How Do I Choose the Best Negative Heel Shoes?

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  • Written By: Judith Smith Sullivan
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2019
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Negative heel shoes were invented to provide natural support to the foot by setting the heel slightly lower than the toe. They are not as common as other types of shoes, so you may have to visit specialty stores or online retailers or look through catalogs to find the best pair for you. Even so, the best negative heel shoes for you will be comfortable, fit your budget, and be an appropriate style and design for your needs.

Even before you begin shopping, assess your needs. If you need a certain type of shoe, like a dressy black slip-on for work or sandals for warm weather, make a note of that. Write down the color you prefer and any other specific features you'd like. There are many different styles of negative heal shoes, from athletic trainers to sandals to every day work shoes for both men and women.

Next, determine your budget. Negative heel shoes are priced similarly to upper-end department store brands. If your budget is tight, remember to search for sales on web sites and at stores, especially at the end of a season.

After you have considered the style of shoe and your budget, start shopping. Start by browsing online as there are only a few brands which make negative heel shoes. Identify the brands which carry the style and color that meet your needs and fit your budget, and make a note of those shoes.


Find out if there is a local store that carries the shoes you want. It is best to try on the shoes before purchasing, not only to check the comfort and fit, but also to inspect the shoe's quality. A well made shoe has tight, even stitching, a supportive inner cushion and a flexible sole.

Visit the store and try on the shoe. Walk around the store, stand on your tiptoes, bend down, and do some other common motions for at least five minutes before making a decision about the shoe. Consider the arch support carefully, as well as the comfort around the heel and toes. If a shoe feels uncomfortable in these areas, keep looking.

Keep in mind, as you try on negative heel shoes, that the design of the shoe stretches the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon. This usually feels different from a traditionally built shoe and can cause minor soreness in the calves within the first few days of wearing. If you have physical problems associated with your Achilles tendon, negative heel shoes are probably not a good choice for you.

If you cannot find a local store that carries the brand you want, purchase them online. Be sure to check the online retailer's return policy. If possible, order from a store that offers free shipping on returns or exchanges so that you will be able to get a full refund if the shoes aren't suitable for you. If a store has a restocking fee, it will be deducted from your refund.


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Post 2

@talentryto- I agree with you completely. Not only do negative heel shoes make leg and foot pain worse, but they are also quite unattractive in my opinion. A good shoe orthotic works much better for most people.

Post 1

I would suggest that anyone who has foot or leg pain to skip trying negative heel shoes. I was recommended this type of shoe for my pain issues, and wearing them felt very strange to me. I kept trying them, thinking that over time my problems would get better. In the long run, I found that negative heel shoes only made my pain worse.

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