Best Shoes for Foot Pain Reviewed & Rated for Comfort
If you haven’t heard already, foot pain is a major epidemic in the world right now. Studies have shown that the majority of Americans (77%) suffer from some sort of pain or discomfort in their feet. It’s not very surprising, considering that we use our feet a tremendous amount in our daily lives; from walking, running, or just any type of physical activity.
Many of us don’t realize the massive amounts of physical strain we are placing on our feet, because foot pain—literally and figuratively—is the furthest thing from our mind. We should, however, be worried about the health of our feet, considering the dangers of untreated foot pain.
- OOFOS ooClog
- Machine washable
- Abrasion resistant
- Telic Flip Flop
- Deep heel cup
- Olukai Nohea Moku
- Anatomical footbed
- Vegan friendly
Most Americans who suffer from foot pain are diagnosed with nail fungus, foot odor, arthritis, and nerve circulation disorders. I think we should all agree that wearing proper fitting, comforting shoes is the essential first step in solving the foot pain crisis. Specific shoes designed with arch support and precise fit can help ease and prevent the worsening of foot pain. So whether you’re battling Plantar Fasciitis, Arthritis, or just simply want a shoe that feels comfortable, we’ve got you covered with the 15 Best Shoes for designed for any type of foot pain.
15 Best Shoes for Foot Pain
1. OOFOS ooClog
Having cradled arches should be a necessity in any shoe relieving foot pain and the OOFOS has designed theirs with the best fit and softest cradle, reducing feet, knee, and even lower back pain. The shoe features vented sides and logoing at the heel for added arch support.
Have no fear wherever you trek as the ooClogs are easily machine washable. After a long, exhausting day, nothing feels better than to simply throw your shoes into the washing machine and have them clean and ready for tomorrow.
Cost and Value
The ooClogs are a shoe that won’t break your budget when it comes to comfortable, reliable products that are efficient to use. If you’re looking for a simple, comfortable shoe to wear around the house or neighborhood, the ooClogs are notably affordable given their high quality.
Allows Natural Motion
Vents to prevent sweating
Fits smaller than shoe size
2. Telic Flip Flops
Believe it or not, the Telics are all manmade instead of factory made. This means that added care and precision was made to ensure that these shoes last.
Shape molds into wearer’s foot
The sandals offer a degree of lightness while delivering cushioned arch support in a contoured footbed for a comfortable, smooth, and easy feel. The added support reduces shock-absorption and the softness allows the shoe to mold into the shape of the foot.
Cost and Value
The Telics are certainly one of our cost-efficient shoes. These shoes are able to offer unparalleled comfort at a cheap price and their unisex design can make them a great, affordable gift to anyone in addition to yourself.
Molds into any fit
Fits smaller than size
No support for running or jogging
3. Vionic Jon Orthotic
The easy and breathable sandal allows efficient use because of its light and functional body. The Orthotics are not only light in weight, but have implemented midsoles that absorb shock, unlike other light shoes.
Durable Rubber Soles
Compared to the other shoes listed, the Vionic Jon Orthotic Slip-ons can definitely be worn to more extreme environments without the fear of wear and tear. The durable slip-ons suffer from little inevitable damage and—although perfect for the beach—is manufactured to be worn practically everywhere.
Cost and Value
The Vionic Jon Orthotic Slip-ons won’t break your bank and are definitely a bargain. The leather-soled shoes are simple, yet attractive and offer a unique midsole that other Slip-ons may fail to provide.
Durable rubber midsole
Easy to wear and use
Shock absorption in midsole
4. Birkenstock Boston
The deep heel allows the wearer’s foot to naturally be cradled by the footbed. Whether you plan to walk, hike, or stroll, the Birkenstock Boston’s will ease the pressure on your heels and keep your feet pain free.
Roomy toe box
The Birkenstock Boston’s extra room in the toe box allows enhanced balance and precision while walking. With each step, the design is noticeable as you can feel your center of gravity being supported by the shoes.
Cost and Value
The Birkenstock Bostons cost more than our previous choices. The reason being the smooth, leathery exterior and insane levels of arch support. If you are looking to throw some extra moolah for added quality and comfort, the Birkenstock Bostons are—without a doubt—the best choice.
Roomy toe area that provides balance and alignment
Raised toe bar that increases gripping
Deep heel cup cradle
Are known to slip, so can’t be reliably worn indoors
Very pricey compared to other clogs
5. adidas Adipower Weightlifting
The design of the shoes are not only high-functional, the main body is specifically designed to withstand weight of over 500 pounds. The use of special polymer for added strength allows anyone to feel versatile when performing a number of physical activities without the worry of injury.
