Sneaker Trends

Slippers Are Terrible for Your Feet—These Are the *Only* Kind That Are Podiatrist-Approved

Tehrene Firman

Photo: Stocksy/Boris Jovanovic
If there's anything you should keep on your feet when walking around the house, it's slippers for arch support. Since slippers have become part of the unofficial work-from-home uniform, I asked the experts what to look for when buying a pair.  The answer is clear: "Good arch support is a must for any high-quality shoe, and slippers are no exception," says Velimir Petkov, DPM, a podiatrist at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, New Jersey.

"Good arch support cradles the arch and can prevent tendinitis and heel pain, which are some of the most common symptoms of collapsing arches," says Dr. Petkov. "Good slippers should have soft, insulating, and comforting uppers so that a person can comfortably slip into them without worrying about the width or height of their foot."

Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, a podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab member, also recommends going for something with extra cushioning and shock absorption. "Wearing supportive slippers at home is also a great way to help prevent and alleviate back, knee, and hip pain because feet are the foundation of the body," she says. "Wearing slippers and limiting the time spent barefoot can also help prevent and slow down the 'fat pad atrophy' of the bottoms of your feet. Once this happens, later in life, you're basically walking around on skin and bones. Ouch. It happens slowly and over time, but making good shoe choices daily can prevent and slow this down."

Podiatrist-approved slippers for arch support

Birkenstock Zermatt Slippers — $100.00

Podiatrists love Birkenstocks’ footbeds for their comfort and arch support. This pair has a deep heel cup that keeps your natural cushioning under the heel bone, longitudinal arch support along the sides of the footbed for stability, and a raised toe bar that encourages the natural gripping motion of your feet.

Vionic Relax Slipper — $65.00

These slippers have received the American Podiatric Medical Association’s seal of acceptance, so you know they’re good for your feet. “Vionic’s Relax Slipper is my favorite because it checks all my boxes for a podiatrist-approved slipper,” says Dr. Sutera. “It has arch support built-in, is cushioned, and is also adjustable. An adjustable slipper can accommodate one foot that may be wider due to a bunion, for example, or even adjust for when you want to pair them with your favorite cozy winter socks.” There are multiple color and pattern options to choose from: leopard, light gray, tan, black, and tiger.

slippers for arch support
Acorn Spa Wrap — $48.00

These slippers have built-in arch and heel support to keep you comfortable. There’s also a strap to tighten them up around your foot so they don’t slip off, as well as a grippy rubber sole. They come in six colors, and at this price, you might want to grab more than one.

Sollbeam Fuzzy House Slippers — $40.00

The arch support in these slippers is top-notch, not only keeping you comfortable, but also improving your foot and leg alignment. There’s also deep heel cups to provide extra padding and stabilization, a shock-absorbing rubber sole, and contoured footbeds.

Vionic Nessie Slipper — $100.00

These editor-approved slippers have a suede upper, faux-shearling lining, and a fun dreamcatcher pattern. Cuteness aside, they’re also great for your feet with top-notch arch support and orthotic comfort. They come in both black and beige.

 

L.L. Bean Women's Mountain Slippers — $69.00

These slippers have a cozy fleece lining to keep your toes nice and toasty, a rubber bottom that provides traction, and—of course—good arch support. This memory foam version is fantastic, too.

Naot Unwind Slipper — $60.00

Naot’s vegan Unwind slipper maximizes comfort and support. They’re lined with a soft fleece that’ll keep your feet warm, while the foam padding insole cushions your feet with every step. “For patients with flat feet, the wrong pair of slippers can lead to problems such as plantar fasciitis/heel pain. Naot Unwind slippers have a mattress foam insole that provides support through the arch, much like a good sandal would. This level of arch support helps to support the plantar fascia and can play a pivotal role in treatment of this debilitating condition,” Dr. Timothy Oldani, a podiatrist based out of Missouri, tells us.

LifeStride Plush Slipper Sandal — $60.00

Slip these soft slippers on for quick and easy comfort on the go. They’re ultra-supportive, featuring a cushy insole that’s shock absorbing and weight distributing, so no more pressure on sensitive joints.

Coface Fuzzy Slides — $20.00

For $20, these fun, fuzzy house slippers will give you all the support you need. You can actually see the added arch support in the outsole, providing just the right amount of lift for flat feet or sensitive arches. Available in tons of colors, ranging from classic neutrals to bright pinks and purples.

crocs
Crocs Classic — $30.00

Dr. Adam Kaplan, a podiatrist based out of New Jersey and CEO of Arcus Orthotics, suggests good old Crocs. “Oftentimes, the uglier, the better,” he tells us. While these may not be the fuzzy type of slippers you’re on the hunt for, these definitely come in handy for when you need to run a quick errand. Lightweight and breathable, they offer the arch support you need, whether you’re walking the dog, or working a shift at your job (there’s a reason why these are a go-to for many chefs and nurses).

sketchers arch support slippers
Skechers GOwalk Lounge — $56.00

Another recommendation from Dr. Kaplan, the sneaker you likely grew up with offers a wide array of shoes and slippers that offer true arch support. The GOwalk Lounge slippers come with a collapsable heel, lightweight and responsive cushioning, and they’re ultra-breathable. They’re also machine-washable, so if you end up outside in your slippers, you can easily toss them in the wash and they’ll come out squeaky clean.

Keep your feet happy with these foot mobility stretches:

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