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Choosing the Right Orthotic Footwear for You
Opt for Orthotic Footwear to Help Alleviate Painful Foot Aches
 
If you have problem feet, your shoes could be the reason why, as many ill-fitting, poorly designed shoes contribute to such conditions as bunions, corns and calluses and can irritate sensitive, diabetic or swollen feet. Cushioned, roomy orthotic footwear, however, can provide you with miles of comfort.

 
The Ideal Orthotic Shoe
 
Orthotic footwear should have the following characteristics:
  • A firm heel counter
  • A wide enough toe box to accommodate toes without pinching them
  • A semi-rigid or rigid shank
  • A removable inner sole
  • A long vamp
  • A heel measuring between ¾ - 1½ inches

Remember: Good orthotic footwear hold onto the foot, not the other way around. Adjustable orthotic footwear, like those with Velcro®, can be a great way to fit problem feet.

Orthotic footwear for diabetics and those with swollen feet should be quite roomy. Oxfords, for example, are good orthotic footwear that – with their added depth feature – can accommodate even the fifth toe. If you’re suffering from bunions, your orthotic footwear should have spandex stretch uppers.

Other features to consider in good orthotic footwear include:
  • A padded collar and tongue to protect sensitive areas, reduce irritation and secure the fit.
  • A rubber outsole to aid with slip resistance.
  • Interchangeable removable insoles to aid with perspiration problems and accommodate any orthotic devices.
  • Orthotic footwear with Velcro® to provide good closure.
  • A plastizote foam lining that molds to the foot to reduce pressure points and provide customized comfort and protection.
  • A firm compression EVA midsole.
  • A flared outsole to enhance foot stability.
  • A polyurethane rocker sole to reduce ball-of-foot pain and absorb shock.
  • Breathable leather upper.

If you have heel pain and need orthotic footwear to help relieve plantar fasciitis pain, and over-the-counter arch supports did not help alleviate your symptoms, visit a podiatrist to be fitted for custom orthotics. And don’t forget to bring your good orthotic footwear with you.
 
Tips for Buying New Orthotic Footwear
 
1. If you need orthotic footwear, never go out to buy new them first thing in the morning. The feet swell as the day goes on, and your orthotic footwear need to accommodate this added size.

2. Always break in new orthotic footwear at home on carpeting.

3. Do not expect orthotic footwear to stretch. If the shoe does not fit, do not wear it. You should have a thumb-length space at the toe end of the shoe beyond the longest toe.

 
What to Buy: Purchasing Orthotic Footwear
 

Therapeutic orthotic footwear include:
  • Advance
  • Drew
  • Arcopedico
  • Propet
  • Softspots

Better dress orthotic shoe brands include:
  • Kumfs
  • Softspots
  • Arcopedico
  • Hush Puppies
  • Munro

Athletic orthotic shoe brands that come in different widths include:
  • Saucony
  • Brooks
  • New Balance


Information on foot, leg and lower body health conditions provided by The Podiatry Institute, dedicated to advancing the standard of care in podiatric medicine and its effects on muscoskeletal health.
 
 
 
Disclaimer for Health Content Pages
FootSmart lower body health condition content pages describe general principles of healthcare that should not in any event be construed as specific instructions for individual consumers. This material is not intended as a guide to self-medication or as a substitute for proper medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This healthcare content is for reference only and should not be used to determine treatment for specific medical conditions – only a healthcare provider can do that.

You should discuss the information provided with a podiatrist, physician or other licensed healthcare professional, and make sure to read any product information (including package inserts) regarding dosage, precautions, warnings, interactions and contraindications before administering or using any device, support, brace, compression hosiery, shoes intended for use by diabetics, skincare product, herb, vitamin or supplement discussed on this site.

Proper treatment of lower body health conditions depends upon a number of factors, including, but not limited to, your medical history, diet, lifestyle and medications that may be taking. Your healthcare provider can best assess and address your individual healthcare needs.
 
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