These Are the Best Shoe Brands for Women for Happy Feet, According to Podiatrists
Whether you're looking for a pair of sneakers, sandals, or boots, these podiatrist-approved women's shoe brands have a wide variety of styles to make your feet happy.
Best Women's Shoe Brands for Foot Health
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
If you’ve seen anyone walking around wearing running shoes with large soles, you’ve likely seen HOKA. The brand is probably best known for shoes with oversized midsoles, but has expanded to different models that still provide support, shock absorption, and comfort for running and walking. Several of the shoes have received the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) Seal of Acceptance, which recognizes products that promote foot health.
Chaco’s shoes are designed to provide foot support for outdoor adventures, even if you’re walking up a mountain or through a river. Known for durable, non-slip water sandals, Chaco also has boots and casual wear, all with footbeds that provide contoured arch support and accepted by the APMA.
Whether you’re looking for clogs, boots, mules, or walking shoes, Dansko has something for you. Their comfortable clogs are loved by medical professionals and other people who spend a lot of time on their feet, who claim the shoes help with foot and back pain even after long days. Several of the brand’s collections have the APMA Seal of Acceptance, too.
Altra’s running shoes probably look different to all your other running shoes: they’re foot-shaped to allow your toes to relax naturally and comfortably (and the women’s shoes are designed specifically for women’s feet), and they have balanced cushioning, which means the amount of cushion under your heel and forefoot is equal, allowing for better body alignment and lower-impact on your joints. Still not convinced? Several of their running and trail shoes (e.g., the Escalante, Lone Peak, Torin, and more) all have the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
Revitalign (part of Waco Shoe Company) makes shoes that all have an orthotic-driven insole to support your arches all day long. Many of their slippers, sneakers, and even flip flops all have the APMA Seal of Acceptance.
If you love the look and ease ballet flats but have found that they often don’t provide enough support, Lissom shoes may change that. They’re lightweight and flexible, but are designed to hug your feet to provide just the right amount of support (for example, the shape of the toebox matches the shape of your foot) to let them move in a natural way. Dr. Emily Splichal, DPM, a functional podiatrist and CEO of Naboso says the brand makes cute, comfy athleisure shoes that have the perfect balance of cushion, heel toe drop, and flexibility.
Everyone needs a good pair of sneakers, and these are comfy enough to wear daily. Based on the concept of barefoot design, Origo sneakers have thin and flexible soles to support natural movement. They have a wide design for stability (and to let your toes spread out), and a zero drop heel to encourage proper posture. And they’re sustainably with locally sourced, natural materials. Dr. Splichal says Origo’s “environmentally-friendly shoe follows natural foot design, which means not only is it good for the environment, but it’s also good for the feet.”
Are your feet in need of some TLC? Try these foot mobility stretches:
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