Popular among nurses (and most people in the '90s), clogs are comfortable enough—and durable enough—to be worn just about anywhere, by anyone. Cushy soles and spacious toe-boxes make clogs practical and a wide variety of stylish make them fashionable. In addition to protecting your precious toes from the elements, the elevated heel of clogs is good for foot and leg health, according to podiatrists.
"The benefit of an elevated heel or platform when standing for long hours is to minimize stress and strain on the calf, specifically the Achilles tendon," says Nelya Lobkova, DPM, a board-certified podiatrist at Step Up Podiatry in New York City. That elevated heel—particularly those at a height of at least 5 centimeters—can alleviate pain across the foot in places like the arch, heel, and forefoot. "Besides the prior benefits, clogs offer a more trendy alternative to the sneaker casual look while offering minimal foot and lower back strain," she adds.
That said, it's best to clog with caution. Dr. Lobkova recommends staying away from the slip-on varieties if you have high arches."They cause a small amount of gripping or curling of the toes during walking in order to keep the shoe on the foot," she says."I don't advise them for very high arch feet as their toes are typically hammered and curling in the first place, or those who have painful hammertoes."
Similarly, clogs can be risky for those with weaker ankles. "There is a bit of a learning curve with clogs," says Priya Parthasarathy, DPM, a podiatrist with the Foot & Ankle Specialists of the Mid-Atlantic. "Initially you want to break them in before moving too fast in them, which could cause injury if you are not used to it," she says. "I have found that clogs are great for people that do a lot of standing but not necessarily for people that have to do long periods of walking on unstable ground."
Take it from a podiatrist: Not all clogs are designed equally. Here are some podiatrist-approved picks to style this summer for minimum effort and maximum comfort.
10 clogs that are comfortable enough to wear all day, according to podiatrists
If your Birkenstock sandals need a break, these are a great alternative. Whether it’s to grab a coffee with friends or taking your pup on a walk around the block, Dr. Lobkova always recommends Birkenstock for casual footwear. Each pair has legendary soft footbed as well as an adjustable strap for extra support. Available in a worn black, earthy mocha brown, and a light tan.
Dr. Parthasarathy is a huge fan of Dansko. For work, where she has to look professional while being on her feet all day, she loves these oiled leather clogs in a warm, distressed honey. Expect a roomy toe-box that literally gives your feet some extra wiggle room, plus super cushy outsoles that take on shock absorption.
If you want a clog without that traditional full-clog look, meet the Dankso Season. This is another one of Dr. Parthasarathy’s go-tos, especially for casual wear during the warmer months. Each pair has beveled sole for traction while the adjustable ankle strap provides extra protection from sprains and rolls. Available in four gorgeous colors: a bright white, dark black, classic brown, and festive orange.
These clogs are cute and less than $100. Each pair is made with a traditional leather toe-box and a natural wood outsole that offers “platform-like height.” Just be sure to go a half-size up—Everlane says they run small, so save yourself the hassle (and blisters) before you buy.
Oofos are seriously the most comfortable shoes ever and their clogs are no different. They’re technically recovery shoes made with proprietary OOFoam that’s designed to cushion sore, tired feet and joints. Plus, the closed-cell foam each pair is made from is machine washable, so no more stinky shoes. Choose from a classic black, deep navy, or a stark, summery white.
Crocs are back and better than ever. If you need a clog you can wash off with a garden hose after planting flowers, these are the shoes for you. They’re incredibly lightweight and water-resistant, making them a great water shoe that won’t slip off. And they’re crazy breathable—the built-in ventilation ports are designed to shed water (or sweat…), so no more “swamp toes.”
These colorful clogs feel as good as they look. The exterior is made from a soft suede, while the interior features a synthetic lining and plush footbed that’ll keep your feet from getting sore and tired. The best colors are sunny yellow and bright red, but the olive green and sea blue are nice, too.
For a good, solid clog, Dr. Lobkova recommends Swedish Hasbeens. These Swedish clogs are all handmade in Europe using sustainable, natural materials, like vegetable oiled-leather and lime wood. Pair with a flared jean or denim shorts to complete the look.
Troentorp’s Da Vinci clogs come in a vegan leather option that are made in collaboration with the French vegan brand, Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather. Plus, they’re soled in Troentorp’s varnished bottoms, making them waterproof and slip-resistant when you’re out in the elements.
This is a Hunter tall boot in the shape of a clog. Lightweight rubber clogs are great for keeping your feet clean in the garden or by the lake. When things get muddy, just pop out the removable insole and hose them down until your next wear. The black is classic, but who can resist a bright cherry red or a fun baby blue?
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