All products and services featured are independently chosen by editors. However, FN may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
Foot pain is no joke. Plantar fasciitis, tendonitis and arthritis are a few common issues that can stem from wearing shoes that don’t provide the proper fit and support.
And according to board-certified podiatrist Dr. Patrick McEneaney, owner and CEO of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists, women are more likely to deal with the added ailments of bunions and hammer toes.
“These are partially genetic and also result from the fact that [women] are smushing their feet into narrow toe boxes,” says Dr. McEneaney. (It’s no secret that narrow toe boxes are often found in frequented styles like flimsy flats and uncomfortable high heels.)
Fortunately, orthopedic shoes aren’t what they used to be, and there are plenty of stylish orthopedic shoes for women to choose from.
“People think that orthopedic shoes are clunky,” says certified pedorthist Dr. Michael Fishkin, also of Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists. “As long as a shoe fits you properly and fits your needs, it can be classified as an orthopedic shoe.”
The goal of an orthopedic shoe is to provide firm but comfortable support to equally disperse bodyweight, without one area of the foot absorbing more than its share — which can lead to pain and injury.
Dr. McEneaney and Dr. Fishkin warn against choosing styles made with material that’s too soft or flexible, as proper structure keeps the foot in optimal position. Most importantly, try orthopedic shoes on to guarantee the length and width are right for your individual needs.
Dr. McEneaney advises trying orthopedic shoes on at home by walking on a clean surface for several minutes to get a real feel for the fit. If unsure about the comfort, you can simply send them back and try another pair.
Taking all this into account, we compiled the 15 best orthopedic shoes for women that will relieve pain and look good while doing so. Keep scrolling to shop them.
Vionic Zinah Slip-On Sneaker
The Vionic Zinah Slip-On sneaker is a completely versatile style to have in your arsenal. It can be dressed up with trousers and a blazer but isn’t too sporty to look super casual. You can also dress them down by pairing them with a skirt and T-shirt. In terms of function, these feature a removable cushioned insole that offers anatomical support.
Cloudsteppers by Clarks Lola Point Sandal
Flip-flops have earned a bad rap in the world of supportive shoes, but Cloudsteppers by Clarks Lola Point sandals redeem the style. As some of the best orthopedic sandals for women, these have a “Cushion Soft” footbed that prioritizes comfort. The shock-absorbing insole is contoured for an ideal fit.
Propet Zuri Dress Pump
A tip when looking for orthopedic dress shoes for women is to try a brand that specializes in comfortable sneakers. Propet is an expert when it comes to crafting athletic shoes, and they’ve applied that knowledge to the Propet Zuri dress pumps. To start, the shoe comes in four widths: narrow, medium, wide and extra wide. A low block heel offers much more stability than the average high heel and the insole is cushioned so you can stand and walk comfortably for hours.
Drew Bon Voyage Sandal
Chunky sandals are having a moment. The Drew Bon Voyage sandal is an elegant take on the trend and designed for maximum orthopedic benefit courtesy of a thick, dual-density footbed that’s removable to accommodate prescribed orthotics. A broad toe shape leaves plenty of room for your digits.
Dansko Tawny Sandal
Dansko’s Tawny sandals are some of the best orthopedic sandals for women who want a little height boost. The molded, shock-absorbing footbed is equipped with memory foam cushioning. The leather lining is extra soft so you can wear them all day.
Aetrex Lyla Ballet Flat
Podiatrist agree that a flat shoe needs ample underfoot support, even despite not having a heel. The Aetrex Lyla Ballet Flat has a removable insole with arch support and memory foam cushioning to mimic and support the natural shape of the foot. The heel is padded for extra comfort. In a go-with-everything shade, these are some of the best orthopedic dress shoes for women, or even the best orthopedic shoes for a work environment.
Orthofeet Orthopedic Walking Shoes
Available in four different widths, Orthofeet’s orthopedic walking shoes should accommodate most foot types. The insoles feature anatomic arch support and ample cushioning to provide relief from pain stemming from flat feet, overpronation and arthritis. The soft uppers and lining ensure total comfort at every angle. The wide toe box accommodates bunions and hammertoes.
Gravity Defyer G-Defy Yass Casual Flats
A hybrid between a classic flat and a tennis shoe, Gravity Defyer’s G-Defy Yass casual flats are perfect to wear to the office or for running weekend errands. They feature a protective shank that provides structure and prevents midfoot hyperflexion injuries. The padded collar and tongue and elasticized gusset make for easy on and off at a moment’s notice.
Spenco Siesta Slide
For convenience, nothing beats an open-back slip-on shoe, which is ideal to keep by the door and slide on at a moment’s notice. The Spenco Siesta slide doesn’t sacrifice stability for ease. Deep heel cupping provides structure and the molded footbed has orthotic-grade arch support.
Dansko Distressed Professional Clog
Clogs are trending for fall, but a traditional wooden-style footbed will quickly ruin one’s mood. This Dansko distressed professional clog is designed for comfort and support, however, with an anatomical platform. It features a roomy toe box and antimicrobial leather lining.
Hoka One One Bondi 7 Running Shoe
The Hoka One One Bondi 7 running shoe is ultra-lightweight with maximum cushioning, so each step feels springy and buoyant. A removable ergonomic insole can be replaced with custom orthotics. The collar is crafted in plush memory foam to reduce friction against the back of the ankle.
Naturalizer Vanessa Sandal
The Naturalizer Vanessa Sandal proves going out doesn’t have to be a pain. These orthopedic dress shoes for women have a cushioned flatbed and a moderate block heel to maximize support. They’re available in a standard and wide fit.
Revere Damascas Boots
A low wedge provides just a bit of lift in the Revere Damascas boots without putting stress on your knees and lower back. Contoured footbeds with arch support stabilize and cradle the foot, though they can also be swapped out for custom orthotics if needed. In a style that will get you through the colder months fashionably, consider these ankle boots some of the best orthopedic shoes for work.
Brooks Catamount Sneaker
Recommended by podiatrists, Brooks makes some of the most comfortable shoes for women and is a leader in foot-friendly athletic shoes. The Brooks Catamount sneaker boasts lightweight cushioning in the midsole that provides serious shock absorption. An extra layer between the midsole and outsole is specifically designed to protect against stone-bruising during outdoor adventures. These are appropriate for the trail, but are so comfortable that you’ll likely wear them in daily life.
Asics Noosa Tri 13 Sneakers
Nothing quite beats the total foot protection and stability a well-fitting sneaker can offer. These highly- reviewed Asics Noosa Tri 13 sneakers come in a range of bright shades to fit fashion’s current colorful mood, but comfort is their main attraction. The breathable, soft interior fabric keeps skin from feeling irritated, while the dual-density midsole is built to position your foot properly and reduce the impact of each step. The shoes get bonus points for featuring extra tread on the rubber outsole in areas that tend to wear down the quickest.