At some point, you have to say enough is enough. With shoes, chronic pain or persistent aches can indicate that you need to take a bigger step toward something to fix the issue. That step is likely to be a pair of orthopedic shoes. While it might sound like overkill at first glance to you, it’s far from that. Besides, what’s the hurt if it helps you feel better, right? Today, we are going to be taking a deep dive into the world of orthopedic shoes so that you can find happiness with your feet once again. We’ll break down the ins and out of all it is you need to know about them before we review some of the best and most popular pairs on the market as we attempt to find you a suitable match. So, let’s get it going then!
Top Orthopedic Shoes Comparison Chart
|Product||Material||Price||Where to Buy?|
|1. Easy Spirit Women’s Traveltime Mule||Suede||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|2. Propet Men’s Lifewalker Strap Walking Shoes||Leather||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|3. Skechers for Work Men’s Flex Advantage Slip Ons||Synthetic||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|4. Clarks Women’s Sillian Bella Mary Jane Flats||Textile||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|5. Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy Mighty Walk||Fabric & Synthetic||$$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|6. Nunn Bush Men’s Cameron Casual Oxford Walking Shoes||Leather||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|7. Vionic Women’s Kea Orthotic Trainers||Manmade,Mesh||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|8. Orthofeet Plantar Fasciitis Relief Men’s High Top Boots||Leather||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|9. Dr. Comfort Jason Men’s Extra Depth Athletic Shoes||Leather & Mesh||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|10. Orthoshoes Women’s Mesh Edema Shoes||Mesh||$||Check Price On Amazon|
Orthopedic Shoes Buying Guide
Why Orthopedic Shoes
The first thing we need to talk about is the fact that everyone is different. Yes, we know that in 2019 you are used to hearing about how everyone is unique. It can get tiresome. But this is the truth when it comes to feet and shoes. We all have our crosses to bear, so to speak, and we all have our own individual ways of walking. How we do walk can be the cause of our conditions, but that is not always the case. It could have just been bad luck of something else. What orthopedic shoes do are pinpoint problems and work to give you a real, lasting solution. Whether you are recovering from a surgery or just looking for more comfort, comfort that lasts, an orthopedic shoe can be just the answer that you have been searching for.
Orthopedic shoes do this by promoting your feet to not only be ‘normal’ but also healthy. Modern shoes have come a long, long way from where they used to be, but the fact is that they are mass produced. This is inherently not going to be able to appeal to all groups equally. You’ll have some people that basically ‘agree’ with them, while others will not have nearly as much luck. Orthopedic shoes can theoretically also be mass produced, but they aren’t as likely to be. Furthermore, it’s so much easier to look at them and see what they are intended to do. Whether they are made to give you extra room, to give you support in the heel, or to pad you, they can do a considerable job at making your days much better.
Comfort vs Support
If you do a search on shoes online, you’re going to see a couple of words used a ton. They are comfort and support. The two are intertwined with one another, but it is crucial that you understand that they are separate entities and are not always going to be paired up. You could have a good, supportive shoe that is not comfortable. You also can have a very comfy shoe that is not supportive. For us, we like to look at shoes in a couple of ‘comfort’ categories- or time frames. If you slip a pair of shoes on and go ‘ahhh, that feels good,’ then you are experiencing short term comfort. They are going to feel good right away when you put them on. The number of times you have felt this is likely high, as this is fairly simple to do. However, long term comfort comes when you are able to go home at the end of a long day and realize your feet are not hurting you. This is likely due to the emergence of ‘support.’ If you can find a pair of shoes that blend the two together, you have found the sweet spot. A lot of the shoes you see on the market today simply do not bring the two concepts together very well, and that prompts people to turn to orthopedic shoes. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t just yank any old orthopedic shoe off the shelf and think it will work. You still need to determine why you need and how it will help you!
