a great pair of footwear if you need a pair of supportive and comfortable slide sandals that will work just as well for the home as they will for running errands and going on walks. Featuring a rich oiled leather upper, the famous Birkenstock cork footbed and an EVA foam outsole that is water friendly, you’ll find that the Boston is a classic pair of footwear that will never go out of style.

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Oiled Leather Upper
The upper of the Boston clog is made out of oiled, untreated leather. Using sturdy leather with a thickness of 2.8 to 3.2 millimeters, these shoes will last a lifetime but will give you a breathable and personalized fit as they will adapt to your personal foot shape. The insole is made out of suede which is very soft and gives excellent airflow, allowing you to wear these even at high temperatures or during strenuous activities.

Anatomical Cork Footbed
The Boston features the famous Birkenstock cork footbed which is anatomically correct and provides excellent stabilization, arch support and plenty of room in the toe area, helping you distribute your weight evenly over the entire foot. You’ll love the EVA foam outsole which gives additional shock absorption, making these shoes perfect for when you need to stay on your feet for longer periods.

Cost and Value
The price of the Birkenstock Boston ranks a bit above average when compared to other items on this list. However, if you are in the market for a good pair of clogs that will last you for a long time, and can even be repaired or resoled should need to be, then these might just be a perfect choice. What we especially love about this style is the adjustable upper that will fit any foot, regardless of the height of your instep.

6. Propet Wash & Wear

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Propet Wash & Wear
Comfort
86
Support
88
Traction
90
Breathability
89
Brand
89
best offer for today
$74.40
Pros:

Washable

Removable Cushion

EVA Midsole

Padded Stretch Collar

Shock Absorbing Insole

Cons:

Must be Washed

Difficult to Put On and Off

Here’s another shoe that manages to look nice while remaining functional. If you’re not a fan of velcro but still want a shoe that’s easy to put on or remove, the Propet Wash & Wear is an excellent choice. The quilted top of the shoe is washable and looks nice, and you can get it in various colors, all of which are neutral enough to pair well with almost any outfit. Additionally, the cushion inside of the shoe is removable, so if you want to clean, replace, or readjust it, you can do so.

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Washable
To prevent the overgrowth of bacteria and the appearance of odors, podiatrists will often suggest replacing your insoles every three months. With the Propet Wash & Wear, you won’t have to purchase new shoes so often; rather you can just wash yours, making them fresh on the inside and shiny new looking on the outside.

Lightweight
These shoes use EVA foam in the midsole, which means that they provide excellent arch support but don’t come at a big weight. The upper features a padded stretch collar that additionally contributes to the level of comfort you will feel when wearing these.

Cost and Value
Compared to other styles on this list, these shoes are in a fairly standard price range for orthopedics. Thanks to their excellent cushioning and support, as well as the easy maintenance, they provide great value at a fair price. Also, they come with a 1,000-mile guarantee, which means that they’ll last you plenty of time.

7. Propet Travelactiv

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Propet Travelactiv
Comfort
83
Support
86
Traction
85
Breathability
86
Brand
89
best offer for today
$59.95
Pros:

Trendy

Fully Functional

Removable Cushion

Lightweight Outsole

Flexible Knit Upper

Good for Flat Feet

Cons:

Lacing Closure

Unsuitable for Heavy Physical Activity

The Propet Travelactiv is a pair of shoes that’s a marvelous mix of practical and trendy! They check off all the criteria of what you would want in an orthopedic shoe, but they look like normal, lightweight sneakers. Some colors even have lacy designs on the top (and yes, you can choose from several different colors). The synthetic material is designed specifically to make them wearable for anyone, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding a pair that feels like it was made for your feet. Furthermore, if you need to remove or replace the cushion for any reason, you can.

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Feel Like Regular Shoes
The Propet Travelactive boasts several advantages over your regular pair of lifestyle sneakers. Firstly, it is incredibly lightweight while providing you with all the necessary features to prevent any foot pain. Secondly, it looks incomparably better than any other pair of orthopedic footwear you can find on the market.

Flexible Upper
One of the greatest advantages of these shoes is the flexible upper which will perfectly fit your foot. This is especially important for those who suffer from sensitivity issues, bunions, or metatarsal pain. The EVA foam outsole provides plenty of cushioning and is so lightweight you may even forget you’re wearing these.

Cost and Value
As if all the other benefits weren’t already enough, these shoes are actually more affordable than the average orthopedic shoe. Ranking low to average on this list when considering price, the Propet Travelactiv is a stellar choice if you’re looking for a pair of stylish sneakers that will meet your orthopedic needs.

