Finding Fashionable Shoes That Meet Your Orthodic Needs

Shoe fashion is usually sacrificed when a custom, podiatrist-made orthodic or generic over-the-counter arch support is recommended for a woman's feet. Here's how to find fashionable shoes the will work with your orthodic inserts.

Advances in podiatry are bringing comfort to feet everywhere. Often, however, to have comfortable feet one must sacrifice fashion. A style sacrifice mostly occurs when a custom, podiatrist-made orthodic or generic, over-the-counter arch support are recommended for feet.

The choice of comfort over style seems most logical but if your profession calls for you to dress in a manner that frowns upon athletic shoes, the choice is not so easy. Or if you want to look nice for a special occasion, it can be awkward in formal wear and sneakers.For men shoe inserts are not often a problem. Their business and dress shoes are wider styles that are higher on the heel and most lace up.

For women the situation is much more difficult. Dress shoes, especially pumps, are not designed for inserts. Knowledgeable shoe sales staff have a few ideas that might help women in their quest for shoes that will work.

  • If one is using a generic, over-the-counter insert, check for more narrow inserts or even ones that are marked as 'for dress' or 'dress shoe friendly.' If the orthodics are custom-made, check with the prescribing doctor about getting dress orthodics made. Keep in mind that custom-made orthodics are often rather expensive and dress orthodics do not work in every dress shoe.
  • When making a purchase look for shoes that have a removable insole. Removable insoles are becoming more common on shoes and sandals, as the number of insert users grows. These shoes are also usually made wider and come up higher around the back of the shoe. These qualities help since dress shoes are usually created on a slimmer last (mold for the shoe) than athletic shoes and sometimes even a combination last, which will give the shoe a narrow heel. If the shoe does not have a removable insole, it is often easy to take the insole out without damaging the shoe. This must be done carefully and one must be certain they want the shoes, because often after this is done the shoes will not be able to be returned.
  • Shoes that have a strap over the top can work well with orthodics. Commonly the problem with inserts is that they take up space in the shoe leaving less room for the foot to settle in. The heel will then slip out when it does not sit into the shoe properly. If there is a strap over the shoe, it will hold the foot in and prevent the heel from slipping out. Also there are some styles of shoes that are not athletic but do have laces, which would hold the foot in place as well. Avoid shoes without a back, such as sling-backs because they rarely work for inserts since there is nothing to keep them from slipping out of the shoe. If they are a must, one can glue the insert in but remember to be certain of the purchase. Testing out the permanent placing of the insert with tape that does not leave a lot of residue is usually a good idea.
  • If the need for the shoes is a one-time or very rare event it is possible to go without your insert. Go to a well-informed shoe store and tell the associates the reason for the orthodic. Smaller, independent stores tend to have more highly trained sales associates. They can help point you to shoes with arch support and other orhtodic providing qualities. You may want to ask your doctor for recommendations on shoes that might work best for you on occasions that you cannot wear orhtodics. Likewise, one might consider wearing athletic shoes as much as possible and then changing into the dress shoes when needed.
  • If all else fails, and one is stuck wearing athletic shoes, keep in mind that athletic shoe are becoming more versatile everyday. One can always use the opportunity to be creative and dress up athletic shoes with supplies from craft stores.

Now go forth on the quest to find shoes that will work for fashion and comfort. Remember that it may get tough but there are a lot of solutions to having stylish, yet comfortable feet.