Adjustable Hook and Strap
The adjustable design allows anyone to feel precise fit and flexibility in their shoes. The hook-and-strap is designed to integrate the heel to the rear of the shoe so the wearer can feel it as more than a shoe—but an extension of the foot.
Cost and Value
The adidas Adipower run pretty costly, even for a sports shoe. The price is definitely worth it though, as the brand offers more than enough features. If you are a beginner or intermediate weightlifter, or just enjoy physical activities, these shoes will ensure that you stay healthy and injury-free.
Stronger around the edges
Special polymer in sole
Engineered Shaft for Weightlifting
Claimed to be too tight
Are stiff at first when breaking in
6. SPIRA Classic Leather
The WaveSpring is the patented “springs” that are located in the front and heel of the shoe. These springs provide maximum absorption and comfort, and will not break down throughout the life of the shoe.
External Shank Support Structure
An added feature by SPIRA is the External Shank Support Structure which is located in the mid-foot and is molded to aid in stability and balance.
Cost and Value
The SPIRA isn’t a shoe that will set you back in terms of a paycheck, but certainly isn’t cheap either. However, the moderate price is justified as the shoe offers a set of brand new features and modern design that made leaps in the orthotic world.
Springs located in front and heel of shoe
Shank support structure located in the middle of shoe
Lace-up leather that provides breathability
Slip-resistant for walking in the rain
Shoe comes up very high at the front and may be uncomfortable in toe
7. ASICS Gel-Kayano 24
The Gel-Kayanos bring a new form of design called FluidRide, which is a form of cushion placed under the shoe to reduce weight and increase durability.
Impact Guidance System
The new IGS technology from ASICS is a prominent feature that enhances the foot’s natural movement and shape from heel to toe. The feature enhances fit and comfort and further improves this slick, modern product.
Cost and Value
The ASICS are on the higher end of the scale when it comes to price. Since this new line brings multiple technological features, its cost is reasonably higher, but with it comes performance and high quality features such as the FlyteFoam Midsole and the Heel Clutching System.
- Durable Rubber Sole
- Impact Guidance System
- FlyteFoam Midsole
- Fluid Fit Upper
- Heel Lifting technology
- Sizing Runs Smaller
8. Olukai Nohea Moku
The Mokus provide Everfit, which is a contoured footbed that incorporates Dri-lex to prevent moisture from accumulating. This technology is one of the reasons why the Mokus are renown for being the most breathable shoe.
Versatile Drop-In Heel
An adjustable heel is an interesting feature indeed. The heel on the Moku is slidable, and the panels can be arranged for flexibility, functionality, and a better fit. This design is patented by Olukai and can’t be found on any other shoe.
Cost and Value
Although the price is moderate for a simple, non-runner shoe, the Olukai Mokus have gotten astounding feedback based on their breathability and comfort. The Drop-In-Heel and Outsole features gives this shoe its unique value to being one of the best choices.
Drop-In-Heel for better fit and functionality
Removable and washable footbed
Vegan Friendly: made from 100% synthetic material
Outsole which implements non-marking rubber and razor grip on wet surfaces
May feel loose and floppy
9. New Balance M1540V2
The New Balance 1540V2 offers the same lightness from previous lines but with added heel cushioning significant comfort. The lightweight shoe is perfect for everyday pain-free running and provides extraordinary ventilation.
Yet another well-designed feature from New Balance is their Dual-Density Foam collar in the midsole and heel of the shoe. The foam allows for a cradled arch that provides support from weight when running or hiking.
Cost and Value
The New Balance 1540V2 are budget shoes that provide just enough for adequate comfort and breathability. These shoes don’t provide as much functionality and design as our previous choices, but makes the ground with their cheaper price. When looking for a reliable, cost-effective runner, the New Balance 1540V2 are the shoes for you.
Great Heel and Midsole cushioning
Dual-density foam collar
Breathable mesh panels
Toe box can feel too tight
10. Brooks Adrenaline GTS17
Brooks implemented the Segmented Crash Pad into their GTS17s, which is a pad that softens impactful landings and is emphasized with different hot-spots on the shoe.
A returning feature is the high-energizing cushioning that made the GTS16 an iconic runner for those with Plantar Fasciitis. The cushioning is a prominent feature that provides overall foot balance and also enhances comfort.