8. Propet Balance Bilite

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.4
Propet Balance Bilite
Comfort
83
Support
82
Traction
85
Breathability
83
Brand
89
best offer for today
$49.95
Pros:

Classic Style

Easy to Clean

Removable Insoles

Hook & Loop Closure

Shock Absorbing Midsole

Cons:

Weak Straps

Not Suitable for Wide Feet

Mary Janes continue to be a popular design, and with the Propet Balance Bilite shoes, you can look cute and still walk long distances without too much trouble. The velcro straps are long enough that you can control the tightness of the fit, in addition to the convenience of not having to mess around with buckles or laces. With a few different colors from which you can choose, these shoes blend the line between casual and dressy and still offer all the support that your arches, ankles, and knees need to get through the day.

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Long Velcro Closure
The Propet Balance Bilite has a hook and loop closure with long straps, which is quite a convenience for several reasons. First and foremost, these shoes will be easy to put on and off for anyone, even those who tend to have problems with laces. Secondly, they can be easily adjusted and re-adjusted should you need to improve the fit throughout the day.

Soft Upper and Lining
These shoes feature an EVA midsole that is lightweight, cushioning and gives good arch support. The upper is made out of manmade suede that will stretch to your foot shape, while the Nynex lining is soft to the touch and gives good moisture management.

Cost and Value
Ranking low on this list when it comes to price, these Mary Jane style shoes are a great choice if you want a good pair of footwear that was made with foot health in mind. The Balance Bilite will work well with any outfit. It comes in several colors and is sure to serve you for a long period.

9. New Balance 577

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.2
New Balance 577
Comfort
81
Support
83
Traction
82
Breathability
81
Brand
94
best offer for today
$59.99
Pros:

Velcro Straps

Foam Padded Tongue 

Polyurethane Midsole 

Leather Upper

Made in the USA

Cons:

Insole Sometimes Slips Around

Runs Narrow

Made in the United States using a leather upper, the New Balance 577 is absolutely remarkable, especially considering the fact that it comes both in a hook and loop closure, as well as a lace up option. Using a synthetic outsole, all of New Balance's best comfort and cushioning features, and boasting a stylish design, this is a pair of sneakers that are unique when it comes to comfort and style. plus, they are a good choice for a wide variety of foot shapes and sizes, so they will fit a large number of people, providing all of them with the same benefits.

Read more

Hook and Loop Closure
Laces can be time-consuming and dangerous and can pose a problem for people with mobility issues, the elderly, or even women who are pregnant and need footwear that is supportive and cushioning. If you’re getting orthopedic shoes to help correct a foot health problem, then it's important that the model you get is hassle-free, ensuring that you actually enjoy and look forward to putting it on.

Padded Tongue
To optimize foot health, you’ll want a tongue that’s firm enough to stay in one place and provide adequate support for the arch yet soft enough that you can walk in total comfort. These shoes have a padded tongue that allows you to fasten these tight enough to provide stability, but that will protect the tops of your feet from any rubbing or discomfort you may feel with other shoes.

Cost and Value
These shoes rank slightly above average on this list when it comes to price. Considering their quality, as well as the arch support and ease of use they offer, these are a pair of footwear that offers excellent value for anyone looking for a high-quality pair of footwear that also happens to be orthopedic.

10. Hush Puppies Gil

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83
Hush Puppies Gil
Comfort
82
Support
79
Traction
80
Breathability
81
Brand
93
best offer for today
$73.60
Pros:

Removable Footbed

Hook & Loop Closure

Extremely Lightweight

Shock Absorbing Rubber

Classic & Stylish Look

Cons:

Made in China

Will Stretch With Time

The Gil by Hush Puppies is one of our favorite options for shoes that promote foot health seeing that it offers excellent comfort features for anyone with foot problems such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, bunions, or even for post-operative recovery. This model is easy to put on thanks to the hook and loop closure, and is very lightweight, making it perfect for prolonged use. Additionally, it's made with an aesthetic appeal that will work well even at work or on occasions that require a more sophisticated attire.

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ZeroG System Outsole
The Hush Puppies Gil is exceptionally lightweight, thanks to the ZeroG System which it incorporates Eliminating weight and bulk that are often found in insoles, these shoes have an outsole which is four times lighter than most other footwear. Made out of rubber, it will provide protection against slips on highly shined surfaces.

Soft Full Grain Leather Upper
The upper of these shoes were also made with comfort in mind. Being a full grain leather shoe, the Gil will adapt to the foot and can be bought in a wide variety of sizes and widths to ensure you get a proper fit. The hook and loop closure enables easy on and off, while the choice of three colors gives you solid styling options.

