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Friday, November 23, 2012

Updated List! Top 20 Comfortable Women's Dress Shoes - Podiatry Recommended

Updated List!
Top 20 Comfort Women's Dress Shoes

Any shoes on my list meet three of the four criteria that a shoe must have to be comfortable: a thick rigid and supportive sole, a wide toebox and rearfoot control. The fourth criteria is arch support and although many of these shoes do have decent arch support, I am less stringent on this criteria because you can get custom molded dress orthotics from your Podiatrist that fit into most dress shoes.

My list is not in any order but I would like to reiterate that what shoe feels comfortable on you is very specific to the biomechanical structure of your feet as well as any previous foot injuries that you have experienced. Anyone with forefoot issues (especially Hallux Limitus/Rigidus, which is limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint) should steer away from the heels. I do include a number of higher heels on this list because many women can wear them comfortably and I've tried to choose high heel shoes that are significantly more protective of the feet, which will slow the progression of foot deformities and allow for more comfort - as opposed to wearing a less supportive and poorly constructed high heel. 


I love the look of this shoe! Naot shoes tend to be amazingly comfortable as they have padded heel cups and an anatomical cork and latex footbed that conforms to your foot. The Naot Pleasure is a great shoe for anyone who wears a narrow to medium fit. A hidden metal shank in the sole gives the shoe more stability and less motion, which leads to more comfort, less mechanical strain, less chance of injury and 'wear and tear' on joints. This shoe is not recommended for anyone with severe Hallux Limitus/Rigidus, which is limited range of motion of the first toe joint. If you have any severe forefoot issues this may not be the right shoe for you. It is a great shoe for anyone with heel pain and mild Achilles Tendonitis. 


This is a similar shoe to the Naot Pleasure (above) and also has a hidden metal shank for more comfort and support as well as the anatomic cork and latex foot bed. This shoe also works well for anyone with a narrow to medium fit. 


For anyone who can't tolerate heels, this is a fabulous flat dress shoe that offers support, comfort and style. It has a removable footbed so that you can replace it with your custom-molded orthotic if needed. For those of you that don't have custom-molded orthotics, the insert is high quality and molds to the foot. This is an excellent shoe for anyone with forefoot issues such as: Hallux Limitus/Rigidus (decreased or no motion of the 1st toe joint), Bunions, Hammertoes, Corns & Calluses, Morton's Neuroma, Osteoarthritis, Heel pain and metatarsalgia.  


I love Tsubo! They make high quality, stylish shoes that offer all- day comfort. The thick, rigid sole offers wonderful protection for the foot joints and I particularly love the great midfoot and rearfoot control. Once again, if you have any severe forefoot issues that limit you on heel height this may not work for you. 


Several years ago, the Tsubo Acrea was one of my go-to shoes for all-day comfort at work. It has the thick, rigid sole that is crucial to foot comfort as well as midfoot and rearfoot control. Because the rearfoot strap on this shoe moves, I wasn't able to wear my custom-molded dress orthotics in this shoe but I found that I was comfortable with the arch support the shoe provided. Again, this is not a good shoe for anyone who can't tolerate high heels or who has severe forefoot issues such as Hallux Limitus/Rigidus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint).


Because this is a wedge, you get the height for fashion but not the high angle that causes increased pressure on the forefoot structures. The thick, rigid sole is excellent for protecting the foot and the forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot control is wide, soft and supportive. 


Assuming that you don't have a severely deformed foot, I'd like to meet the woman who isn't comfortable in these shoes! The Alegria Paloma and Abbi have an amazingly comfortable and protective sole as well as a soft insert with excellent arch support. They come in a wide variety of colors and designs from conservative to quirky. 

An extra-wide toebox is perfect for anyone who has painful bunions, hammertoes, corns & calluses, Morton's Neuroma, Metatarsalgia, Hallux Limitus/Rigidus, Osteoarthritis, Degenerative Joint Disease and many other forefoot issues. If you are recovering from a Lisfranc's fracture or sprain, this is a great shoe to ease into after you have healed and are returning to proper shoes. It's also excellent for anyone with heel pain as well as knee, hip and lower back issues. 