Cost and Value
Those looking for a cheap runner won’t find it with the GTS17. The price isn’t meant to completely wipe you out but the shoes aren’t the cheapest given their lack of significant improvements from the GTS16. Still, the GTS17s are the new and improved version and the price is justifiable given their reliability and functionality.
Implemented Crash Pad for reduced shock
Plush and comfortable tongue and collar
HPR Plus provides long-lasting durability
Too narrow for those with medium to wide feet
11. Arcopedico Francesca Oxford
The Francesca’s molded bottom with twin arch support provides added comfort and eases your gait which will alleviate pain and discomfort.
Removable Foam Insole
A removable foam insole adds an extra layer of cushion and shock absorption that helps protect the foot, allowing for it to heal naturally.
Cost & Value
Arcopedicos Francesca Oxford is a bit more costly than other shoes on the list but is well worth it. It’s molded heel with twin arch support, A leather Nubuck upper, and lace-up closure system makes these comfy pain relievers as stylish as they are reliable and are definitely an excellent choice for anyone suffering from foot pain.
- Molded Twin Arch Support
- Removable Foam Insole
- Leather Nubuck Upper
- Synthetic Lining
- Lace-Up Closure
- Color May Differ From Image
12. Dansko Paisley Sneaker
Vibram® rubber outsole is slip-resistant and has anti-skid properties, making them the perfect shoe for outdoor activities like hiking and paddling.
Cleansport NXT™ technologies use natural and beneficial microbes which are bonded to the surface of the shoes' fabric This process of applying the live microorganisms to fibers, results in natural health benefits and odor control.
Cost & Value
These comfortable shoes are a little higher priced than others on the list but are well-worth the cost. They offer built-in odor control, a removable triple-density footbed, and an added stability shank. These Dansko's will keep your feet comfortable while you enjoy any outdoor activity.
- Vibram® Rubber Outsoles
- Cleansport NXT™
- Triple-Density Footbed
- DuPont™ Sorona® Moisture Absorbing Fibers
- Large Heel Cup
13. Klogs Dusty Clog
A contoured outsole and footbed are designed to anatomically conform to the shape of your foot to cradle, support, and protect your feet while walking and performing other outdoor activities. They provide excellent shock-absorption and reduce the amount of strain that feet endure.
Antimicrobial fibers wick moisture away from the foot and naturally prevent odors from occurring so that your feet can stay fresh and cool all day long.
Cost & Value
The Dusty Clog is a reasonably priced option which provides superior support while being lightweight and resistant to odors. Their non-marking, slip resistant outsole makes these shoes a great option for working, or just for moving about with your daily activities.
- Microfiber Footbed
- Reduces Foot Fatigue
- Reduces Heel Pain
- Wide Fitting
14. MBT Speed 17 Slip On
MBT’S exercise multiple muscles, whether you're walking or standing and help stimulate your metabolism, burn extra calories and speed up muscle regeneration. MBTS can have a firming effect on stomach, leg and buttock muscles and can also be helpful for back, hip, leg and foot problems.
Swiss Rocker Technology
The unique midsole technology uses the pivot axis underneath the midfoot to promote an active rolling motion with every step.
Cost & Value
The MBT Speed 17 has a mid-range price tag and offers excellent benefits and features unique to MBT. These shoes do more than just provide exceptional comfort, they also help you to stay fit by exercising various muscles while you walk.
- Multi-Layered Curved Sole
- Rocker Midsole Technology
- Helps You Burn Extra Calories
- Speeds Up Muscles Regeneration
- Helps Tone Abdominal, Leg, & Buttock Muscles
- Fit Can Be 1/2 Size Too Small
15. Mephisto Match
The way a shoe fit is dependent on the last used in its manufacturing. Mephisto uses anatomically correct, full fitting lasts to ensure that each shoe is crafted based on the actual shape of the human foot.
Air Relax Upper
The Match Walking Shoe is made with an Air Relax System upper that's crafted from nubuck leather to provide the ultimate breathable and airy shoe.
Cost & Value
The Mephisto Match Walking Shoe does offer unparalleled comfort, but it does come at a higher price than other shoes on the list. The shoes truly embody the meaning of 'comfort' and if you don't mind spending a bit more for a pair of shoes these ones are durable and sure to last you for a long time to come.
