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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Top 20 Comfortable Women's Boots - Podiatrist Recommended...


(Yes, some are not so pretty - but keep going -  there's a little bit for everyone in this list!)

Born Bitsy 

I'm partial to the Born Brand of shoes! This boot has soft, good quality leather and allows for extra room in the calf which is great for women with more muscular calves. They have good arch support and a rigid sole which allows for more protection of the foot. It has a decently wide toebox and the soft leather is good for women with mild to possibly moderate hammertoes and bunions. 
The slightly tapered toebox may not work for women with severe hammertoes and bunions.  

Born Christina 

Once again, Born is a wonderful boot! The thick rigid sole allows for better biomechanical control of the foot which allows for comfortable all day wear. The wide toebox is great for women with mild to possibly moderate hammertoes and bunions. The boot is true to size and has good arch support. 
If you have moderate to severe Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint) or any forefoot issues like capsulitis, osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease - this may not be the boot for you because of the heel height. 

Check out the Born "Sash" boot for $78 on 
It's not officially on the "Top Twenty" list but it should be! I came across it and I love the Born brand and I couldn't resist the price...

Dansko Aurora 

Bar none, Dansko are top-notch when it comes to comfort! Dansko shoes and boots have been a staple of my wardrobe for years. If you are on your feet all day, on concrete floors, have a history of foot pain or are looking for a great boot that will be comfortable - Dansko is it!  
The only caution I give with Dansko is that if you have prominent "bumps" on your feet - particularly on the top of your midfoot area - the Dansko might apply too much pressure and it could be uncomfortable. Also, if you are older (geriatric), have muscle weakness or significant nerve damage - Dansko boots may be too heavy for you. You need something supportive but light

 Dansko Finley 

Okay, not the prettiest thing on the block but hey, if your feet hurt and you need a dependable solid comfortable boot for all day activities - this is an even better Dansko boot than the one above. It's hardcore Dansko comfort! 

Durango Boot 

In an attempt to have some less expensive boots on the list, I found this Durango Boot at $128. It's hard to find a high quality boot for less than sixty to eighty dollars but they are out there. This boot offers a thick rigid sole for more comfort and protection. The toebox tapers in a bit too much so if you have moderate hammertoes or bunions - this may not be the right boot for you. 

Durango Harness The Dream
$59 on 6pm.com

A better price than the Durango above and a wider toebox. This boot has an awesome thick rigid sole which allows for exceptional comfort for all day wear on concrete surfaces. It has a low heel so that works especially well if you have forefoot problems such as Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint), osteoarthritis,  degenerative joint disease, mild to moderate hammertoes and bunions, and metatarsalgia.  
check out the Durango "Flower in Love" boot for $84 on 6pm.com. 

Fit Flop Hooper 

Fit Flop Hooper - once again, not the cutest boot ever but - ridiculously comfortable! As I tell my patients, having style and looking fabulous is all about your attitude - not what's on your feet. If your feet hurt, if you have chronic pain, if you are on your feet on concrete surfaces all day - don't knock this boot till you try it! 
If you have muscle weakness, significant neurological problems, are elderly or have balance issues, this might not be the boot for you.

Harley Davidson Huston Boot 

I bought this boot for a winter trip to Germany because I knew I was going to do tons of walking. It was very comfortable and it has a great look that was easy to dress up or down. The toebox does taper in and is a bit narrow so if you have any issues with hammertoes, bunions, corns or calluses - proceed with caution!  

John Fluevog Arresto 

I love John Fluevog shoes! The low heel, wide toebox and supportive sole provides lots of comfort. This is a great boot for light office wear but I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for hard-core all day, run around on concrete floors kinds of work.

John Fluevog Cece

Excellent John Fluevog Boot! This has the rigid supportive sole as well as the lower heel for more comfort. Great for anyone who can't tolerate heels due to Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint) as well as metatarsalgia, capsulitis, hammertoes, bunions and osteoarthitis. 