Gentle Souls is a brand that recently caught my attention for their high quality shoes that offer women style and comfort. Although this shoe has a 3 inch heel height, the front platform is 3/4 inch resulting in a true heel height of 2-1/4 inches. I particularly like the wide soft toebox. Depending on how high your arch is, this shoe can also accommodate most custom-molded dress inserts. 


Expensive but well worth the money! What sets this shoe apart is the stretch elastic upper that is perfect for any painful protuberances such as bunions, hammertoes, corns, bone spurs and tender toes. It has a rigid sole and excellent (but soft) forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot control. 


This is a great shoe. 

It's almost the perfect shoe. 

The only drawback to this shoe is the open back makes it less than ideal for walking outdoors in rainy or snowy climates. It has a thick, rigid sole with excellent arch support for more comfort and protection. The wide toebox is exceptional for anyone with Bunions, Hammertoes, Morton's Neuroma, Metatarsalgia, Hallux Limitus/Rigidus, Degenerative Joint Disease, Osteoarthritis, Capsulitis, and Tailor's Bunions. 

This Shoe is Recommended for Patients with:
*Hallux Limitus/Rigidus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint)
* Degenerative Joint Disease
*Tailor's Bunions
*Morton's Neuroma
*Plantar Fasciits (Heel Pain)
*Achilles Tendonitis
*Mild Over-Pronators
*Knee, Hip and Lower Back Pain
*Sinus Tarsi Syndrome
*Mechanical Strain


The Wolky Dazzle is not as good as the Cloggy but it is a comfortable shoe for anyone who knows they can wear heels. Once again, I love the wide, soft toebox and the extra biomechanical control that the midfoot and rearfoot strap offers. The material is a soft suede upper with an adjustable strap for a better fit. The contoured footbed offers support and cushion while the wedge sole is made of shock absorbing materials. 


Okay, not the prettiest shoe ever to grace planet earth but, guess what, the Wolky Blossom is ridiculously comfortable! This is the winter version of the Wolky Jewel, which is an excellent sandal that I recommend to many of my patients. Wolky shoes are expensive but I always remind my patients that shoes are an investment. They will pay off (many times over) in less foot, knee, hip and lower back pain. 


I love the look of the Earthies Syriana! They have the thick, rigid and therefore protective sole. The criss-crossing midfoot and rearfoot strapping gives added biomechanical control of the foot and ankle. The forefoot area runs a bit narrower than I would like to see but otherwise, this is a comfortable and stylish shoe for anyone who knows they can wear heels. 



This adorable vintage looking shoe is perfect for anyone who knows they can comfortably wear a heel. It offers excellent midfoot and rearfoot control and the sole is rigid for more comfort and stability. One of the many reasons I like the Earthies shoes is that they offer good arch support within the shoe but, this shoe in particular, may be able to accommodate a custom-molded dress orthotic from your Podiatrist. If you get molded for dress orthotics, I recommend you take your favorite dress shoes so that your Podiatrist can make the prescription that will perfectly fit that shoe.


The Earthies Bristol is another dress shoe with exceptional forefoot, midfoot and rearfoot control. The bow is removable and the interior offers good arch support. The wedge in the front offers more protection and comfort for the forefoot. 


The Dansko Brand is not for everyone because it offers hard-core biomechanical control that is sometimes 'too much' for some patients. If you have any 'protuberances' or 'bumps' on your feet, you may have trouble finding a comfortable fit because the typical Dansko has very little give. 

That being said, Dansko shoes are fabulous! All of them have thick, rigid soles that are super-protective of the foot. If you work on your feet all day, especially on concrete or retail flooring - this may be the perfect shoe for you. When it comes to Dansko, I highly recommend that you go to the store to try them on. You are either going to love them or hate them. If you love them, make sure you only get the ones that have rearfoot strapping. 

Dansko shoes are notoriously heavy shoes so I do not recommend these for anyone who has muscular weakness, easily fatigued legs, drop foot, the elderly, or balance issues. 


Please see the review above for general information on Dansko shoes. The Dansko Nori is an exceptionally comfortable shoe for most people. This will not be a good choice for anyone with a high arch or an exostosis (i.e. bump or bone spur) on the top of their midfoot because this shoe will cause too much pressure on that area. 