- Nubuck Leather Upper
- Leather Lining
- Crafted From An Anatomically Correct Full Fitting Last
- Flexible Outsole
- Outsole Contains Latex & May Not Be Suitable For Some
In conclusion, there are many things to think about when choosing shoes that prevent foot pain. As this is a major concerning epidemic in America right now, it is absolutely essential that we all do our best to take care of our feet. We can start doing this by picking out proper shoes that provide a proper, balanced support that our feet deserve. Those with issues such as Plantar Fasciitis, and even those without, should all prioritize the type of shoe they choose to be comfortable first, and stylish second. Thankfully, the shoes on our list cover both these categories so you can live stylish and comfortably.
There are many areas of the foot which can begin to cause you pain for different reasons. Wearing proper footwear is an essential part of both the prevention and the treatment of painful feet, that’s why it is important to identify the cause of your foot pain and then choose a shoe which has features that are going to help eliminate the source of your pain.
What’s Causing My Foot Pain & What Type Of Shoes Should I Wear?
Heel Pain: Pain in the heel of the foot can have different causes, depending on the reason for your heel pain there will be different types of footwear which can help alleviate your discomfort. Let’s take a look at the conditions which can give you foot pain;
- Plantar Fasciitis: A painful condition caused by irritation or inflammation of the band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. Sufferers often complain of worsening pain in the mornings, especially when they are just waking up. The best shoes to wear if you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis are ones with good arch support to take the pressure off of your connective tissue. A cushioned sole is also recommended to absorb shock and protect your foot.
- Spurs: Heel spurs are abnormal bone growths which protrude out from the bottom of the heel. They can be caused by wearing the wrong shoes, poor posture, or from physical activities like running and cause pain when you’re walking or standing. Both flat and high arches are prone to painful heel spurs. Treating heel spurs requires the use of a custom-made orthotic insert, as well as, wearing shoes with excellent shock-absorption. Orthotics are custom foot supports which are made to fit your foot and are crafted from the measurements of your feet, legs, and limb length. They are then further adjusted for your specific cause of discomfort.
Ball Of The Foot: The ball of the foot is the padded area on the sole in between the arch and the toes and it is a common source of pain for many individuals. A few reasons for pain in the ball of the foot and the best types of shoe for each are listed below;
- Metatarsalgia: Involves pain and inflammation around the ball of the foot and can be caused by poorly fitted shoes or strenuous activity. The best type of footwear to treat this condition is comfortable and cushioned shoes, while there are also many shoes which are designed with an insole that specifically relieves pressure from the ball of the foot.
- Sesamoiditis: Your sesamoids are two bones near the big toe which are only connected by tendons. Sesamoiditis is an inflammation of the supporting tendons and is a form of tendonitis which commonly affects dancers and runners. The best type of shoe to treat this condition is one with a low heel and a padded footbed, particularly under the toe area.
Toe Pain: Pain in the toes is a common complaint and can be disabling if it becomes severe enough. There are a few reasons why you might be experiencing toe pain and there are different types of shoes which can help stop it in its tracks;
- Gout: A painful form of arthritis which involves crystals collecting in the toe joints that eventually start to cause severe pain and swelling. The big toe is the toe most commonly affected by gout. The best type of shoes to wear when you have gout are shoes with a wide and deep toe box so they do not cramp and constrict your toes which will only cause more pain. Hook and loop closures are also a good idea because you can easily adjust the level of pressure which the closure puts on your foot.
- Bunion: Bunions are bony protrusions which sit beside the base of the big toe and are said to come from a misaligned first toe joint and can also be caused by wearing poorly fitted shoes. The best type of shoe to wear if you are suffering from a bunion is one with a deep, wide toe box and a little padding at the toes as possible.
- Ingrown Toenails: Ingrown toenails occur when the sides of the toenail form over top of the nail which can be extremely painful and may cause infections. The best type of shoes to wear while your suffering with an ingrown nail, or if you are prone to getting them, is one that does not put any pressure on the toes. A wide, deep toe box will allow enough room for your toes to move freely without any pressure.
The same type of shoes is recommended if you suffer from corns or calluses. Corns are an accumulation of skin at a point on the foot where pressure or irritation occurs and calluses are similar, only wider. Both corns and calluses can be caused by poorly fitted footwear that’s tight and presses on an area of the foot.
Heel & Arch Support
When you are suffering from a condition causing you to experience painful feet it is important that you properly cushion and support them to allow their condition to heal. A shoe which offers a cradling footbed or heel support will allow the foot to rest in a natural cradled position which will reduce the amount of shock absorbed and minimize the level of strain your feet endure when walking or running.