Conditions Aided By Orthopedics
If you are here, it might be because you are a little bit unsure of where exactly you stand. Maybe you are having some aches and pains and want to see what you can do to correct them but just don’t know if an orthopedic is right for you. In this section, we are going to look at some of the conditions that can be aided by the use of an orthopedic. Just let it be known that these are not always going to be 100% guarantees of a fix. Instead, sometimes it will be a mask. It will make the problem better, just not fix it entirely. At any rate, here we go with it!
One of the most common foot-related issues you’ll see out there is that that is related to diabetes. Diabetes is a manageable disease, albeit an unfortunate one that many have to deal with, but you have to have the correct tools to combat it. Shoes are a very big part of the puzzle for many patients that have Diabetes. Shoes for diabetic patients need to be super soft, very roomy, and also need to be supportive. This way no sores are developed and there is a much lesser chance of something occurring that forces a possible amputation.
Another very common issue in the world is that of flat feet. How each of our bodies react to having them, though, is another matter and it can determine how well your orthopedic shoes work for you. Those with flat feet tend to come down with a number of off shoot conditions. One such could well be Plantar Fasciitis, which is an awful pain that occurs in the heels area. It’s hard to get rid of it once it starts, so it’s very much encouraged that you just pass over it entirely. Another issue that flat feet can lead to is the bottom of the feet, or the balls of the feet, becoming very inflamed and thus sore. This can also occur with people that do not have flat feet, but it is very common with those that have flat feet that happen to wear shoes with no thickness and support to them in the middle. This is a recipe for disaster, and it’s something you’ll definitely want to make sure is not occurring.
Whether you have flat feet or high arches, or you just have bad toes, there are a ton of things that can go wrong with these ‘digits.’ Toes are some of the most annoying places to get little niggles and the such in, and you are going to want to try to avoid it at all costs. A lot of times, for example, you’ll see toe problems develop for some that has high arches. These people tend to walk further forward, which places pressure upon the toes. High heels also do this to the ladies, so that’s one reason your toes might be misshaped or just hurting in general. Regardless, orthopedic shoes can help in a myriad of ways in regards to toes. One such way is by padding them, another is by making sure you have plenty of space between the toes. In doing this, you can rest assured that you’ll be much less pained than you previously were.
Styles in Orthopedic Shoes
We all know certain people that will not wear something if it’s not ‘cool.’ In fact, we’ve probably all been there at one time or another. No one wants to look clunky or dorky. Many of you here will be assuming that all orthopedic shoes are bound to look poorly and like you are 80 years old. But this is just NOT the case any longer. In the old days, that was probably true. You would likely be stuck wearing something that was not the least bit appealing. And while many of the products that are being sold today remain far from the greatest looking ever, including some on our list, not all of them are that way. There are shoes that are being made in an abundance of styles and types. You don’t have to settle for just one type or another. You can look ready for whatever the day throws at you in a pair of orthopedic shoes!
The first type we will touch on is what we’ll refer to as a ‘crossover.’ A lot of people like to bring inserts into the equation with their shoes. However, some companies have began to take the middle man out, effectively and have incorporated inserts into the shoes already. This eliminates the fuss to stuff them inside of your shoes and also lowers the cost of it all dramatically. This is a good choice if you want to stay stylish while reaping the benefits of an orthopedic or insert.
Tennis shoes are massively popular on the market today, so it’s no shock when you see that a lot of the orthopedic shoes made today are geared to look like them. This type is best for casual use and for walking, and possibly, running with but it does lack in the more dressy departments, so you will need to consider if that’s what you want to have for your endeavors.
One of the great things about flats is that they are equally functional, comfortable, and can also be dressy. The issue with them, though, is that they do not offer an abundance of support, and for some people that’s just going to be a recipe for disaster. Because of that, companies have started to make shoes that are flats but have more about them. For the ladies, you’ll be super happy they have, since you’ll have long last comfort and look good to match your own personal style!