Cost and Value
With a price that is slightly higher than the average shoe on this list, the Hush Puppies Gil is a solid choice thanks to its high levels of comfort and classic style. You will especially appreciate the contoured EVA footbed that is lined with an open cell mesh cover which gives, even more, cushioning under the foot. And to top it all off, it’s removable, in case you prefer to use your own orthotics.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

An orthopedic shoe that isn’t comfortable wouldn’t be a good choice, seeing that it would fail at performing its most important task. It’s critical that any orthopedic pair of footwear you consider gives you comfort features that will make your steps feel pain-free, even effortless, while also reducing the likelihood of foot injuries.

One of the best comfort features that you can look out for is located in the midsole. You can look for midsoles made out of polyurethane, or PU. A PU midsole provides sturdy cushioned ridges that are important to give you the level of shock absorption necessary to reduce any strain from long days of standing and walking. PU insoles are also good for this kind of cushioning – you can look for ones with extra heel pads to protect this part of your foot.

Another great option is to get a pair of footwear that features EVA foam components. Some footwear, for example that made by New Balance, will feature a dual density EVA footbed which is excellent for shock absorption, especially for those who carry a bit more weight. This type of feature in your shoe reduces stress on your feet, ankles, and even your knees. Furthermore, you can look for footwear that states to feature an orthotic or anatomically correct insole, as it is definitely going to be a healthier option than regular footwear.

One thing to consider when making a purchase is whether the footbed or insole is removable. Although some shoes may have really comfortable insoles, it is recommended that these are changed every three months in order to ensure a healthy environment for your feet. It’s also possible for an insole to lose its cushioning abilities, so a removable feature can be quite helpful in saving some money if you can simply replace this part of the shoe, instead of purchasing brand new footwear.

You can also look for a pair of shoes or sneakers that have a foam padded collar and tongue, as these will help give that all around comfort on your feet and ankles. The same can be said if the shoe states the collar and tongue is cushioned. When it comes to the level of comfort provided by the upper section of a shoe, leather is always a great material for, as it will be pliable, soft, and provide great air flow.

The toes can be a sensitive area of our feet, and it is crucial that you search for shoes that have plenty of room in the toe area. Having a soft woven toe post in your orthopedic shoe can give nice cushioning for your toes assisting with preventing injury. If the orthopedic option you’re looking at is one with straps, in particular, make sure that these straps are padded, for example with a foam lining, so you get that gentle feel on top of your feet.

Support

Foot support is another essential component to have in a shoe you’re getting for its health benefits. When walking, it’s important that your feet have a full range of motion, and that your weight is properly distributed through the entire foot, lessening the strain on any particular part of the foot or joint. A deep heel cup can greatly improve your overall walking and standing experience, as it is designed to realign the foot back to its natural position for a better stepping motion. One of the best signs that a shoe is healthy enough to wear if you suffer from any foot conditions is the APMA Seal of Acceptance. In addition to an APMA Seal of Acceptance, you can also look for footwear that is labeled as having been designed by a podiatrist.

Arch support is crucial for minimizing the pain or discomfort you may be experiencing from walking and standing. An anatomical or contoured footbed with a good level of arch support will softly hug your foot from underneath, preventing you from putting too much strain on the tendon at the bottom of your foot. This will help with the natural cushioning your foot should be making with each step, and will prevent any pronation issues, and relieving a wide variety of pains, you may be experiencing in the heel area, as well as the metatarsal bone or your joints.

If the pair of shoes of your choice advertises a flexible outsole, that means that you’ve got yourself a pretty good option. An outsole that allows the unhindered movement of the foot will let you walk more naturally, thus preventing unnecessary strain or fatigue.

Finally, try to look for footwear that will be of the correct width, especially in the forefoot. If you suffer from conditions such as bunions or flat feet, it is crucial that you have enough room so as not to put unnecessary pressure on any point of your feet. Not only will a wider shoe reduce pain, swelling or even inflammation, but it will also be more stable to walk on, which is especially beneficial for the elderly and those with mobility issues.

Traction

Once you’ve found the orthopedic shoe with the right comfort and cushioning features for your unique needs, it is important to consider the outsole as well. The outsole of your footwear is in charge of keeping your footing secure, which includes preventing slips and falls that could result in nasty injuries that may take months to heal.

Your best bet will usually be a rubber outsole with a good traction pattern. If you find a pair of footwear that is advertised as water friendly, slip resistant, or even appropriate for wear on oily surfaces, this means that it’ll be a good choice for walking on a large number of surfaces, including tile, hardwood floors, and highly polished surfaces. Once you’ve got the comfort and foot support checked for in your potential orthopedic shoe purchase, it’ll be helpful to see if the shoe has some good traction. Preventing foot injuries includes preventing ones that can occur is the result of a fall. Your first best bet would be a rubber outsole. This type of material is the same you’ll find in athletic footwear like wrestling shoes.

