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How do I Choose the Best Orthopedic Shoes for Women?

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  • Written By: B. Miller
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 30 October 2016
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To choose the best orthopedic shoes for women, it is necessary to first consider what type of foot issue or gait problem you are trying to correct, then choose shoes that are specially designed for that. You may need orthopedic shoes, or you may just need to buy insoles, which can be inserted into different pairs of shoes to help correct minor foot problems. To choose the best ones for your needs, you might do some research online to figure out what type of shoe you are looking for, or even ask a healthcare professional for a recommendation if you have a specific foot ailment.

Orthopedic shoes are often best purchased online, although they may also be found at medical supply stores. Pharmacies will occasionally carry orthopedic shoes, but not often, and they are often very basic shoes. Orthopedic shoes are now available in a number of different styles and colors, and are not necessarily the boxy, unattractive shoes that most people think of when they hear this term. There are athletic sneakers available, as well as sandals, dress shoes, and boots that offer supportive orthopedic insoles.

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It may be best to shop online for shoes simply because you can search for those designed to help with a specific condition, such as plantar fascitis or an uneven gait, in which the feet roll to one side or the other, known as over or under pronation. A medical supply store may feature salespeople who are knowledgeable and able to help you select the best shoes for you, but they will typically not have the number of stylish options that are available online. Some people may also need to order custom designed orthopedic shoes for unique needs.

It is also necessary to consider whether you really need orthopedic shoes, or can simply purchase orthopedic inserts. This will allow you to wear your normal shoes, as long as they have a closed heel and toe, and simply place the orthopedic inserts inside for additional support. Orthopedic inserts are easy to find at shoe stores, and salespeople will typically be very willing to help you select the best ones for your needs. Whatever you choose to do, it is important to wear shoes that are supportive of the feet and the arches, preventing any additional pain in the back, legs, or hips from an uneven gait or poor posture; if you are unsure of your best option, it may be best to consult with and orthopedist or podiatrist.

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anon335310
Post 4

I was having severe low back pain that no doctor could figure out the cause of. At some point I also started having pain in one of my hips, followed not too long after with some knee discomfort when walking. One of the several doctors I had seen had given me a prescription to have custom orthotic insoles made, which I put aside, thinking, "how in the world is that going to help?" (you know how many doctors don't explain things to you!) But months later (after four months of physical therapy did not help at all), I decided to give them a try, since my insurance covered them 100 percent, I figured, "what do I have to lose?" So

I went and had them made (a special place makes a mold of each foot).

I'm telling you: after wearing them for a couple weeks, it was like a miracle. My lower back pain completely disappeared, as did my knee pain! (I had, in the meantime, received a cortisone injection for my hip pain, which made that pain completely disappear, and a few years later, it's still not back, so I can't say what that was).

If you have insurance coverage for them, or if not and you can afford them, I'd definitely try having special ones made up, as opposed to the ones they now sell at the drug stores, where you can step on a machine and it tells you your foot problem, etc. I mean, maybe those work for some people, but to have special ones made according to the exact shape of your foot is best. I walk a lot at work, and the custom orthotics made such a difference in me being able to walk pain-free.

ddljohn
Post 3

What's the best type of orthopedic walking shoe for feet with bunions?

bluedolphin
Post 2

@turquoise-- There are brands that make orthopedic dress shoes but they tend to be even higher on the price scale, so I'm not sure if that would suit you.

It actually sounds like orthopedic insoles would be best for you and insoles treat arch issues rather well. You can purchase insoles in different shapes for different types of shoes, so you won't have to wear the same shoe every day either.

I think you should try insoles first and if they don't help, then research some orthopedic shoe brands that make dress shoes.

If it makes you feel better, I have a pair of orthopedic shoes that I've been wearing for more than seven years. So even though they cost more, they do last for a long time.

turquoise
Post 1

I know that there are many new styles of orthopedic shoes, but I still think that they are large and ugly.

I want orthopedic work shoes with arch support that also looks good because I need to wear it to the office. It seems like orthopedic and cute don't go together.

Orthopedic shoes are also very expensive. I feel like if I do finally invest in a pair, I will need to wear it for at least five years to make it worthwhile!

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