Believe it or not, there are actually some choices out there that are in the boot category. Some men, and some women, too, will need to wear boots on the job, or will just prefer them, so this is a niche that needs to be filled. The issue with boots is that a lot of times they can be super heavy and place a substantial load upon the feet. When they don’t have the kind of support you need, the increased weight becomes an albatross around your neck and it’s not a good day. So, boots with that are very much preferred for many across the world.
These are just an example of the types of orthopedic shoes out there currently. If you need a certain type, don’t be afraid to look for them. They could be right around the corner, waiting on you to simply take a peek!
How To Size
One of the chief components of anything related to footwear is going to be finding the correct size. Sizing is massive, as it will determine how well the shoes fit and how poorly they do. After years and years of being around people, we’ve concluded that many foot aches and pains actually start as a result of poorly fitted shoes. They get worse over time when you do nothing to correct them. For many, it’s seen as an optional sort of thing where you try to get the size as close as you can. But style wins out. This, though, is backwards. While you should never buy anything you absolutely hate in terms of style, you also should never negate the fact that you very much need to have the right size. Here’s a few ways to get the right size beneath you:
– If you can do so, try on in store. Yes, it’s harder to do nowadays and it’s not as easy as clicking a button online, but this is a great way to make sure you’re actually getting the proper size. Some people assume, for years and years, that they are the same size they have always been. This is a mistake because no two companies are exactly alike with their sizes. This contributes to a lot of pain for some people. By trying on shoes in a store, you get an idea of how various brands fit you, allowing you to pinpoint what you like and what you do not like.
– Try on your shoes in a ‘mode’ that is similar to the conditions you will be wearing them in. If you plan to walk in your shoes a lot, then you should walk around a little bit beforehand and make sure your feet and ankles are nice and warmed up. Generally, people forget this and end up purchasing shoes that fit them well when they are nice and ‘cool.’ They then later find out that their feet are hurting because they have essentially expanded and no longer have any room to breathe out. The same can be said for any type of activity. You’ll also want to wear the same socks, or as close as you can get to them, when you do this. If you wear really thick socks, it could drastically throw the entire process off kilter. Regardless of whether you went to the store to try them on or not, you should always go through this same process after you have received anything from an online purchase. This will allow you to make an evaluation over whether to keep them or not. You should not keep them if they are restrictive to you, no matter how much of a pain it may be to ship them back.
– Balance out your width, length, and depth. As we talked about earlier, shoes tend to be made in huge lots. These lots are not exactly conducive to each foot, rather they meet the needs of the average consumer. Due to this fact, there are an awful lot of people that don’t get what they need in regards to their shoes. One of the most common issues faced is that a pair of shoes are not wide enough. Some people have narrow feet, but you don’t often see this problem expressed. It’s the opposite, with the shoe being too narrow for the foot that causes the greatest disturbance. What you need to remember as you chase down the pair of shoes that has the best width for you is to not go overboard with it. All too often people go up a size just to get their width. This then has them rocking up and down like a boat, causing a new set of problems and forcing your balance to be put off. You can avoid this by avoiding pairs where you have to choose one over the other. Sometimes, it’s just best to go to another pair or brand altogether, even if you really, really like them. This is one reason why brand loyalty is such a powerful force. It’s natural to want to stick with what you know fits you.
The Top Ten Orthopedic Shoes of 2019 Reviews
Easy Spirit Women’s Traveltime Mule
Coming in first on our list is a great and professional looking pair of shoes for the ladies out there. These mules are made in a number of colors, but most importantly they are made to give you lasting support and comfort resulting from that. They have cushioned insoles within them and also have a flexible outsole. This is interesting to note and worth saying because it means they are not going to be super rigid and feel like you’re running into a wall when you do hit the ground over and over as you walk. Because they are made from suede, you also get the bonus of them being super easy to clean, which is sure to be a bonus for those of us that are out and about and don’t have a ton of extra time to try and clean something off constantly.
