Sneaker Trends

‘I’m a Podiatrist, and These Are the *Only* 5 Brands of Shoes I Recommend for Happy Feet’

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Stocksy/Ivan Gener
You know exactly what happens when you don't choose the right pair of shoes. You're left with blisters and pain. In some cases, the wrong pair of shoes can even lead to injury. According to podiatrists, there's no need to give up style for comfort. The best shoe brands offer your feet at least a little bit of both.

Whether you're looking for a pair of sneakers, sandals, or boots, these podiatrist-approved shoe brands have a wide variety of styles to make your feet happy.

The best shoe brands for foot health

1. Allbirds

You can't go wrong with Allbirds. "I wear these shoes with casual outfits for a day out with friends or around town. They have a decent amount of arch support for people to wear comfortably for a day of mild activities," says Ebonie Vincent, DPM, a podiatrist in Orange County, California. "The brand is also very environmentally-friendly, so you can love them more: You’re helping do your part to lower your carbon footprint."

2. Vionic

You have plenty of cute and comfy picks to choose from thanks to Vionic. "Vionic shoes are amazing because they have a lot of variety when it comes to style, and the consistent support you'll get on your feet is not compromised," Dr. Vincent says. "The quality and built-in arch support that's unique to all the shoes in this brand is superb. I recommend this brand to patients looking for the best of both worlds for support and style."

3. Birkenstock

Don't worry: You can keep on wearing your beloved Birks because they're one of the best shoe brands for feet, too. "The Birkenstock Sandal has an anatomical plantar footbed supporting all three arches of the foot during stance and gait, as well as offers an oblique forefoot to accommodate toe shape," says Donna Robertson, a certified pedorthist, athletic trainer, and teaching consultant for Foot Solutions.

Shop now: Arizona Platform Vegan, $100

4. Brooks

Anytime you're looking for sneakers for outdoor activities, look to Brooks. "Brooks is a premier brand when it comes down to running shoes," says Velimir Petkov, DPM, a podiatrist at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, New Jersey. "Professional athletes wear Brooks because they provide much better arch support and sturdier midsoles than other lesser brands. They also tend to have much better built quality."

Robertson is a fan of this brand—and the Ghost shoe—too: "This shoe offers an extreme lightness in weight, well-distributed cushioning throughout the plantar surface of the shoe, and—one of the features I'm most delighted to see—a forefoot lateral flare of the shoe to aid in guidance of the foot during gait toward the big toe," she says.

5. Skechers

Leave it to the OG brand Skechers to come through with some cute and comfy winter picks. "Skechers Arch Fit is a comfortable and cute shoe for people who want moderate activity and style," Dr. Vincent says. "These are a great choice for walking the dogs or walking short distances around town. The removable insert for extra padding serves as a big draw for arch supports for some people."

Are your feet in need of some TLC? Try these foot mobility stretches:

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