This is my current go-to shoe for work. The best Dansko ever and the one that got me through my residency and all those hours on my feet on unforgiving hospital floors! For more information on this shoe, please go to the search box in the upper right hand corner as I did a more in depth review on this shoe several months ago. 


The Dansko Harlow is an excellent choice for someone who needs a lower heel than the Nori or the Reeny. It also is an excellent choice for someone who can't wear some of the other styles because of excessively high arches or bone spurring on the top of the midfoot area. The design of this shoe doesn't place any pressure on that area unlike some of the other Dansko styles.

This shoe is perfect for anyone who has metatarsalgia and mild Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint).


My shoe list is never complete until I included a John Fluevog! I adore John Fluevog shoes. This is an example of a lower heeled Fluevog shoe that offers comfort and style. They are pricey but, if you've ever indulged in purchasing a pair, you'll see why they are worth the money. I love the wide toebox and I love the look of the heel. If you have ankle instability or suffer with severe over-pronation, this is not the shoe for you. 

 I hope this was helpful!

Now the secret is out - this is how a true Podiatry shoe geek spends the Thanksgiving holiday...!

Dr. Cathleen A. McCarthy



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

Thank you for your support!




Rebecca said...

Thank you! I love that you find such gorgeous shoes and share them. I may need those purple Wolky Dazzles,,,,

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

Thanks for reading Rebecca!
I must admit that I had a lot of fun putting together the 'Top 20' list!
I would love any feedback on the Wolky Dazzle if you get them.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the list! I'm going to share it with my friends on Facebook.

Ann C.

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

Thank you Ann C!
I appreciate your sharing the blog with your friends...

Unknown said...

These are some great designs. My podiatrist in Arlington TX suggested that I only wear shoes that are comfortable fitting. I really appreciate these comfortable dress shoes.

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

Thanks Sherry!
Your Podiatrist is giving you good advice on only wearing shoes that are comfortable fitting. For more information on what you are looking for in a good shoe - check out my article on "Comfortable Dress Shoes - what to look for..." from April 2011.
Thanks for reading!
Cathy McCarthy

Deborah said...

I love your blog, Dr. McCarthy!

I have high arches and struggle to find shoes that work for me. I saw a podiatrist who advised me to wear rigid soles shoes, for which you've made some great recommendations. I've worn rigid soled Born shoes for a few years now, based on that advice,

However, my feet are in al,most constant pain on the top of my foot, from my big toe almost to my ankles. I've tried to narrow down the problem, and it seems to be extensor tendonitis. I've had this pain for years, since my second child was born. Pregnancy may have loosened the ligaments and tendons, but it seems that they didn't recover.

I am a professional, and work in an office setting. Recent weeks of near constant air travel have left me with burning pain. Can you recommend how I can best present my situation to a podiatrist in my area so I can finally get some relief? I'd love to see you, but I live in Minneapolis and don't get to Phoenix.

Thank you!


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

Hi Deborah,

Thanks for reading the blog!

Burning pain is often a sign that the problem is related to nerve issues. You might have an nerve entrapment issue (like Carpel Tunnel - but in the foot).

I'm assuming that you are doing everything right with proper shoegear, ect (you can review my article for called "My Feet Hurt" on this blog to make sure you are doing the basics). If the burning pain is more at night when you are going to bed - that can often be the first sign of diabetes. However, if the burning pain is more in the day when you are wearing shoes that would more likely be related to something like Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Neuropraxia, "Ski Boot Syndrome" or possibly even a pinched nerve in your back (to name a few).

It may be extensor tendonitis but it could also be that you have Functional Hallux Limitus (biomechanical structure of your foot, which causes pain from the big toe up to the ankle if you are not in proper shoes and inserts).

I would highly recommend getting an appointment with a Pod who specializes in conservative, biomechanical treatment of the foot and ankle.

A couple of other recommendations, when tying your shoes, try skipping a lace over the top of the foot (at the highest point) - that can relieve pressure on a possible nerve entrapment. This works well - especially when your feet go numb when you are on the Elliptical or Treadmill.

Hope that was helpful!

Cathy McCarthy

Anonymous said...

