Best Orthopedic Shoes Reviewed & Rated for Comfort

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 a 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.

Last Updated: May 8, 2018
By Ana Rockov:

The latest update to this article includes five additional shoes added based on reviews and average customer ratings. These include styles by ASICS, Birkenstock, Crocs, Alegria and Hush Puppies. Small improvements have also been made to the Criteria for Evaluation section, including a more detailed explanation of why the toe area is important in orthopedic shoes.

If your feet already give you enough grief that they require medical attention, orthopedic shoes are a crucial part of treating any conditions in order to ensure a better overall quality of life. Even if your feet are fine right now, wearing orthopedic shoes could prevent you from having issues with mobility or requiring surgery for any unforeseen complications that you may develop in the future.

Featured Recommendations

ASICS GEL-Venture 6
  • ASICS GEL-Venture 6
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • GEL cushioning
  • Removable sockliner
  • Price: See Here
Birkenstock Mayari
  • Birkenstock Mayari
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Anatomical footbed
  • Deep heel cup
  • Price: See Here
Vionic Tide II
  • Vionic Tide II
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Medium-Density EVA
  • Great arch support
  • Price: See Here

If that’s important to you, regardless of whether you have a special need for them, consider buying your own orthopedic shoes. In order to help you make your best-educated choice, we have compiled a list of the fifteen best orthopedic shoes available for purchase online, so you’re bound to find the pair that will fit your needs perfectly. In order to get even more information on how to choose the best footwear for your condition, make sure to read the criteria for evaluation and frequently asked questions sections for useful tips and explanations.

 

15 Best Orthopedic Shoes

 

ASICS GEL-Venture 6

The ASICS GEL-Venture 6 is a pair of trail running shoes that was made so as 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.
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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 of orthopedic footwear. 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.
Pros
  • Rearfoot GEL cushioning
  • Good for underpronation
  • AHAR outsole
  • Removable foam sockliner
  • Good for wide feet
Cons
  • Slightly heavy for some users
  • Some users prefer the GEL-Venture 5

Birkenstock Mayari

When talking about orthopedic shoes that offer good anatomical support and shock absorption in order to aid the even distribution of weight on the feet when walking, it would be a surprise not to mention at least one pair of sandals made by Birkenstock. The Mayari is a casual style, available in leather as well as the vegan Birko Flor and Birkibuc, and is one of the best choices you can make if you’re looking for s high-quality pair of summer shoes that you can count on lasting you for several years to come.
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Anatomically Correct Footbed
There are a lot of things we love about Birkenstock shoes, but the anatomically correct footbed definitely tops the list. It has a deep heel cup to cushion your landings, longitudinal arch support that runs up the sides of the shoe and provides stability, transverse arch support that goes under your arch, cushioning and supporting it, a raised toe bar that encourages the proper gripping of your foot, as well as a roomy toe box which allows the front of the foot to evenly spread out.

Cork Footbed
The footbed on these shoes is made out of cork which is a natural material that provides excellent shock absorption and a high level of comfort thanks to it becoming customized through adapting to your foot shape. Coupled with a cushioning and lightweight EVA outsole, these sandals are sure to allow you to walk with comfort on any surface.

Cost and Value
These sandals rank average on this list when it comes to price, and offer great value seeing that they have great durability. One of the best things about them though is the fact that they can be repaired or resoled should you find yourself wanting that new feeling underfoot without wanting to sacrifice the perfectly broken in upper.
Pros
  • Anatomical footbed
  • Suede insole
  • Deep heel cup
  • EVA foam outsole
  • Vegan
  • Water friendly options available
Cons
  • Leather should not get wet
  • Beware of knock-offs

Vionic Tide II

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!
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Flexible and Lightweight
The Vionic Tide II feature 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.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Fabric toe post
  • Great for warm weather
  • TPU outsole for good traction
  • Excellent arch support
Cons
  • They don’t come in half sizes
  • Take time to dry

