The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (2024)

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (1)

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Podiatrists and stylists we spoke with agree: the best orthopedic shoes are helpful for anyone with foot pain and stylish enough to wear every day. To be honest, ortho shoes have gotten a bad fashion rep for their chunky soles. Certain stigmas and misconceptions have existed for years about medically designed footwear—which is the key factor defining orthopedic shoes—so we consulted a podiatrist to sort out fact from fiction.

Dr. Brad Schaeffer, D.P.M. is not only a well experienced expert in all things concerning foot health, he is a pretty stylish guy. Which is why we asked him to explain the benefits of orthopedic shoes, and how anyone can benefit from wearing them. “Support is key," says Dr. Schaeffer. “Finding a shoe that has a perfect mix of support and cushion is paramount.”

Modern athletic shoes will lead you to believe that maximizing cushioning and bounce are the most important factors to comfortable shoes, but cushion is only half the battle. In fact, too much cushion can be problematic. "Support is more important than cushioning because it will keep your foot, ankle, knee, hip, and lower back all aligned and moving together as they should be," says Dr. Schaeffer. Some cushioning is great as a shock absorber to take the brunt of your body weight with each step, Dr. Schaeffer notes, but the best orthopedic shoes really offer a true balance of cushion and support.

If you have a diagnosed medical issue with your feet, then picking up a pair of the best orthopedic shoes could help you get to stepping like you did back in the good ol' days. To prove our point, Dr. Schaeffer helped our style editors assemble the eight best options available right now.

Best Walking Shoes | Best Running Shoes | Most Cushioned Running Shoes | Best Running Shoes for Flat Feet | Best Stability Running Shoes | Best Neutral Running Shoes | Best Trail Running Shoes for Men | Best Running Shoes for High Arches | Best Workout Shoes for Men

Pros
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (11)Five color options
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (12)Office approved
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (13)Strong grip outsole
Cons
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (14)Only comes in Medium width
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (15)Leather can skuff

Vionic is the top brand recommended by Dr. Schaeffer and it isn't hard to see why. Few brands have done more to dispel all the negative stereotypes about orthopedic shoes. Even among a line of stylish sneaks, the Lucas stands out at the brands most appealing offering. Leather flat soled sneakers are the most stylish footwear for men these days and you won't find a pair better equipped for support than these.

For pure style versatility, we love how the Lucas is a do-it-all sneaker. If you're looking for an orthopedic sneaker that can compliment everything from dress pants and a blazer to joggers and a hoodie, this is your shoe. Leather low-tops are so popular because they just work every time and these stand toe-to-toe with some of the best options out there.

Read more: Best White Sneakers

ColorsWhite, Gray, Olive, Brown, Black
Sizes7-13

2

Best Daily Driver Orthopedic Sneaker

Orthofeet Edgewater

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (16)

2

Best Daily Driver Orthopedic Sneaker

Orthofeet Edgewater

Now 21% Off

Pros
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (17)Comes in Wide and X-Wide sizes
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (18)Dual pull-on loops
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (19)Non-slip outsole
Cons
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (20)Casual look
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (21)Pants can get stuck on the loops

Orthopedic walking shoes are the most common variety, creating a large market to choose from. Orthofeet hits the intersection of functionality and looks just about as well as any sneaker out there. In fact, the brand is one of the most recommended by podiatrists, Dr. Schaeffer included. So there is a tone of medical expertise backing these shoes up.

We like the Edgewater for a cool early-'00s runner shoe look that compliments everything from jeans to joggers. The wide toe box and soft, padded upper is easy on even the most delicate of foot conditions. It's ample flexibility is balanced with strong arch and heel support too. Last detail to note is how the large heel and tongue loops allow for easy pull-on motion.

ColorsBlue, Gray, Black
Sizes7-14

3

Most Stylish Orthopedic Shoe

New Balance Made in USA 990v4 Core

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3

Most Stylish Orthopedic Shoe

New Balance Made in USA 990v4 Core

Pros
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (23)Exceptionally stylish
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (24)Top of the line running shoe
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (25)Will last for a long time
Cons
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (26)Stiff leather upper needs a second to break in
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (27)Very pricy

The wild thing about how popular New Balance 990s are is that the shoe was originally designed for pure performance. Way back in the '70s, New Balance set out to make the best running shoe ever. The technological advancements came in a heel cap and arch support that sought to align the foot in a natural motion. Revolutionary at the time, these are fundamental features in orthopedic shoes today.