John Fluevog Together Hi Nico

I own the shoe version of this boot. The construction is basically the same and I absolutely adore it! It's very comfortable and I can wear it all day long for light office work. However, if I was going to be doing increased activities - I would probably bump it up to my Danskos. I like the John Fluevog thick chunky heel, the supportive sole and the wide square toebox. 


 MBT Boots 

 MBT is the ultimate classic boot when it comes to comfort! The rocker-bottom sole gives exceptional support, comfort and biomechanical control which is great for people with chronic foot pain and are on their feet all day. 
The MBT boot is not recommended for patients with Achilles Tendonitis issues, balance issues, muscle weakness, and significant nerve damage. Also, just as an aside, don't wear a rocker bottom shoe on a cruise. Nothing worse that wearing a rocker-bottom shoe on a rocking cruise ship!

Merrell Martina Waterproof

I think this is a cute look! And waterproof - what's not to love?  This boot has a thick rigid protective sole, wide toebox and low heel which is great for all day wear. 

 Naot Illusion

I love this boot! It's gorgeous and also super comfortable. The Naots tend to run narrow to medium widths so if you have large or muscular calves - this is not the best boot for you. 
It also accommodates a dress orthotic although it doesn't necessary need arch support as it has a thick rigid protective sole with decent arch support already in it. 

Naot Modesto 

 Another great Naot boot! Thick rigid sole, decently wide toebox and it accomodates a dress orthotic although it doesn't necessarily need one. 
It's a great looking boot and works great if you have mild hammertoes and bunions, metatarsalgia, and mild Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toejoint). It does run narrow to medium and does not work well for women with wide feet and calves. 


Spring Step Thrive 

Love the price! Not to mention it's a great boot. The thick rigid sole is very protective and comfortable for wonderful biomechanical control of the foot. The wide toebox offers adequate room for mild to moderate hammertoes and bunions. 
Excellent for anyone who has forefoot or midfoot issues such as osteoarthritis, Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint), degenerative joint disease, capsulitis and mild to moderate tendonitis. 

Ugg Ultimate Short 

You can't go wrong with Uggs! 
This Ugg has a sole that is thick, rigid and protective for more comfort as well as a wide soft toebox that is awesome for mild to possibly even severe hammertoes and bunions. 
The Ugg will accommodate custom-molded orthotics as well as over-the-counter inserts for more arch support. Many of my Pediatric patients wear Uggs with their orthotics because it's one of the few shoe choices that is biomechanically sound for their feet (which pleases their Parents and Podiatrist!) and also lets them feel like they are wearing something cool and somewhat fashionable (which pleases them!).
Worth the money!

Dr. Marten's Bellissa 

I love the way this boot looks! 
Dr. Martens have always been a standard of comfort because of its trademark thick, rigid, protective sole. The more traditional "combat boot" style of Dr. Marten's are popular with many of my teenager patients who have "biomechanically challenged" feet and can't comfortably wear the Converse or Van's. When I tell them they can wear Dr. Martens with inserts - their eyes light up. Funny how they were cool when I was a teenager and still are...
Check out the Dr. Martens website - they have lots of cool colors and styles and if you have a kid with foot issues and you need to wean them away from Converse or Van's - try luring them into comfort with Dr. Martens!
The more traditional Dr. Marten's "combat style" boot (not pictured here) is great for kids (or adults) with flat feet, hypermobility, ligament laxity, ankle instability - as long as they are worn with arch support.


Dr Martins Triumph 1914
What's not to love? These are cool! 
Perhaps it's the remnants of my nineties Goth days (I admit it - just a little Goth - circa 1999!) but I love these. Great for trooping all over the city in all sorts of weather - durable, comfortable and, one again, great for anyone with "biomechanically challenged" feet who want a cool look with comfort. 
The laced boot allows for more give so if you have trouble with boots being too tight in the calf or pressing too much on the top of your foot because of a high arch or a bump (exostosis) on the top of your foot - this would be a good option as you can adjust the tension with the laces. 
For the more daring fashionista - you can go to 6pm.com 
get this boot in some bold colors for $75).