It’s important to remember a cushioned footbed or added heel support will also add extra weight to the shoe which is something that you should try to avoid. Heavy shoes cause more strain and take more effort to walk and run in making it important that the added cushion and support a shoe has does not weigh it down. There are excellent materials which add comfort, cushion, and support while remaining super lightweight and breathable. One of the best materials is EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate), a light and flexible man-made material often used in the midsole for additional comfort.
Heel Cup: Shoes with a specially made heel cup are designed to absorb shock and reduce foot pain associated with the heel. Heel pain is worsened when your foot strikes the ground and wearing a shoe with a built-in heel cup will reduce the pressure on the heel when you step down.
Metatomical: A metatomical footbed is designed so that the insole and last are anatomically engineered to provide better support. They are designed to mimic the shape of the foot with special attention on the first metatarsal joint (big toe).
Compression Molded EVA Midsole/Injection Molded EVA Midsole: Compression and injected EVA midsoles are similar, the only real difference is in the way in which they are produced and between the two, they account for 95% of manufactured shoe midsoles. Injection Molded EVA Midsoles are, however, said to give more bounce than compression midsoles and are more lightweight.
The benefits of having a quality midsole and footbed are many, some of which are to:
- Stabilize the foot and act as a shock absorber
- Improve alignment by guiding the foot into a neutral position which reduces the level of strain on the foot
- Improve Pressure distribution, resulting in improved comfort, less fatigue, and decreased foot pain.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: If my toes are touching the top of my shoes but my feet still feel comfortable is it okay to wear them?
A: No. There should always be about half an inch of space between the tip of your longest toe and the top of your shoe. If your toes are touching the tip of a shoe that means that over time there will be added pressure pushing on the point of contact, which can lead to all sorts of painful conditions of the foot.
You should have enough room to wiggle your toes without connecting with your shoe so that your feet are not constricted and exposed to points of added pressure.
Q: Can shoes cause foot pain?
A: Yes, wearing the wrong pair of shoes can cause all sorts of painful conditions of the foot. For example, shoes which are too tight can squish your toes eventually causing bunions, hammertoes, and possibly even nerve damage. Whereas, shoes you’ve worn for ages can all-of-a-sudden start to hurt your feet because over time their cushion and support have worn down leaving your feet vulnerable.
It is best to buy new shoes as soon as you start to notice any unevenness of the sole, or if the shoes you own are either too tight or too loose.
Q: How to tie your shoes for foot pain?
A: There are different ways to lace your shoes which can alleviate a series of different forms of foot pain. These lacing techniques can be seen here; Ways To Tie Shoes To Relieve Foot Pain.
Q: Can flat shoes cause foot pain?
A: Flat shoes do not provide adequate support, especially for individuals with flat or low arches. Flat arches can lead to conditions like, plantar fasciitis, an inflammatory condition affecting the band of tissue which runs from the heel through the arch of foot.
Q: Why new shoes cause foot pain?
A: New shoes are notorious for causing foot pain. Often this is because a person has tried on the shoes in a hurry and ended up purchasing shoes which fit poorly. Shoes that are too tight, too narrow, or too wide can all cause varying levels of foot pain, which is why it is important to take extra time when trying on shoes before purchasing them.
Q: Best shoes for diabetic foot pain?
A: Diabetics are at an increased risk for developing a complication of the foot and require a special type of shoe to prevent pain and injury from occurring. Orthotics are the best option for someone with Diabetes because orthotics provide better shock-absorption and pressure relief. Both custom-made and pre-made orthotics can be recommended to assist diabetics with foot pain.
Q: Who to see for foot pain?
A: There are several types of medical practitioners you could see regarding your foot pain, General Practitioners, Podiatric Specialists (Foot Doctors), or an Orthopedic Specialist, will help you find the cause of the pain you’re experiencing and start you on the road to recovery.
Q: Will shoes stop rubbing?
A: Generally shoes that rub will not stop on their own, there are, however, steps you can take to help prevent your shoes from continuing to rub against your skin. For example, using deodorizing foot products will reduce the amount of moisture and moisture is one of the reasons for feet sliding around in shoes which causes friction, thus leading to blisters. Wearing blister pads can also reduce the amount of friction and rubbing because you can protect the area of your foot which comes into contact with the shoe.
Q: Why do shoes cause blisters?
A: If the shoes you are wearing do not fit securely your feet will slide and move up and down inside of the shoe. Any type of movement may cause rubbing and friction, which in turn causes blisters to form from the friction of your skin connecting with the material of the shoes.
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