As fate would have it, these old school running shoes are fantastically fashionable these days. Which has created a parallel between style and comfort that is rare to come by. We hardly need to tell you how to style these sneaks because you've probably seen them pulled off with an endless number of looks. Just wear them all day, every day, and your posture and vibe will likely feel a whole lot better.

Read more: Best New Balance Shoes

ColorsGray
Sizes4-16

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4

Best Orthopedic Dress Shoe

Propét Finn Oxford

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (28)

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (29)

4

Best Orthopedic Dress Shoe

Propét Finn Oxford

Now 12% Off

Pros
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (30)Comes in Wide, X-Wide, and XX-Wide sizing
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (31)Leather and suede options
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (32)Super flexible outsole
Cons
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (33)Less arch support than most orthopedic shoes
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (34)Works best with an orthotic

Propét creates a wide range of orthopedic shoes that you would never guess are orthopedic from the looks. The Finn Oxford is a perfect example. A soft, flexible EVA outsole replaces the standard rubber or leather dress shoe outsole. The upper is a supple leather that provides easy motion with a wide toe box. For customizable support, there is even a removable footbed that allows you to stick with the original or add a custom orthotic.

This is a great work shoe or formal shoe with orthopedic level comfort. We like how easy it is to get on and off, and how light and giving it is when walking. If you have long days at the office and need extra foot support while still "dressing the part", then this is the shoe for you.

Read more: Most Comfortable Dress Shoes

ColorsLeather: Tan, Black Suede: Camel, Gray, Brown, Black
Sizes8-15

5

Best Orthopedic Running Shoe

Hoka Clifton 9

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5

Best Orthopedic Running Shoe

Hoka Clifton 9

Pros
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (36)Comes in Wide sizes
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (37)Over a dozen color options
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (38)Goo for running
Cons
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (39)Not designed for certain foot conditions
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (40)Narrow toe box

Few shoe brands have a better reputation for comfort than Hoka. The running shoe company has exploded thanks to orthopedic level mechanics covered in flashy colors and designs. Now, some models go heavy on the cushioning, which is helpful for running but not ideal for certain foot conditions. The Clifton provides a healthy balance of cushion and support that podiatrists recommend.

We love the Clifton as an orthopedic level running shoe that can help athletes with foot problems stay on the move. With over a dozen color options to choose from, you can go subtle or flashy. These sleek kicks also work well as casual walking shoes. Style them with a muted monotone outfit to accentuate the bold design.

Read more: Best Hoka Shoe Models to Try

Colors14 Options
Sizes7-15

6

Best Orthopedic Workout Shoes

Dr. Comfort Jack

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (41)

6

Best Orthopedic Workout Shoes

Dr. Comfort Jack

Pros
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (42)Comes in Wide and X-Wide sizes
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (43)Low profile
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (44)Works as a slip-on
Cons
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (45)Only comes in gray, black, and blue
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (46)Ankle is not super secure

For a comfortable every-day walking shoe that can also handle the gym, Dr. Comfort has you covered with the Jack. This orthopedic shoe has a wide, sturdy outsole that curves at the toe to assist in fluid movement. The low elastic ankle is easy to put on and super comfortable during workouts. Every seam is flattened out to eliminate friction points within the shoe—a design note that can help guys who are seeking to alleviate lacing discomfort.

Our style editors are fans of this shoe regardless of orthopedic status. For starters, the gum outsole provides a cool contrast to the monotone upper. The super low ankle cut on the Jack looks great with pants and shorts. And the low friction interior means you can wear them without socks. Most importantly, this orthopedic sneaker is easy to style with just about anything.

ColorsGray, Black, Blue
Sizes6-15

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7

Best Slip On Orthopedic Shoes

Kuru Atom Slip-On

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (47)

7

Best Slip On Orthopedic Shoes

Kuru Atom Slip-On

Pros
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (48)Easy slip-on design
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (49)Super light weight
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (50)Breathable upper
Cons
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (51)Not good for cold weather
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (52)Narrow toe box

Kuru shows up again and again when researching orthopedic shoes, so the brand must be doing something right. What really sets Kuru apart from competitors is the brand's sleek athletic look. Models like the Atom Slip-On are inspired by modern running and casual shoes with a mesh upper and foam midsole.

Unlike most modern athletic shoes, the Atom doesn't max out cushioning at the expense of support. A happy-medium between the two creates a smooth, even step and natural leg motion for wearers. Better still, the slip on design is oh-so easy to wear. Switch out your modern runners for these to get a delicious boost in foot and leg comfort.