Dansko Vail 

 I couldn't resist! I've got a long term love affair with Dansko shoes and this waterproof boot is great for trudging trough all types of gnarly weather. I did my residency in Buffalo and many is the time I had to walk my sweet pitbull Sheba at ungodly hours in sleet, rain, snow and all types of foul weather - this boot would have come in handy...
P.S. If you are in horrible weather and need a hardcore coat - try the "Stadium Parka" from LandsEnd. I'm not sure I would have survived Buffalo without that coat! 
Funny to end a blog on shoes with a recommendation on coats but - c'est la vie! 

Keep scrolling down for my September 17, 2011 blog on a great Donald J. Plimer boot! 

One of my patients said she asks a salesperson at DSW call her when they get in a shipment of Donald J. Plimer shoes in because she gets first pick of the shoe she wants at deeply discounted prices. Make friends with salepeople! They can be great assets in helping you in your search for the perfect shoe! 

I hope this was helpful!

Remember, good boots are an investment...

Hope all is well,
Dr Cathleen A McCarthy



Check out my first novel written under the pen name C. Mack Lewis. It's available on Kindle or you can get a free Kindle app and read it on your iPad. 

Thank you for your support!


Anonymous said...

Great list! I live in the Northeast and wear boots often during the fall & winter months.

I love the John Fluevog boots but they're out of my price range. Maybe someday they'll go on sale.

Ann C.

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Ann C,
Thank you for checking out my blog!
I love the John Fluevog shoes too and I am always checking their "clearance" and "sale" section on their website. You can find many of their shoes on Zappos at discounted prices. Some of the best prices I get online on shoes is at 6pm.com. Price-wise, I especially like the Dr Martens...
Hope all is well,
Cathy McCarthy

MsKatieKat said...

I can certainly attest to wearing Dr. Martens. I have flat feet with a wide forefoot and most shoes don't work on me. My 20-eye Docs are by far the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn. They beat my Danskos and Naot's in terms of comfort! It takes a week or two to break in (which is a bit annoying), but as soon as my boots were broken in, they were the most comfortable ever! I'd really like to try the heeled versions (as I am a heel girl), but I have yet to get the chance.

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi MsKatieKat,
Thanks for your feedback! I love Dr. Marten's too and I almost wish I lived in a colder climate so I could wear my Dr. Martens more!
Hope all is well and thank you so much for taking the time to write...
Cathy McCarthy

Michelle said...

Hi Dr. Cathy!

Thanks for this post and for the rest of your blog! I've got a question, I hope you don't mind - I'd like shoe recommendations for my particular predicament. I'm recovering (7 weeks out) from a dancer's/avulsion fracture and while I've always preferred comfortable shoes (big Fluevog fan here), most of my current shoes either have heels or are flats without a lot of padding. (I do have a pair of engineer-style boots that I love, but they're pull on and I'm not sure I want to try that right now!) I keep hearing and reading different things about the best shoes to wear when recovering from this kind of injury - flexible sole vs. more rigid sole, arch support vs. less arch support, etc. and I was wondering if you had any recommendations for cute shoes that would be good for me over the next few months. Thank you so much!


Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Michelle,
Thank you for reading the blog!

The fracture of the 5th metatarsal is probably the most common fracture I see in patients. It's typically caused by the foot sliding off something (curb, stair, ect) and being in a shoe that does not offer any protection through the mid-tarsal joint which allows that area to twist and therefore fracture. The peroneal tendon inserts into the base of the 5th metatarsal and, if the injury if violent enough, the tendon can literally rip off a piece of the bone.

It's crucial that you get a shoe with a thick rigid sole after an injury like this! If you have a flexible shoe that allows motion through the area where the fracture used to be - it will cause aggravation, pain, inflammation, swelling and a slower healing process. You are looking for shoes with a thick rigid sole - as little bend as possible! You probably just completed six weeks in the below-the-knee-walking boot and the reason that works is because it has a rigid sole! Biomechanically, no motion equals no pain.