New Balance MW577

New Balance MW577
Made with leather in the United States, the New Balance MW577 Hook-and-Loop orthopedic shoe is absolutely remarkable. The synthetic sole keeps your foot feel nice and comfortable, and the hook-and-loop feature is great for anyone who gets frustrated with laces. Overall, you won’t find many other orthopedic shoes with a style and fit that can please all kinds of people. They remain one of the most frequently bought and well-reviewed shoes available, a truly impressive feat.
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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 problem or prevent any future issues, then you’ll want shoes that are a breeze to put on and take off in order to avoid causing unnecessary stress for your feet.

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.
Pros
  • Velcro straps
  • Foam padded tongue 
  • Polyurethane midsole 
  • Leather upper
  • Made in the USA
Cons
  • Insole sometimes slips around 
  • May not work for wide feet

Alegria Paloma

Alegria Paloma
Alegria shoes are simply unsurpassable when it comes to high quality, anatomically correct shoes that work well even in a professional setting. The Paloma is a Mary Jane styled pair of shoes 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.
Pros
  • Removable footbed
  • Mild rocker sole
  • Non-slip outsole
  • Stain resistant upper
  • Promotes proper posture
Cons
  • Velcro closure can wear out fast
  • Can be squeaky

Propet W3851

Propet W3851
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 W3851 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
In order to prevent the overgrowth of bacteria and the appearance of odors, podiatrist will often suggest replacing your insoles every three months. With the Propet W3851, 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. In addition, they come with a 1,000 mile guarantee, which means that they’ll last you plenty of time.
Pros
  • Washable
  • Removable cushion
  • EVA midsole
  • Padded stretch collar
  • Shock absorbing insole
Cons
  • Must be washed
  • Difficult to pull on and off

Birkenstock Boston

Birkenstock Boston
These classic clogs by Birkenstock make a great pair of footwear if you need a pair of supportive and comfortable clogs 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 of time.

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 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.
Pros
  • Anatomically correct footbed
  • Adjustable upper
  • Cork footbed
  • Great for arthritis
  • Cushioning outsole
Cons
  • Can get hot
  • Should not be used near water

Propet Travelactiv

Propet Travelactiv
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
You’ll hardly even notice that the Propet Travelactiv shoes are on your feet. Even when you do notice, you can forget that you have problems because their design doesn’t advertise it.

Flexible Upper
One of the greatest advantages of these shoes is the flexible upper which will perfectly fit your foot. 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.
Pros
  • Trendy and fully functional
  • Removable cushion
  • Lightweight outsole
  • Flexible knit upper
  • Good for flat feet and high arches
Cons
  • Lacing closure
  • Not suitable for heavy physical activity

Hush Puppies Gil

Hush Puppies Gil
The Gil by Hush Puppies is one of our favorite options for orthopedic shoes seeing that they offer excellent comfort features for anyone with foot problems such as arthritis, plantar fasciitis, bunions, or even for post-operative recovery. They are easy to put on thanks to the hook and loop closure, and are very lightweight, making them perfect for prolonged use. Additionally, they offer a style that will work well even at work or on occasions that require a more sophisticated attire.
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ZeroG System Outsole
These shoes are exceptionally lightweight, thanks to the ZeroG System which they incorporate. Eliminating weight and bulk that are often found in insoles, these shoes have an outsole which is four times lighter than most other shoes. 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, these will adapt to the foot and can be offered 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
These shoes rank average on this list when it comes to price, and they give great value to their style and comfort that you’re bound to love. 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.
Pros
  • Removable footbed
  • Hook and loop closure
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Shock absorbing rubber 
  • Classic and stylish look
Cons
  • Made in China
  • Will stretch with time

Crocs Specialist

Crocs Specialist
The Crocs Specialist is a clog developed by Crocs especially to be used in the workplace. With a closed heel that meets workplace standards and a reinforced metatarsal area for better protection, these clogs will work great for anyone, whether they intend to use them in a professional setting or at home. They feature all of the aspects that make Crocs comfortable and come at a price that is very affordable, making these a great purchase.
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Roomy Fit
Cros are supposed to fit your foot loosely. The front of the shoe should not touch your feet, which allows for a natural bend and expansion of the foot, making it easier to walk in these. The footbed is made out of the cushioning Croslite material with tiny footbed nubs that gently massage the foot throughout the day while providing excellent arch support.

