I’ve had many requests for this topic and knew I was out of my depth, so I called in an expert. Kirsten over at Barking Dog Shoes gets many shout-outs from me for her unmatched expertise in finding shoes that work for fussy feet of all kinds. Read on for her recommendations for stylish shoes that accommodate orthotics!
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I’ll never forget when the podiatrist handed me my brand spankin’ new custom orthotics and said, “You’ll need to buy a pair of New Balance sneakers now and wear them all the time.” I dutifully nodded, then promptly walked to my car and cried. It was 1998 and I had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis three months prior. I was a 28 year-old middle school teacher that loved cute shoes. My tears quickly turned to resolve as I dismissed the thought of wearing glaringly white, cloddy sneakers with my skirts. No way, no how. There had to be some other type of footwear that would accommodate the orthotics. I soon became frustrated in my search, however. Remember, this was fifteen years ago. I settled on removing the insoles from my favorite purple suede Hush Puppies and shoving the orthotics in them for an anything-but-custom fit. Sigh.
Fast forward to 2013. While I would never wish chronic foot problems on anyone, there’s never been a better time for finding shoes for your much-needed orthotics. Yes, those white New Balances will do the trick, but let me help you find something with a little more style, sass or class for your work environment.
2. Israeli brand, Naot: Many styles feature a removable cork and latex footbed which is incredibly supportive yet removable for orthotics. Recommended styles: Naot Sea, Taramoa and Myna mary janes and the Paris sandal.
3. Clark’s. I honestly didn’t know Clark’s actually made a few heels with removable footbeds, but take a look at the Sugar Dust and Levee Delta. The Wave collection of casual-sporty shoes all have removable footbeds for orthotics: check out the Wave.Trek. All available in multiple widths.
4. New Balance dress-casual brand, Aravon makes office-appropriate footwear in a varietly of sizes and widths, most with a removable footbed. The Maya is their most popular style.
5. Saving the best for last, I just came across the Portuguese brand, Softwaves, at OnlineShoes.com and was thrilled to see that their closed-toe styles feature removable footbeds. The styles are precious. Take a look at the Kyoto criss-cross shootie and the Wave ruched mary jane in citron and red coral.
Do you wear orthotics? Heard of these brands before? Which styles appeal to you?