Orthopedic shoes

Orthopedic shoes (Photo by Ahmet Misirligul on Shutterstock)

When you think of orthopedic shoes, you may have visions of bulky, unattractive shoes that belong in your grandma’s closet. But orthopedic shoes have undergone a jaw-dropping makeover! These are not your grandma’s shoes anymore. They’ve evolved from frumpy to fabulous, proving that style and comfort can coexist, making them a must-have for folks of all ages. We’ve done the work to find the best orthopedic shoes for women, from trendy sneakers to elegant dress shoes, proving these shoes are anything but one-size-fits-all. These pairs are ready to cater to your unique lifestyle and fashion preferences.

Wearing orthopedic shoes may help ease painful foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis. It’s one of the most common causes of heel pain due to inflammation, and a recent study unveiled a unique way to treat the condition. Doctors at the University of Pittsburgh developed a procedure where they inject fat into the foot to reduce pain. But, if you don’t have access to costly medical solutions, wearing supportive footwear is your next best bet.

Sure, here is some information about how to choose the right orthopedic footwear, optimized for the keyword “best orthopedic shoes for women”:

How to Choose the Best Orthopedic Shoes

Orthopedic shoes are designed to support and protect the feet, ankles, and legs. They can be helpful for people with a variety of foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, bunions, and hammertoes. When choosing orthopedic shoes for women, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • Arch support: Orthopedic shoes should provide good arch support. This helps to distribute weight evenly across the foot and reduce stress on the arches.
  • Cushioning: Orthopedic shoes should also be well-cushioned. This helps to absorb shock and reduce impact on the joints.
  • Fit: Orthopedic shoes should fit snugly but comfortably. There should be enough room in the toe box for the toes to wiggle freely. The heel should also fit snugly to prevent the foot from slipping.
  • Stability: Orthopedic shoes should provide stability. This helps to prevent the foot from rolling inward or outward too much.
  • Activity level: Consider your activity level when choosing orthopedic shoes. If you are active, you will need a pair of shoes that can provide support and cushioning for your activities. If you are less active, you may be able to get by with a less supportive pair of shoes.

Features to Look for in Orthopedic Shoes

When shopping for orthopedic shoes for women, look for the following features:

  • A firm heel counter: This helps to keep the heel stable and prevent it from rolling inward or outward too much.
  • A wide toe box: This gives the toes enough room to wiggle freely.
  • A removable insole: This allows you to replace the insole with a custom orthotic if needed.
  • A rocker bottom: This helps to reduce stress on the joints and promote a smooth gait.

Whether you’re a young professional on your feet all day, an active teen looking for supportive sneakers, or a seasoned adventurer exploring the great outdoors, there’s a pair designed just for you. We have gathered the top seven best orthopedic shoes for women to take the guesswork out of the equation and start you on your comfort journey. Did we miss a shoe that puts you on cloud nine? Let us know in the comments below.

Woman in sneakers walking
Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

The List: Best Orthopedic Shoes for Women, According to Experts


1. Hoka Bondi 8

This walking and running shoe earns top billing, and for good reason. Podiatric surgeon Dr. Elena Wellens told Well + Good, “They offer excellent stability, support, and shock absorption, which are things you want in a good orthopedic shoe.” These shoes not only look great and come in a variety of colors, but they also have a seal of acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association, meaning podiatrists reviewed them to ensure they promote foot health.

Hoka Bondi 8
Hoka Bondi 8 (hoka.com)

Oprah Daily says, “This is a favorite for people who need arch support because the level of cushioning is unmatched. Wear it for walking, running, and everything in between.”

“These shoes are designed with an extended heel, specialized foam, and a pillowed tongue to provide maximum support and shock absorption and minimize overpronation,” podiatric surgeon Dr. Manuel Cunha tells Footwear News. “These are ultra-lightweight with maximum cushioning, so each step feels springy and buoyant, and the breathable mesh upper keeps your toes well-ventilated, deeming the Bondis perfect shoes for standing all day. Plus, the collar is crafted in plush memory foam to reduce friction against the back of the ankle, so you won’t even have to break these in.”

2. Dansko Fawna

This classic Mary Jane shoe has a removable cushioned footbed with added arch support and also gets the thumbs up from podiatrists. Well + Good writes, “It’s a great option for a more dressy-looking shoe without feeling like a heel or unsupportive flat. Dansko is known for its high-quality footwear, and you can see it (and feel it) with its burnished leather uppers and supremely soft microfiber lining.”

Dansko Fawna Mary Jane
Dansko Fawna Mary Jane (dansko.com)

“They have a classic design that goes with any outfit, and the slight one-and-a-half-inch heel makes them feel more dressy than a flat without causing any instability,” reports SI. “They have a molded EVA footbed, and steel shank which provide you with both comfort and support, and the upper is made with 100 percent leather which means if taken care of properly, they can last you for years.”

AOL says, “These comfortable shoes have removable EVA footbeds, a comfy shock-absorbing material Egbogah recommends for cushioning each step you take, with special ergonomic insoles that provide cushioned arch support, which makes these dress shoes an ideal choice for comfort while still looking fabulous.”

3. Vionic Minna Flat

These ballet flats with arch support will have you dancing all day and night. Travel fashion girl says, “They have a removable Orthaheel insole that provides podiatrist-designed orthotic support, relief, and stability, and come in a medium and wide fit.” One wearer shares, “Love these cute orthopedic shoes. Dressy enough to wear them with a skirt or dress.”