Easy to Maintain
These clogs feature side vents that will allow your foot to breathe, even when it’s hot outside. Being inset, these vents will protect your feet from any spills that may occur. The shoe itself is odor resistant and can be easily cleaned and sterilized by being washed with water and bleach.

Cost and Value
These shoes rank low on this list when it comes to price. Being so affordable, these shoes will provide you with excellent value thanks to their superior comfort and protective features, and can be an especially good choice if you work in the hospitality industry. Of course, they are also a great choice for home wear, both indoors and in the backyard.
Pros
  • Pronounced arch support
  • Massaging effect
  • Side vents 
  • Reinforced metatarsal area
  • Covered heel
Cons
  • Not suitable for sweaty feet
  • Will shrink in heat

Grasshoppers Stretch

Grasshoppers Stretch
Basic and functional, these shoes don’t draw attention to themselves, focusing on just getting the job done. The suede and rubber construction keeps them fairly sturdy, and as long as you order the right size, they’ll do great at accommodating wider feet. Velcro straps allow you to quickly slip them on or off without any trouble. They only come in white and black, but those are most neutral colors, meaning that they could easily go with any outfit.
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Simple Style
These shoes are all about providing the best comfort and health possible for your feet without a lot of extra bells and whistles, making them especially affordable and perfect for anyone with simple tastes. In addition, they will easily pair with any outfit, from casual to slightly dressy.

Velcro Closure
Going with velcro instead of laces means that you don’t have to put as much effort into putting your shoes on or taking them off -great news for anyone with health problems that affect more than just their feet.

Cost and Value
These shoes rank below average when it comes to price compared to the other items on this list, and they will provide you with excellent value for your investment. The good heel cushioning and plentiful arch support are sure to keep your feet healthy and happy for extended periods of time.
Pros
  • Great for wide feet
  • Lace up and velcro styles 
  • Suede upper 
  • Good traction
  • Lightweight 
Cons
  • Won’t do well in cold weather
  • Run slightly small

Olukai Nohea

Olukai Nohea
This is a pair of versatile slip on shoes that will work great for everyday wear, but also for 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 a 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 definitely 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. In addition, 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.
Pros
  • Moisture wicking lining
  • Drop-in heel
  • Anatomically correct footbed
  • Removable footbed
  • All weather rubber outsole
Cons
  • Less supportive
  • Will stretch out considerably

Propet Balance Bilite

Propet Balance Bilite
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 to 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
Whether you want the shoe snug or loose, the velcro lets you decide. That means that you not only have the freedom of speed when you put them on or take them off but the freedom of choice as well.

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 orthopedic shoes that will work well with any outfit. They come in several colors and are sure to serve you for a long period of time.
Pros
  • Classic style 
  • Easy to clean
  • Removable insoles
  • Hook and loop closure
  • Shock absorbing midsole
Cons
  • Weak straps
  • Not suitable for wide feet

Vionic Contest Active

Vionic Contest Active
Made for more intense physical activity than simply walking, these shoes have a unique style while retaining everything necessary for orthopedic health. With rubber on the inside and outside, they should withstand pretty much anything that you could throw at them. Every color scheme is snazzy and fun, guaranteeing that you’ll stand out wherever you go (in a very good way). That’s not all, thought - not only have they won over a respectable number of buyers, but they’ve earned the approval of the American Podiatric Medical Association.
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Lightweight and Durable
The Vionic Contest Active is the perfect pair of shoes for people who live intensely - the rubber and mesh materials assure that they will be wearable for a long time, yet they remain lightweight and easy on the feet.