Dr. McCarthy,

What do think of the Naot "Sea" style shoe?

I just bought the Naot "Design" which you recommended in this post, and really love the look and incredible comfort!

Thanks again for all your great advice on shoes.



Unknown said...

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expected next post.

Women's Designer Shoes

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

Hi Linda,
Sorry for the delay in repsonse! I'm finally catching up after a bout of the flu and the holiday. The Naot Sea is a great shoe! It meets all the criteria - not to mention it's cute!
Happy Holidays!

Lathea said...

Thanks for the advice regarding shoes. One question about the boots recommended on the right side of blog. The Dansko Kody Boots - do these boots have your recommendations from 1-4 starting with a thick rigid Sole, wide toe box and rearfoot control? Could not find this specific description under this shoe.

bernie murray said...

Just found this blog and I'm thrilled. I actually own a few pairs of Dansko shoes from the Rio line such as the Reeny. When I went to the Dansko site yesterday I found out the Rio line is no longer being promoted. Are they discontinuing the line?

bernie murray said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doctor of Podiatry Discusses and Recommends Shoes. said...

Hi Lathea,
The Dansko Kody boot does meet the four requirments. Most Dansko shoes have excellent soles. A word of caution though - always check the individual shoe because sometimes the shoe is 'broken' or defective. No matter what I recommend, check the shoe when you get it to make sure that particular one does not bend.
The only thing that might enhance the Danko Kody is a custom-molded dress orthotic but the shoe actually does have decent arch control in it.
Happy New Year!

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

Hi Bernie,
Good question on the Dansko Rio but I'm sorry to say that I don't know. Strangely enough, I ordered that shoe about a year ago and ended up sending it back because it looked really cool online but on my feet they ended up looking a little orthopedic. My mother saw them on my feet and claims she had a flashback memory to when she was a baby crawling around on the kitchen floor and looking at her mother's orthopedic shoes and thinking, even as a baby, how ugly her mother's shoes were. Needless to say, I returned them! They were comfortable though...

bernie murray said...

I just heard back from Dansko and they have discontinued the Rio line.

Anonymous said...

Yea Dr. Cathy. Who knew a shoe could save a back or knees. Since I live in WY I probaly won't make it to AZ to have a visit with U (darn). I am hoping U have time to help with shoe selections.
Since reading Your articles I have descided to invest in shoes for walking, dress, sandals and around the house. I know U recommend Clogs RX for around the house but in the past when I have tried clogs my toes get smashed and the ball of my foot gets sore.Maybe this has changed with newer versions.
I am 5'4"; weigh 125# have muscles spasms in my INFRASPINATUS back muscles, knee pain when standing and need arch support. With my older Dansko 3" heels i get pain in the ball of my feet and, for some reason, am uncomfortable wearing wedges (maybe i don't walk right) I don't wear heels higher than 3.5"
I am 62 and hike and do watersports.
Hope U r done with the flu for the rest of the season.

Val said...

Hi again Dr. Cathy.
I am wondering if U could also recommend walking, dress, sandals and around the house shoes for my husband.He is 6'2", weighs 215# (overweight)has arthritis and other knee problems and plantar facia (I may have this wrong. He has pain on the bottom of his feet below the arch).
He is just 60 and is an avid hiker, golfer and rafter.
Once again I appreciate your time in helping with shoe selections for him.

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

Hi Val,
Thanks for reading the blog!

If your toes hit the front of the Crocs Rx - you need to go up a size. The proper size Croc Rx for you is probably going to feel 'too large' but that is the right size. Your toes should not hit the front and you need to wear the strap to the back. It's okay if they feel 'too large' because they are for puttering around the house. Also, for more cushion, try a fleece lined Croc Rx Cloud or Relief.

I'm willing to bet that if you are uncomfortable wearing wedges - you probably have 'Functional Hallux Limitus', which makes it hard for your foot biomechanics to deal with a heel. For a month, try wearing only lower dress shoes like a Wolky Cloggy or Dansko Professional and see how you feel.

For more detailed information - Check out my articles:
'My feet hurt - top 10 things to do to relieve foot pain today' and 'Shoe Recommendations for patients recovering from Lisfranc's Injuries' - there are tons of good info about the basics of how to get started with proper shoes.