- Professional look
- Cushioned yet flexible
- Easy to clean
Propet Men’s Lifewalker Strap Walking Shoes
Coming up next is not a pair of shoes that will win any style contests, but they are still one of the best for exercise you can find once you’ve reached a certain age. Made from leather, these shoes are made to be super durable and to be breathable as well. They are also quite spacious, with a range of sizes and widths to them, all of which adds up to make them great for anyone that happens to be suffering from diabetes. But they are not just a mere comfort and roomy type of shoe for those with aches, they also have shock absorption built in. With Velcro straps to make adjustments throughout the day as your feet swell and then un-swell and a nice, firm heel counter that will lock you in, these are ideal for anyone on the move that needs plenty of space to make sure no sores develop.
- Very roomy
- Absorbs shocks well
- Super easy to adjust
- Not good looking at all
Skechers for Work Men’s Flex Advantage Slip Ons
Many people won’t think of Skechers as an orthopedic shoe, but they have done a ton of work at making shoes that are great for the workforce that are both comfortable and supportive. And these certainly fit that bill. These slip ons are easy to get on and off, making them great for someone that doesn’t have the greatest flexibility, all the while having a soft, plush memory foam insole that conforms to your specific foot. With mesh all over the upper, you get excellent breathability, all the while the traction you get is superb and will ensure you do not slip and fall. With a padded collar and seams that have been reinforced, you get more comfort and sustained durability, all of which you’ll need if you’re on the job.
- Easy to get on and off
- Won’t slip
- Very comfy and supportive via memory foam
Clarks Women’s Sillian Bella Mary Jane Flats
Up next is a snazzy pair of “flats” that won’t leave you laying flat on your back at the end of the day with a ton of pain. With an Ortholite footbed to cushion and support your feet, you’ll be feeling great all the live long day. All the while you get help in the heel as it is raised a little bit. What this does is take pressure off of the foot by dispersing that energy, something that ordinary flats are unable to do. With a strap running across the top of the foot, they are super easy to manage getting on and off, and they can be adjusted as you go throughout the day with swelling and the like. One of things you’ll like most about them is the ease at which you can move. They are flexible and intuitive, perfect for light duty work and even some medium duty, too. With several layers of foam and EVA, you’ll have plenty between you and the ground!
- Four layers pad the foot
- Easy on and off and to adjust
- Comfy and supportive
Gravity Defyer Women’s G-Defy Mighty Walk
If you want to look better than most out there but still want to have some form of protection, then look no further than these walking shoes. They look a lot different from your regular old tennis shoes, but not all too dissimilar. They have a bit of a ‘rocker’ design to them, especially in the back, which takes some of that load off the heels and the toes, too. Made from synthetics and mesh, they are flexible and breathable up top to help on the warmest of days. The looks don’t make them appear to be, but they are great for anyone that has diabetes since they are super soft and have no seams on the interior. They are also extra roomy in the toes, something that a lot of the big brands are no longer able to offer to people. This is not only great for those with diabetes, but it’s also awesome for those that just need more room. They have a patented ‘VeroShock’ technology that acts a spring as well, which makes for an exceptionally good pair at absorbing shocks.
- Flexible, breathable, and durable
- Very roomy and soft
- Excellent at absorbing shocks
Nunn Bush Men’s Cameron Casual Oxford Walking Shoes
Sometimes duty calls and you just have to be a little bit more spiffy than you would regularly be. When those times arise, it’s tough to find something that’s both supportive and comfortable while being dressy enough. With these Oxfords, that’s no longer an issue. These shoes are made to look classy, yet they mold to your specific foot and will move very well for you. With a cushioned footbed made from EVA and gel in the heel akin to an insert, you get a big plus that many others just cannot bring to the table. With a padded tongue and collar, they will do a good job for anyone that is easily irritated, all the while they also have mesh and fabric that help air you out just that little bit more. This is a brand that has been around a very long time, too, so that makes them most trustworthy and capable of providing for your needs.