Breathability

Breathability will only add on to the comfort you’re looking for in your orthopedic footwear. The less sweaty and hot your feet feel, the better. One obvious thing that will give you the most breathability is an open-toed design. It allows for maximum airflow to your feet which will keep them dry all day. The next best thing to having an open-toed orthopedic shoe would be an orthopedic shoe that features a mesh upper. Mesh is a net-like material that helps let air into your footwear allowing your feet to be cool and dry throughout the day. In addition to mesh uppers, mesh lining can also accomplish the same allowance of airflow, and so will perforated uppers.

Fabric lining is another good option as it’s designed to wick away moisture reducing the amount of sweat that builds up in your orthopedic footwear. If you find that your feet tend to sweat, it is crucial that your shoes are completely dry before putting them on again. While with some footwear it may be enough to leave them to dry overnight, others will take longer to eliminate all the built-up moisture. If that’s the case, you may want to consider purchasing more than one pairs of shoes, so that you can alternate between them. Though this will require a larger initial investment, it will pay off in the long run, as your footwear will last longer, and will be less likely to develop any odor.

Brand

When it comes to orthopedic footwear, brand might not be the first thing that crosses your mind but it could be the deciding factor when you've narrowed down your options.

The brand behind the design plays an integral role. Some shoe brands are much more reliable than others, using specific materials that are known to help your feet stay comfortable and protected.

The options featured on this list are some of the most well-known designs from the brands in the orthotics business. They're known to be comfortable, well-made, and will protect your feet. Take a look at our list to see how each option compares to the others. Brand may play a role in your decision.

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Key For Quality

When looking for footwear that helps your feet feel their best, no matter what your condition, it's key to look for something in your footwear that helps support any affected foot ailment, but also keeps a soft in-shoe feel. Proper arch support, wider toe boxes, and cushioning technology are all great components that are key in quality footwear.

Style And Function!

Not all footwear designed to support and cushion you need be athletic sneakers! Several brands have great work shoes, even some with modest heels for formal occasions. Check on the APMA's website for a list of shoe brands who specialize in this kind of footwear.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Can orthopedic shoes help my back feel better?
a:

Definitely! Podiatrists say that misalignment of the back can be caused by force from the feet that transfers up to the hips. Orthopedic shoes can reduce rotation at the ankle which limits the transfer of force to the knees and hips reducing the amount of stress placed on the back. While these type of shoes can help with back pain, podiatrists recommend that you consult with a physician before you purchase them.

q: How can orthopedic shoes help my plantar fasciitis?
a:

Those who have plantar fasciitis experience a lot of pain in the heel area of the foot and the inside of the foot. Shoes made with orthopedic features can help with this pain by providing good support to the arch of the foot reducing any tension that might be in the foot tendon. Heel support is crucial as well, as it will provide for a more comfortable walk. In addition, even if one doesn’t have plantar fasciitis, keeping the foot properly aligned and supported with adequately supportive footwear can prevent the problem from developing.

q: How can shoes help my diabetes?
a:

Those who have diabetes can sometimes experience a lack of feeling in their feet due to poor blood circulation. This lack of feeling can put one at risk of not feeling any injuries to the foot and potentially leading to serious complications. Orthopedic shoes can help improve circulation and feeling in the feet through the redistribution of pressure that’s placed on the foot. In addition, footwear that is made with soft materials can help reduce irritation of the diabetic foot. Also worth noting, most orthopedic shoes can have their insoles removed for you to be able to put in a more customized insole to help your diabetic feet.

q: Can orthopedic shoes help with bunions?
a:

High heels or any type of footwear that’s poorly fitted can often cause bunions on the feet, particularly on the big toe because of the toe being forced to more inwardly while walking or standing. Orthopedic shoes tend to be wide in width which helps, first of all, to prevent any bunions from happening because your feet won’t be rubbing on the inside of the shoes as much. Your toes will have room to stretch out as much as they need to. Soft linings in orthopedic footwear can also protect the bunion you might have currently so it can be able to heal, and also help to relieve any pain you might be experiencing.

q: Do I need special footwear if I don’t have foot problems?
a:

It’s estimated that most people walk as little as 5,000 steps a day and as much as 10,000 steps a day. That amount of walking in the least supportive and least comfortable shoes can add up to major foot problems over a course of several year. Keeping your feet healthy can contribute to a lower likelihood of any problems appearing down the line, and orthopedic footwear can greatly help with this.

Sources

  1. Pedors, What Are Orthopedic Shoes?,
  2. Healtyh Feet Blog, Reasons to Own a Pair,
  3. Wide Geek, What Are Orthopedic Shoes?,
  4. Beltsville Footcare, Healthy Foot Benefits of Orthopedic Shoes,
  5. Drews Shoe, Plantar Fasciitis,
  6. Drew Shoe, Bunions,