My recommendations for you are:
1.Croc RX around the house as a bedroom slipper - with the strap to the back
2. New Balance 928 (or 811) for walking on paved streets, treadmill, ect
3. A Merrell or Keen with a thick rigid sole for any hiking trails
3. Wolky Cloggy, Tulip or Jewel for a dress sandal - or - Naot sandals that have a thick rigid sole
4. For watersports, something like an amphibious Chaco Z1 or Z2 or a Merrell or Keen amphibious sandal that has a thick rigid sole and rearfoot strapping.

For your husband:
1. Croc RX Cloud or Relief with the strap to the back
2. New Balance 928
3. 5-10 Camp-Four for a hiking trails or the same recommendations with the Merrell or Keen that I gave for you.
4. For Golf - I like Footjoy - assuming it has a thick, rigid sole.
5. For rafting he needs an amphibious sandal like Chaco Z1 or Z2 (make sure he wears sunscreen on the top of his feet!) or a Merrell or Keen sandal with a thick rigid sole.

It's really important that no matter what shoes you buy - make sure they have a thick, rigid sole and that they do not bend or flex! It will cause increased pain and you will be more prone to injury and mechanical strain.

Also, talk to your Podiatrist about getting custom-molded inserts - they are an investment in your feet, knees, hips and lower back!

I hope that was helpful!
I've never been to WY but it sounds beautiful!

Val said...

Wow that was quick! Thank U Dr. Cathy sooo much! We r looking forward to our new shoes (knees & backs).
I hadn't read the article re Lisfranc's but will do so.


Anonymous said...

I have bunions and Dansko use to be great. They seem to have changed since they moved production to China. I switched to Sanita and love them.

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

Hi Anonymous,
Thank you for reading the blog! I believe that Sanitas were the original shoe and Dansko copied their design. I'm not completely sure that is true but that is what I heard from several patients...
Hope all is well,

Elizabeth said...

Hello, Dr. McCarthy! I have studied this and every other "best of" list you've published. I'm still looking for the Holy Grail...the dress shoe that works with a suit while still accommodating problem feet. I don't really think a Wolky sandal or a Dansko Pro looks appropriate for a conservative office ( think suits) -- any ideas on what might? I have spent probably 1000 hours looking online, educating myself, reading blogs, buying and returning shoes. I think there's a fortune to be made for a shoe designer who can create an attractive pump with a rigid sole and a wide, soft toe box. Why is this so hard/impossible??

Thanks for any thoughts or recommendations.

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

Hi Elizabeth,

I'm very sorry for the horribly long delay in answering your letter!

The best I can get to a Holy Grail in shoewear is the Dansko. I know it's super frustrating but the problem is how to wear a heel that forces your big toe to bend - when your big toe doesn't bend (Functional Hallux Limitus), which I am assuming is your foot issue since that is the usual suspect.
I wish I had an easy answer for you but the question your asking is exactly what this blog is about - how to find a good looking shoe that's good for your feet and is comfortable. It's a challenge!!

Hope all is well and if you find the Holy Grail please let me know!


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

Hi Elizabeth,
I came across the Easy Spirit Brassie and thought of you. This may be a good option for a more professional looking shoe that is still comfortable. Please let me know if it works for you.

Anonymous said...

Boy do I wish I had found this list and blog sooner! I fractured bones and dislocated ligaments in my foot 2 years ago in a car accident, had 2 surgeries with 2 plates and 8 screws in my foot. Despite it I have been able to return to my normal activities snowboarding, running, skating.. BUT I have had so much trouble finding a good comfortable work shoe that doesn't look like a sneaker. Thank you so much for putting this list together and helping us foot injured women!

Anonymous said...

Also - I'm wondering if you have a list of good running shoes? I was told after my injury that I should not be running and walking as my every day exercise but I am finding that I am ok with running. Just need a good supportive shoe..