Vionic Minna Flat
Vionic Minna Flat (vionicshoes.com)

Tania Stevens at 50 is not old writes, “Add a chic and sleek touch to any outfit with these comfortable flats by Vionic. The included orthotic insole is amazing, but you can remove it to add your own custom insert if needed. You can find these shoes in narrow, medium, and wide widths.”

A comfy flat that has ample underfoot support? Y! Sports says this shoe offers the best of both worlds and gets the Seal of Acceptance from the American Podiatric Medical Association.

4. Kuru Quantum

Dubbed the best orthopedic hiking shoe by Well + Good, podiatrist Dr. Nelya Lobkova gives her stamp of approval to this shoe for a few reasons. “They have a wide and deep toe box, giving your toes the extra wiggle room they need. The Kuru Quantum sneakers are also supportive, she says, and have a great outsole that provides optimal traction, making them a great hiking shoe. The shoes are available in eight colors, including jet black with aqua accents and violet with an orange pop.”

Kuru Quantum Sneaker
Kuru Quantum Sneaker (kurufootwear.com)

“The Kuru Quantum has a breathable upper, roomy toe box, cushioned heel, and a wide, stable base for those who need more support and comfort,” reports SI. “This shoe has a firm rubber outsole that helps you feel secure and stable with every step. The roomy toe box is great for those who like a bit more room in the front or may suffer from some foot conditions like bunions, neuromas, or hammer toes. These shoes have a bit more heft to the upper, giving them a more structured feel on top of the foot, though the integration of mesh parts helps keep the feet much cooler than an all-leather model. This shoe tends to run on the wide side and comes in both wide and medium widths.”

MSN adds, “The Kuru Quantum Sneakers have a great outsole that provides optimal traction, making them a great everyday work shoe.”

5. Skechers Go Walk Joy

If you’re looking for something more affordable, the Skechers Go Walk lineup is for you. Well + Good says, “While all orthopedic shoes should be comfortable, these are great for casual, everyday activities. Dr. Elena Wellens tells the website, ‘You can’t go wrong with a shoe from Skechers’ Go Walk lineup, which includes everything from flip-flop sandals and slides to boots and sneakers. Basically, it’s a bouncy, cushiony shoe ideal for those who want to feel like they’re walking on clouds—even if they’re walking or standing all day long.'”

Skechers Go Walk Joy
Skechers Go Walk Joy (skechers.com)

According to Mind Body Green, the sneaker gets more than 64,000 positive Amazing ratings from customers who say, “I have spent a ton of money on orthotics and this shoe beats them all for all-day comfort!”

Y! Sports says this easy on-and-off shoe is perfect for older people who need a supportive shoe. “Skechers Go Walk Joy, a 100% synthetic, lightweight pull-on shoe, is the best-selling walking shoe on Amazon. It offers responsive insole and midsole cushioning and other features, like a padded collar and breathable mesh upper for comfort and comes in three widths and a wide range of whole and half sizes.”

“Paying homage to 30 years of this sneaker series, this particular model features soft materials and pearl hues to elevate the traditional silhouette,” according to Oprah Daily. “It provides stability targeting those individuals with plantar fasciitis, shin splints, bunions, and heel spurs.”

Asics Gel Kayano 30
Asics Gel Kayano 30 (asics.com)

Well + Good writes, “The Gel Kayano 30 style can also provide added comfort to overpronators–folks whose foot rolls inward and arches flatten when walking. These sneakers offer the support your feet need and come in 11 color combinations that range from traditional black accents to cheery citrus hues.”

Road Trail Run adds, “The Kayano 30 is ASICS premium stability daily trainer. It provides max cushion and comfort while providing max support at the same time.”

7. Klaw 528

Podiatrist Dr. Lobkova, who we should point out is one of the many NYC doctors who contributed to the technical design for Klaw footwear, dubs these the “best orthopedic walking shoes for women.”  She told Well + Good “All the aspects of an optimal walking biomechanical system were taken into account to create this sneaker, including an insole with a deep heel cup, medial and lateral arch support, plenty of cushioning in the lightweight midsole, and an optimal heel-to-toe drop of 7mm.”

Women's Klaw 528
Women’s Klaw 528 (klawfootwear.com)

“The 528 orthopedic shoe has a deep, supportive heel cup, medial and lateral arch support, and a rocker outsole—a feature Egbogah recommends for anyone needing orthotic shoes,” according to AOL. “Plenty of cushioning in the midsole means less chance of developing plantar fasciitis and immediately reduces pain for those who already suffer from the painful condition.”

Stylecaster adds, “The sneaker is meant to elevate your daily steps, whether you’re rigorously working out, commuting to work, or walking for miles on end. The expertly designed arch support firmly protects and supports the length of the arch, while the lightweight midsole brings shock absorption and buoyancy.”

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.

About Amy Chodroff

Amy Chodroff is a recovering Morning Radio Show Host and award-winning broadcaster who recently retired from DFW’s Morning News on KLIF in Dallas. Fondly known as the “Chief Googler” by her friends, it was a seamless transition for StudyFinds to enlist her expertise for their “Best of the Best” franchise. Amy has an innate curiosity and a penchant for thorough research before any purchase and she’s constantly on the hunt for top-notch products. Outside of her digital explorations, Amy loves to explore the world with her husband and is the proud mother of two adult daughters. You can also find Amy on the pickleball court, perfecting her dink and drop shots.

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