Also, you need a wide soft toebox and proper rearfoot control. Don't try to wear a shoe without a back as that will also cause more aggravation. Arch support is important and, if you don't have custom-molded orthotics - I recommend Pro-step, which is an excellent over-the-counter insert that will go into athletic shoes and even some chunkier dress shoes.

A great shoe to ease back into for walking is the Sketcher Shape-Up - don't believe all the junk in the media! Although it is not for everyone, it is an excellent shoe for someone recovering from your type of injury!

Also, don't walk barefoot or wear flip-flops. Wear Croc-Clogs with the strap to the back around the house as a house shoe - even if you get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. The only time you should be barefoot and standing is in the shower!

Also, after an injury like that - your shoe size might have gone up so please have your feet re-measured. Sometimes your foot can be a larger size for up to a year or more.

If you are having trouble easing into activities/exercise - ask your Podiatrist for a good ankle brace to wear for with a sneaker when doing those activities.

I hope this was helpful!

If you have any questions - please let me know...

And if you have continued pain - please follow up with your Podiatrist...


Cathy McCarthy

Michelle said...

Thank you SO much! That was very helpful. I didn't step off something, but I did turn my ankle while crossing the street because of an uneven spot - so, pretty close.

I did just complete 6 weeks with the walking cast/boot and I'm still wearing it when I go out somewhere where I'll be walking/standing a lot - I've been wearing some Dansko clogs in the meantime but I was worried about them not having enough ankle support (I really don't want to turn my ankle again, for obvious reasons!).

So, out of the shoes in this post, would you say that the MBT boots or the Dansko boots would be a good choice for me? I'm going to be buying a new pair of winter boots soon so I can put those on the list of possibilities. I'll also check out the Skecher Shape Ups and the Pro-Step inserts.

Thanks again, I really appreciate it!

Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Dear Michelle,
Either one of those should be excellent for the foot condition that you are recovering from. My best advice on that is to try them both on and see which feels better. I always tell my patients that no matter what I say - the acid test is how it feels on their feet.
The MBT people will tell you that you don't need arch support with the MBT but I disagree. Try some arch support and see how it feels. Ten percent of people can't tolerate arch support and, unless you are one of that ten percent, it should feel good.
Hope all is well and enjoy your Sunday!
Cathy McCarthy

keen shoes said...

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Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Thank you Keen Shoes!
It's my pleasure...
Cathy McCarthy

Anonymous said...

Hi, Cathy,

I know you wrote this post such a long time ago, but hope you can still help. I have a bunion and was looking for a cute stylish boot that I can walk in for hours (live in NYC so do a lot of walking). I really like the Dr. Marten's Triumph boots that you posted and they still make them. Would those be appropriate for bunions as well?


Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Anonymous,
The only thing I'm concerned about with the Dr. Marten's Triumph is that the seam cuts across the front where the bunions might be. Try the Easy Spirit Menke and check out my list of boot recommendations on the upper right hand side on the Carousel. If you like any of them, try them on in the store to see if they work.
Let me know how it works,

Winter Boots For Women said...

Top 20 Comfortable Women's Boots - Podiatrist Recommended. ... wwinterboots.blogspot.com

neha said...

Hi Dr.,

I am a thirty-three year old female, and over the last year have noticed I occasionally have slight pain in my right knee, particularly going down stairs. The knee(s) may also seldom buckle. Since I have gained approximately fifty pounds over the last three years I also have a weight issue. My Doctor diagnosed me with petella femural (spelling) and told me to wear shoes with good arch support, i.e. New Balance

I do like some of the new balance shoes, but very few have arch support. All the ones that do have arch support are running shoes. My question is: Should I be wearing running shoes if I'm not a runner. I would be using the shoes mostly as an everyday shoe and to go for walks.

Can you also recommend an everyday shoe that is not as athletic looking, but still comfortable, stylish and easy to get into? I'm very picky as to the qualities I'm looking in a shoe, but your suggestions may help. Thank you,