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

Hi Anonymous,
Sorry for the delayed response! For a running shoe, I would recommend wither the New Balance 1540 or the Hoka One One. I would hightly recommend that you use a custom-molded orthotic or at least an excellent over the counter insert like Powerstep.
Thank you for the kind words!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Dr. Cathy. Could you share your favorite shoe stores in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area? I rely on Zappos and the Shoe Mill in Tempe and would like to check on other options. Thanks!

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

Hi Valerie,
I love Tempe's Shoe Mill, but it's a bit of a hike for me - so I usually go to Macy's on Camelback & 24th St or Dillards at Fashion Square (Scottsdale and Camelback or Paradise Valley Mall - ask for Kathleen). For New Balance, I go to the NB store on the SE corner of Scottsdale and Frank Lloyd Wright. I get my Huku One One's from Runners Den. And I love 6pm.com for great deals on Dankso and Tsubo.

Unknown said...

Good Dr,
Hope you can help~ I have hallux rigidus, a wider foot and am looking for dressy boots and shoes? I've been contained to burkies which I love but they are not dressy at all. In addition not many shoes stores in my area to try on shoes. Thanking you in advance for any suggestions.

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

Hi Mary,
Thanks for reading the blog! Have you checked my other lists? I have a top 25 boot list and two top 20 dress shoe lists, which you can find through the search block on my blog. You are looking for a boot with a thick, rigid and non-flex sole. Check out Dansko boots, some Uggs, and even Fit-Flop has some boots on their website. If you find a boot or dress shoe that fits your width, then an option is to take the shoe (if it has a leather sole) to a cobbler or shoe repair to have them add a full length metal shank and sole buildup to the bottom of the shoes. Once you eleminate motion through the bottom of your foot, the shoe or boot becomes far more comfortable.
Hope this was helpful!

kristi said...

Hello Dr.

I found your site by accident when I was in Scottsdale Az for special medical treatment at the Freedom pain hospital. I had a bit of a fall and broke both ankles I have 16 screws and 2 plates in right foot. Left foot has 8 screws and a plate. I found this sandal called woman synergy-sunday stroll maryjanes. I am wondering your opinion on them. They weigh like an ounce, have memoryfoam inside great arch support. A back. I am only out about 9 weeks in my healing but really need to get some shoes. Thank You for your site. I so wish I would have found it earlier to come see you in AZ. Coming back in June for my infusions, maybe I could make a appt to see you. Again thanks so much
Kristi Danielson

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

Hi Kristi,
So sorry to hear that you've had such a bad injury! Please don't wear the Synergy Sunday Stroll! They are a disaster for anyone's feet!! Once you are healed, a much better shoe that looks very similar is the Mary Jane wedge shoe by Steve Madden, which has a rigid sole that will not put motion through your joints which have been fused for no motion with plates and screws. At nine weeks out, I don't think that you're ready for even this shoe. Focus on getting back to normal activities (under the supervision of your doctor, of course) with the New Balance 928 as a walking shoe and the Rx Crocs Ultimate Cloud or Relief as a bedroom slipper.
If you are in Scottsdale, I would love to see you. Please bring in one bag of shoes that you are wearing so we can talk about them. Also, I would love to see any x-rays if you have them.
Glad you're getting better!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dr. McCarthy,
what shoes do you recommend for narrow heels and a wide forefoot?

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

Good questions...
Are you male or female?
What type of shoe? Sneakers, dress, sandals, or bedroom slippers?
Extra info always helps!

Irene said...

hi..im a 36 female long distance runner recovering from a 5th metatarsal fracture(non jones fracture) im still in the healing process it has been 2 months since my injury occurred no surgery. Im still wearing a thick soled ortho shoe that my orthopedic surgeon gave me...I have tried to wear normal nike thick soled sneakers on my 7th week of recovery but my foot hurt after about an hour...so that didn't work back to the ortho shoe ever since...so my question is where can I find the best most comfortable shoe that doesn't look horrible or grandma-ish for this injury? price is not a problem..i have looked in all the stores but the shoes are not comfortable..and also is it possible to go back to high heels after an injury like this??

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

Hi Irene,
Sorry to hear about your injury!