Latest Orthopedic Technology
By using recent advancements in orthopedic research, the shoes keep your feet aligned and your arches properly supported. This ensures that your feet are properly aligned, preventing overpronation or underpronation, thus reducing the stress on the bunion joint, ankles, knees and hips, and preventing back pain that you might be feeling at the end of the day.

Cost and Value
These shoes rank average to high on this list when it comes to price. Compared to other items, they provide excellent value due to the high quality orthopedic support they offer, as well as the quality make and materials used in the production process.
Pros
  • APMA seal of approval
  • Rubber outsole
  • Mesh upper for improved breathability
  • Removable density EVA insole
  • Can accommodate custom orthotics
Cons
  • Lace up closure
  • Run ½ size small

Vionic Walker Classic

Vionic Walker Classic
If you’re lightly action-oriented, the Vionic Walker Classic might be right up your alley. It has all the appearances and benefits of an ordinary walking shoe in addition to the features necessary for an excellent orthopedic shoe, and you can get them in more than one color to suit your athletic wardrobe. They should hold up under the duress of a variety of physical activities, thanks to the leather and mesh battling the elements on the outside.
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Motion Control Footbed
These shoes feature some of the best orthopedic support you will find on the market. With an anatomically correct footbed with plenty of arch support and a heel cup that will properly align your ankles, knees and hips, you will find that these shoes are a great choice for all types of foot problems.

Water Resistant and Durable
These shoes are made with a water resistant leather upper, meaning that you can wear them in all types of weather and on all sorts of terrain. In addition, the EVA midsole and rubber outsole give you a good combination of lightweightedness and traction.

Cost and Value
The Vionic Walker Classic ranks average on this list when it comes to price. You will find that an investment such as this is well worth it if you’re looking for a good pair of stability shoes that will keep your foot in place, providing you with good arch and heel support, while also giving you plenty of shock absorption and a durable upper.
Pros
  • Great for physical activity
  • Durable leather 
  • Water resistant
  • Polyester sock lining
  • Shock absorbing midsole
Cons
  • Lace up closure
  • Firm inner cushion

Foot health is one of those things that you don’t always appreciate until it’s compromised or completely gone. Some of the most important things that we do have to be done on our feet – walking, running, shopping, working, etc. Injury, disease, or age can affect things that you take for granted, like optimal shape, arches that are neither too high nor too flat, and whether your ankles, knees, and back are strong enough to withstand shock or prolonged activity. Imagine being unable to walk or stand comfortably for long periods (or not at all) – and the only obstacle between you and carrying on with your life, as usual, is finding the right shoes for your feet.

Whether you’re hoping to prevent future problems or treat current ones, orthopedic shoes can vastly improve your quality of life. There’s a wide variety of options available to you, but we stand by this list as one of the most comprehensive ones that you can find. Make the choice that’s best for you, remembering that your health is on the line.

 

Criteria Used to Evaluate the Best Orthopedic Shoes

Comfort/PU Midsole/Foam Padded Collar

An orthopedic shoe that isn’t comfortable wouldn’t be a good orthopedic shoe. It’s critical that any orthopedic shoe you consider gives you comfort features that will make your steps feel nice and also reduce the likelihood of foot injuries. One of the best comfort features that you can look out for is the PU Midsole. The PU Midsole provides sturdy cushioned ridges in an Orthopedic footwear and good shock absorption that can reduce any strain from long days of standing and walking. PU insoles are also good for this kind of comfort as they can have heel pads which give extra cushioning to the heel. The EVA midsole, or a shoe that states it has a dual density EVA footbed, is something to look out for as well as it provides that same shock absorption for your feet which reduces stress on your feet, ankles, and even your knees. Footwear stated to have a cushioned orthotic, a microfiber insole, or a ProLite® insole should be looked for too with getting that soft feeling on your feet.