- Traditional look and brand
- Molds and moves well
- Cushioned by EVA and gel
Vionic Women’s Kea Orthotic Trainers
Vionic is one of those special brands that exists that is able to combine the world of an orthotic insert with regular shoes. This is great as it saves a ton of money and it also saves your feet from a ton of pain. They have a ton of offerings available, but this one is a good one for the lady that is on the move frequently. These trainers come in a wide variety of colors and are laced all over with mesh and synthetic materials. This makes them super breathable and also means that they are flexible, both of which are very much needed if you are walking. Despite the flexibility, they don’t go too far and give a decent amount of firmness thanks to the EVA ‘insert’ that is already paired with them. They’ve also been shown to be super easy to clean as well, which is a big savior for many!
- Extremely good value
- Flexible but firm where needed
- Very breathable
Orthofeet Plantar Fasciitis Relief Men’s High Top Boots
Up next is a rarity in the world of orthopedic shoes, but not something unheard of. These boots offer much more protection than normal shoes do, yet they still give you the same support and lasting comfort you would hope for from the other shoes on the list. No longer do you have to endure painful walking while wearing boots thanks to the combination of a lightweight sole and air cushioning that absorbs shocks with each and every step. They are also not going to be too close to you, suffocating you, all the while being soft to the touch to prevent the development of sores from arising. They also come with a money back guarantee, helping you to gain further confidence in their ability to help you live and walk better.
- More protection than shoes
- Tons of room to maneuver
- Cushioned and super soft inside
Dr. Comfort Jason Men’s Extra Depth Athletic Shoes
Up next is a pair of athletic shoes that really buck the trend in this sector of the market. These look great, like normal running shoes you would find on the shelves, yet they offer you much more than those would. These have a ton of extra depth to them, meaning you’ll no longer be confined to a space that is much too small for you. With mesh all around, you’ll get adequate ventilation, ensuring you don’t overheat indoors or out. Rather than standard laces, they have drawstring to make things easier on you. This also makes adjustments a bit easier, since you just have to pull them on and go. With wide sizes available, there is just about something for everyone, a real bonus that will no doubt keep you happy for a while to come.
- Awesome looks and style
- Additional depth and room
- Tons of breathability
Orthoshoes Women’s Mesh Edema Shoes
Rounding out our list is a pair of shoes that are made with diabetes and edema well in mind. These shoes are extremely soft to the touch, helping anyone that is dealing with those conditions or anyone that has just gotten out of a surgery to cope better. In the rear of them, they have a visible shock to them that makes absorbing shocks no problem at all. Those won’t be wearing on you any longer. With straps on the forefoot, they are easy to make adjustments to. They’ve also got extra room available, which is a must have if you have diabetes and just can’t risk getting a sore. This is also great for anyone with any sort of toe problem that just doesn’t need material rubbing up against it. They don’t look bad, either, considering what they are, and they have a lot of breathability, so that’s going to drive up the desire for them even more.
- Large amount of breathability
- Absorbs shocks
- Tons of room
Conclusion And Final Orthopedic Shoes Recommendations
If you have reached a point in your life where you are done with the aches and pains, then a pair of orthopedic shoes might just be the answer to your solutions. While they are far from a cure-all sort of thing, they can certainly help you fix the problems you have in the feet, ankles, and hips. They can also contribute to the cause of making sure your back and neck are not hurting, too, such is their effect on you. After our buying guide today, you will be much better placed to make a good, informed decision about which pairs to buy and which to avoid for your specific case. Remember: everyone has a unique foot. On top of that, we each have a different way of walking. When you combine these, it adds up to a ton of different choices for orthopedics. After today’s guide, you’ll be ready to make the best choice for you!
FAQ’s About Orthopedic Shoes
Is Back/Neck Pain Related To Shoes?
It could well be. Sometimes, your feet are going to put a heavily taxing load upon your hips by rotating improperly. This can works it way all the way up to the back and neck as they try to adjust for the unnatural way of movement. There is always a price to pay for less than ideal conditions, so something does have to give. Many times it won’t be the exact area where the problem lies, which makes for a hard time identifying what is going on.