For an athletic shoe (especially if you want to ease back into running), then I recommend the Hoka One One Stinsen ATR. The shoe runs small, so go to a store to try them on to get the right size or, if you order online, order larger than you wear. I wear a 9.5 and my Hoka shoes are 10.5. Also, go shopping after 2pm when your foot is slightly more swollen and ask the shoe salesperson to measure your foot. Often, after a foot injury, your shoe size can increase by up to one whole size for 1-2 years. If money is not an issue, get some custom-molded orthotics from your podiatrist. Also ask your podiatrist if he or she can dispense you a tri-lock brace to wear as you ease back into exercise and running. It will give you added stability, protection and decrease the chance of re-injuring your foot - not to mention you will feel more comfortable!

Once you are healed and cleared by your podiatrist to return to dress shoes, you are looking for dress shoes with a thick, rigid and non-flexible sole (if you like heels, think low wedges with rearfoot control). You must have a wide toebox, midfoot and rearfoot control. Tusbo's are fabulous and you will have to get them fast as they are on a 'temporary hiatus' and not making any new shoes at this time. Check out the Tsubo Asmik or Acrea. Also, try the Alegria Paloma or Abbi and a low heeled Dansko dress shoes. Ease into dress shoes and start with a low, chunky heel and a wide base, but the most importatn thing to remember is, for the rest of your life, you have to find shoes that meet these four criteria...

Any shoe you purchase must meet four criteria:
1. thick, rigid, non-flexible sole with absolutely NO motion (preferably a wide base) -- most important!
2. Wide toebox
3. Rearfoot control
4. Arch support

Yes, this is a lifelong thing and, in my opinion, everyone should be wearing shoes that meet this criteria! Shoes that bend or flex are what causes the fracture of the 5th metatarsal.

Check out 2 other articles on this blog which you can find through the search box:
My feet hurt: top ten things to do to alleviate foot pain today.
Shoe recommendations for patients recovering from lisfranc's injuries.

Hope that was helpful and good luck!

Blog: Maguba Clogs said...

These are pretty good and I think they will look awesome with skinny jeans. Actually I was looking for wooden clogs online from long, but was highly confused to choose the best one. Thanks to your post, I have got many ideas for it now.

Anonymous said...

Hideous. And the notion that shoes can't be flexible is absurd. If I couldn't wear flexible soled shoes, I'd be crippled. These surely get the ugly shoe award.

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

Hi Acton Bell,
Thanks for reading the blog and for your comments! The best wooden clogs are the Dansko and the Sanita, which I would highly recommend that you get with rearfoot control.
Have a great day!

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

Hi Anonymous,
Sorry the shoes aren't to your taste.
If your feet ever hurt (and I hope that never happens!) give my theories a try and judge for yourself. I always say that the proof is in the pudding.
Thanks for reading and best wishes,

Dee said...

Thank you so very much for sharing this information. I just started to feel pain in my toe which I have just been told is the beginning of a hammertoe.
I've been wearing open back Birkenstock Sandals for years to help plantar fasciitis, not realizing that by doing this I was encouraging hammertoe.
I am in so much pain I can't walk.
Thank you again. You are so kind to share with everyone.

Anonymous said...

Oh, you are right, once your feet start hurting so much you can't walk you will try anything! I'm back to tennis shoes unfortunately. I spent all my money on "cute" shoes, then when PF hit cutest Birkenstocks I could find. I am devastated to know what I thought was helping was making me worse.

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

Hi Dee,
Thank you for the kind words! I hope that the Birk sandals with the rearfoot strap in back helps slow the progression of your hammertoes.

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I hope that it will be helpful and thank you for reading the blog!

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These shoes are super cute but I wonder if any will work for me. I wear UCBL's for my Posterior Tibial Tendon Dysfunction in my left foot and fallen arch as well. I am a student teacher and I need a professional shoe to accommodate my bulky UCBL. Any suggestions???

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Hi ,
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I have plantar fasciitis in both feet. I could feel how comfortable these sneakers were from the moment I put them on - EVEN BEFORE I STOOD UP!!! I could feel the heel of the shoe cuddling my heel. I can not bear to wear anything but my orthofeet shoes! I like the hammer toe for toe comfort. Fit is great. I like the colors and the mesh.


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aqsa said...

I love the with Naot design as i am not comfortable with heel and it looks more comfortable then other options you have mentioned

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