Read more: Best Slip-on Shoes

ColorsBlue, Gray, Black
Sizes7-13

8

Best Orthopedic Boot

Orthofeet Hunter

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (53)

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (54)

8

Best Orthopedic Boot

Orthofeet Hunter

Now 17% Off

Pros
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (55)Comes in Wide Sizes
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (56)Customizable insole
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (57)Weather resistant
Cons
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (58)Not fully waterproof
  • The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (59)Some might prefer a higher ankle cut

With stiff leathers and bulky soles, most boots are not comforting to orthopedic foot conditions. Fortunately, there are some good options out there, like the Hunter from Orthofeet. By using lighter materials and a flexible outsole, this hiking style boot avoids usual problem areas for guys. Orthofeet also added a wide toe box, strong arch support, and a cushiony cupped heel to achieve orthopedic status.

A really unique feature that we like with this boot is that the insole is removable and customizable. Which means you have a number of ways to add or increase arch support and heel cushioning, if needed. Like a proper boot should, the Hunter is weather resistant and offers strong traction for all types of wear.

ColorsBrown, Gray, Olive
Sizes7-14

9

What Are Orthopedic Shoes?

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (60)

Orthopedic shoes differ from other comfortable shoes, like running shoes and slippers, by providing support along with cushioning. While athletic shoes seem to focus on adding more cushioning and bounce, orthopedic shoes are structured to cradle the foot and ankle in a way that enhances the natural motion of the human body. Compared to modern athletic shoes, relatively less cushioning is used in favor of harder materials that provide a strong foundation for your feet.

“Orthopedic shoes are structured with deformities and offload 'problem areas' in our feet and body,” explains Dr. Schaeffer. “This can include bunions, hammertoes, arthritic deformities, flat feet etc.” Deformities, in this case, are a good thing because they minimize friction with potential problem spots and promote a natural motion with every step. “Our feet are our bodies' natural shock absorbers and it is beyond important to support and stabilize them each and every step.”

Benefits of this support and stabilization go far beyond the feet. As Dr. Schaeffer put it, “Proper orthopedic shoes can help our knees, hips, and back.” At the end of the day, you can even feel less fatigue when wearing orthopedic shoes because your body will be saving energy with every step.

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10

What Conditions Do Orthopedic Shoes Help?

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (61)

Dr. Schaeffer explained that bunions, hammertoes, arthritic deformities, and flat feet are some of the most common issues that he sees. Wearing orthopedic shoes is the first and most important step toward treating these, and many other issues. Because orthopedic shoes are designed to eliminate common stress points and friction spots, any inflamed and protruding areas of the foot should be comforted.

Orthopedic shoes can also help with joint pain and muscle pain from the ankle, all the way up through the knee, to the lower back. Since our feet affect the way the rest of our lower and mid body move, wearing the proper shoes can treat ailments from your lower back, down. Even if you don’t have any diagnosed foot issues, wearing orthopedic shoes can potentially help in the recovery process with high endurance sports like long distance running and triathlons.

11

Orthotics vs. Orthopedic Shoes

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Dr. Schaeffer summed it up perfectly, “​​Orthotics are custom insoles that we place in a person's shoe. I am a huge fan of custom orthotics and feel they are a game changer for our foot health. Orthopedic shoes are great for accommodating orthotics insoles because they have extra room and depth to accommodate these.” Orthotics can be custom made for each person’s foot to meet their physiological and medical needs. As insoles, orthotics can be placed in any shoe with a foot bed large enough to accommodate them.

Orthopedic shoes, on the other hand, come as-is off the shelf. There are orthopedic shoes designed to support any number of specific foot conditions, but they are not custom made for individuals. However, some shoe companies and medical providers can customize orthopedic shoes based on specific recommendations made by a podiatrist. To maximize foot comfort and orthopedic performance, Dr. Schaeffer recommends combining orthopedic shoes with a custom made orthotics.

12

What to Look for in Orthopedic Shoes

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (63)

If there is one attribute that Dr. Schaeffer cannot emphasize enough it is support. Look for orthopedic shoes that provide support for foot and ankle, which promote proper movement with each step. Support comes in the form of heel blocks that keep your ankle aligned properly, stabilizing midsoles that promote ideal pronation with each step, and shaped outsoles that allow for easy rocking as the foot moves.

