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Feet hurt? Have arthritis, neuropathy, bunions, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, hammertoes or diabetes? Today, there’s a wide range of stylish shoes to help relieve the pain and discomfort of these foot conditions.
While you may think you have properly diagnosed your foot condition, before shopping for any shoes, a visit to a health professional is advised. Still, selecting the appropriate pair of shoes is better left in the hands of a comfort shoe retailer, especially those with pedorthists on staff, individuals trained to assess foot conditions and recommend footwear to properly address them.
Now, don’t think it’s necessary to give up on fashion for comfort. Increasingly shoe companies have found fresh ways to marry the two in looks ranging from flip-flops to tailored pumps and the popular athleisure category.
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Many styles have been approved for reimbursement by Medicare under the Therapeutic Shoe Bill, depending on an individual’s Medicare plan. Shop some of the best brands ahead.
Dansko’s renowned clog styles are great for professionals that spend most of their day on their feet, like nurses, doctors, teachers, and chefs. Their shoes are built with anatomically contoured footbeds and incredible arch support. Most feature removable insoles to accommodate custom orthotics, too.
In addition to featuring a roomy toe box, this style is equipped with a wide heel strike for greater stability, a protective TPU heel counter, and rocker-style outsoles to propel the foot forward and provide shock absorption. It also comes in endless colors and designs.
Gravity Defyer’s patented VersoShock soles featuring powerful shock-absorbing technology were inspired by the smooth landing of a large aircraft. The comfort brand’s shoes are designed with a spring system that converts shock into “renewed positive energy.” Many styles, like the sneaker below, also offer extra depth and a roomy toe box to accommodate bunions or foot swelling that’s common among people with diabetes.
This walking shoe is also designed with a seamless interior to prevent irritation with sensitive feet and a front rocker sole with a supported midfoot to prevent and alleviate plantar fasciitis. The style is available in seven colorways and multiple extended width options.
Hoka One One
While not technically an orthopedic brand, Hoka One One offers a selection of styles, from runners to hikers and recovery slides, approved by the APMA for promoting good foot health. Its supportive designs include comfort features like oversized midsoles, enhanced cushioning and shock-absorbing outsoles with high energy return. Its ultra-popular running shoes utilize technologies like Meta-Rocker to help promote the runner’s natural gait cycle, J-Frame to combat overpronation and Active Foot Frame — which cradles the foot and offers guidance without the need for posts or other constricting elements.
The brand’s Clifton 6, below, offers a smooth, lightweight ride with a locked-down feel, removable foam-padded insoles, and highly-cushioned compression EVA midsoles. Other shoes with the APMA seal of approval include the Bondi 7 sneaker, Ora recovery slide, Akasa runner and the Gaviota 2.
Aetrex enhances the comfort and wellness benefits of its footwear collection with a 3D personalized foot scanning technology that provides users with data about their feet — size, length, width, height, pressure, and arch type — that can be used to create custom 3D-printed orthotics. In addition, there’s a range of over-the-counter orthotics that can be ordered online, with the appropriate version determined by a series of simple questions. The footwear range incorporates built-in arch support to help stabilize and align feet in addition to aiding in the relief of common foot pain and plantar fasciitis.
Coming in three colorways, these lace-up ankle boots also feature a treatment to resist wet weather, built-in arch support, and plush UltraSky cushioning.
Spenco incorporates its Total Support Shape in all footbeds, a patented design, shape and technology, that features a metatarsal pad to redistribute forefoot pressures for comfort, a deep heel cup that helps stabilize the foot to counter problems such as overpronation and supination, forefoot cushioning to enhance an efficient stride from heel strike through toe-off, and anatomically designed arch support to help alleviate discomfort caused by plantar fasciitis.
This shimmery warm-weather style is fully adjustable and should only get more comfortable with wear as it conforms to your foot. They come in black, too.
Orthofeet is designed with a proprietary Ortho-Cushion contoured insole with arch support, gel padding under the heel, and ergonomic sole with air cushioning, all coming together to help relieve heel and foot pain while reducing pressure under the bottom of the foot. The comfort continues in the upper with soft, foam-padded linings, seam-free constructions for a gentle fit for those with issues such as bunions. If custom orthotics are required, there are extra-depth designs that will accommodate a range of custom inserts.
These mary janes are made to create a pressure-free, customized fit with extra room for toe movement and come in five widths, ranging from narrow to XX-wide.
Drew offers footwear for those with everyday foot issues to consumers who require custom orthotics. The collection includes sandals, athletic looks and casuals, many designed with two removable footbeds to accommodate custom inserts and modifications, and a wide selection of sizes and widths. Select styles keep the diabetic customer in mind, too, incorporating soft, foam-padded collars and flexible outsoles.
These sneakers are designed with a tempered steel shank for extra support and stability. The lining is also treated for odor and stain control to promote freshness.
Propet delivers a range of proprietary features including those with its Rejuve Motion Technology designed to help correct alignment, and Flexible, a series of looks with low-profile outsoles with extra flexibility to allow the foot to move more naturally. Enhancing the comfort, especially for sufferers of hammertoes and bunions, select styles are designed with stretchable faux leather uppers with neoprene panels to accommodate these issues. And if a custom orthotic is required, many styles feature removable footbeds that can easily be replaced.
This slip-on style offers outstanding breathability, generous cushioning, and a stretchy fit for ultimate comfort. Plus, they come in seven colors to choose from.
Finn Comfort from Germany puts the emphasis on its anatomically and ergonomically designed footbeds to enhance underfoot support and boost the natural heel-to-toe walking motion. The footbeds take a natural approach, using natural cork and latex that conforms to the foot and can be removed for airing and washed with mild soap and water. The generous fit can accommodate a wide foot.
Also available in a variety of colors, these fully adjustable sandals feature supple leather construction and a removable footbed boasting an anatomical heel cup, contoured midfoot, and exceptional arch support.
Dr. Comfort targets the diabetic customer as well as those with foot conditions with footwear designed with removable footbeds to accommodate prescription and non-prescription inserts. The shoes, running the gamut from sandals to hikers, may be eligible for coverage by Medicare as well as other insurance plans. In addition, the company has a lab where custom shoe inserts can be made using 3D printing techniques.
The brand’s Katy sneaker offers plenty of wiggle room for your toes and an easy-to-adjust toggle closure system for quicker on and off. They come in four vibrant colorways and two extended width options for those whose feet run on the wider side.
Vionic is built around a proprietary biomechanical technology designed to promote natural alignment and has received the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance, certifying select styles are beneficial in promoting foot health. The signature footbeds are anatomically designed to follow the contours of the foot but may require a period of adjustment. The company recommends wearing their shoes for a few hours at a time to adjust to the level of support.
These Vionic ankle booties, which are offered in standard and wide widths, are treated to protect against inclement weather and are praised by customers for their excellent arch support.