Additionally it’s a bonus if these features are removable so if you don’t like how it feels on your feet, you can put in something more customized to your liking. An Orthopedic shoe that features ABZORB® cushioning is also a good bet for comfort. It provides shock absorption in the heel area where a lot of our weight tends to be put on in our steps. A foam padded collar and tongue is a good feature to search for to 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. If the upper of an orthopedic shoe is stated to be a leather upper, that will also provide soft comfort to your feet.

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, you should find one with foam lining so you get that gentle feel on top of your feet. A few last features to pay attention for in an orthopedic footwear is one that has a PurefitTM cushion arch or a Prolite insole, which will both provide you maximum comfort in your shoes.

Foot Support/Deep Heel Cup/APMA Seal of Acceptance

Foot support is another essential component to have in an Orthopedic shoe. You want your feet to be able to have a natural motion in your step for proper weight distribution which lessens the likelihood of any unnecessary strain. A deep heel cup featured in an orthotic footwear is a great place to start. The deep heel cup is designed to realign the foot back to its natural position for a better stepping motion. An APMA Seal of Acceptance is something good to pay attention for in an orthopedic shoe. In addition to an APMA Seal of Acceptance, you can also look for footwear that is labeled as having been designed by a podiatrist.

A contoured arch support and heel cup is another important feature for foot support as it assists in re-aligning our stepping stride. Additionally, any orthopedic footwear that states it has a biomechanical orthotic footbed would be an excellent choice. A biomechanical orthotic footbed is designed to not only align the feet naturally but also assists with relieving any heel pain you may have through reducing overpronation.

Keep an eye out if you see an orthopedic footwear highlight having a flexible outsole, which assists in letting your feet move more naturally. In addition, a footwear highlighted to have a wider forefoot and heel base will provide you with good stability and support in your steps as well. Lastly, an orthopedic shoe that features a rounded heel will give support to the heels and reduce any strain felt in the knees when walking.

Traction/Rubber Outsole/Patterned Tread

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 and climbing shoes, which is a good guarantee your shoe will give you great grip on the ground. Pattern treads would be nice to find in an orthopedic shoe as well. These give more resistance to your shoe helping you to have a safer step on all types of surfaces. In addition to patterned treads, shoes stated to have multi-directional tread will also provide a similar kind of resistance on a variety of surfaces.

Breathability/Open-Toed/Mesh Upper

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 orthopedic shoe. 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 also a shoe highlighted to have perforated uppers will give you good airflow too.

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. Similar to fabric lining, if you find an orthopedic footwear that features Nylex® lining, you’ll get the same moisture-wicking benefits as you would with fabric lining. Lastly, an ortholite sockliner is a nice breathability feature to find because it accomplishes two things for you. It gives you moisture wicking action for reducing sweaty feet, and it also reduces the odor inside of the shoe with its antimicrobial properties.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q: Can orthopedic shoes help my back feel better?
A: Orthopedic shoes can help out the back a lot. 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. Orthopedic shoes 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 can be found in most orthopedic shoes as well which can help reduce that heel pain for a more comfortable walk. In addition, even if one doesn’t have plantar fasciitis, keeping the foot properly aligned and supported with orthopedic shoes can prevent the problem from developing.

Q: How can orthopedic 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 needing to have the foot removed. Orthopedic shoes can help improve circulation and feeling in the feet through the redistribution of pressure that’s placed on the foot. In addition, orthopedic shoes are made with soft materials which can help reduce irritation on 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 foot 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 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: Why should I have orthopedic shoes 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 the years of your life which could lead you to be less mobile in your years. It’s better to wear orthopedic footwear that keeps your feet health now, so you’ll be less likely difficult to getting around in your senior years.

Sources

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