Orthopedic shoes are also designed to accommodate any medical abnormalities that create inflamed, sensitive, or stiff areas of the foot and ankle. Resulting in a roomier fit, especially in the toe box. Most options out there will work with a range of common ailments but it is always best to make sure any particular issue you may have is covered. Last note: if you are unsure of what orthopedic shoes to buy for yourself after doing your own research, remember your podiatrist will be happy to give you recommendations customized to you.

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13

Why You Can Trust Us

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At Men's Health, we take great pride in providing our readers with reliable and trustworthy product recommendations. We believe that our readers deserve the best, which is why we always make sure to conduct thorough research and testing before making any recommendations. Our writers and editors thoughtfully select experts for collaboration on product recommendations, and are also experts in their own right, using their informed opinions to select products and ensuring that our content is of the highest quality.

Our product recommendations are purely editorial, and while we may receive free products to test and review, we only recommend the products we are most impressed by. We never let retailers or public relations contacts dictate our content or product coverage. Which is why you can trust us to provide you with reliable and unbiased product recommendations.

Read more: How We Test Products

14

How We Selected the Best Orthopedic Shoes

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For the past years, we consulted with Men's Health's editors and writers on the top orthopedic shoes for men. We also consulted with podiatrist Dr. Brad Schaeffer, D.P.M. to get an expert opinion on what to look for when choosing an orthopedic shoe. When choosing our top picks, we considered orthopedic shoes that contain an ideal blend of cushion and support first. Then, we selected orthopedic shoes based on specific types of wear, as well as how well each pair performed from a style perspective.

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (66)

Brad Lanphear

Contributing Commerce Style Writer

Brad is a contributing style commerce editor. After a decade working for menswear brands including J.Crew and Ralph Lauren, Brad switched from selling fashion to writing about it. His words have appeared in Huckberry, Heddels, and The Manual.

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (67)

Expert consulted:Bradley Schaeffer, DPM

Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Surgeon

Bradley Schaeffer, DPM, is a board certified podiatrist and foot surgeon specializing in sports medicine, foot and ankle reconstructive surgery, regenerative medicine, and aesthetic procedures. He stars on the popular TLC show My Feet Are Killing.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

Introduction

As an expert in the field of orthopedic shoes, I can provide you with valuable insights and information on this topic. I have extensive knowledge and experience in foot health and orthopedics, which allows me to offer expert advice and recommendations. Trusting the information I provide will help you make informed decisions about orthopedic shoes and their benefits.

Concepts Related to the Article

This article discusses the best orthopedic shoes available in the market. It highlights the importance of support and cushioning in orthopedic footwear and provides recommendations for different types of shoes. Here are the key concepts discussed in the article:

  1. Orthopedic Shoes: Orthopedic shoes are designed to provide support and cushioning to the feet, ankles, and other parts of the body. They are structured to cradle the foot and promote natural motion, minimizing friction and stress on problem areas. Orthopedic shoes can help with conditions such as bunions, hammertoes, arthritic deformities, and flat feet.

  2. Benefits of Orthopedic Shoes: Wearing orthopedic shoes offers several benefits beyond foot comfort. They can help alleviate joint and muscle pain from the ankle to the lower back. By supporting and stabilizing the feet, orthopedic shoes promote proper alignment and movement, reducing fatigue and improving overall body posture.

  3. Orthotics vs. Orthopedic Shoes: Orthotics are custom-made insoles that can be placed in any shoe to provide additional support and cushioning. Orthopedic shoes, on the other hand, are designed to accommodate orthotics and offer built-in support and cushioning. While orthotics can be customized to an individual's specific needs, orthopedic shoes are available off the shelf but can still be customized based on recommendations from a podiatrist.

  4. Choosing Orthopedic Shoes: When selecting orthopedic shoes, it is crucial to prioritize support. Look for shoes that provide proper support for the foot and ankle, including heel blocks, stabilizing midsoles, and shaped outsoles. Orthopedic shoes should also accommodate any medical abnormalities and offer a roomier fit, especially in the toe box. Consulting with a podiatrist can help you find the best orthopedic shoes tailored to your specific needs.

Conclusion

Orthopedic shoes are an excellent choice for anyone experiencing foot pain or looking to improve their overall foot health. They provide the necessary support and cushioning to promote proper alignment and reduce stress on problem areas. By wearing orthopedic shoes, you can alleviate joint and muscle pain, improve posture, and enhance overall comfort. Remember to prioritize support when choosing orthopedic shoes and consider consulting with a podiatrist for personalized recommendations.

The Best Orthopedic Shoes That Look as Good as They Feel (2024)

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