How to Choose The Best Shoes For Your Feet (Infographic)

A look at heels, ballet flats and flip-flops

woman in closet with shoes

Your genes are more important than shoe styles when it comes to bunions, flat feet or tight Achilles tendons. But you can choose shoes that keep your feet feeling better, longer.

How to Pick the Best Shoes for Your Feet #shoes #feet

Advertising Policy
Advertising Policy
Advertising Policy
  • rah54drp49

    I love, love, love to wear flip flops. I developed ball of the foot pain and did some research and found a list of sandals and flip flops recommended by podiatrists. I purchased a pair of Orthaheel flip flops and my foot pain went away. These have arch support and a deep heel cup, they feel as comfortable as athletic shoes, which I hate to wear. I now have two pairs of Orthaheel flip flops and one pair of their sandals and think they are worth every penny.

    • meabood

      Their web site seems to encourage for heel pain, yet you say good for ball of foot pain? I have terrible problems with ball of foot pain in my right foot. Was there a style(s) meant for this particular issue?

      • rah54drp49

        I too had ball of the foot pain in my right foot and I knew if I complained to a doctor I would be told not to wear flip flops. I do wear athletic shoes for exercise and when I am walking on a surface where it would be unsafe to wear an open shoe but because my little toes flop down on their sides it makes that part of my foot extra wide and wearing enclosed shoes for an extended time uncomfortable. I knew my cute but cheap flip flops from the drug store did not have enough support so I looked online and found the website for the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) and they have lists of approved/accepted footwear, including flip flops/sandals. While these do not specifically claim to help ball of the foot pain I thought it was worth a try to buy a flip flop with support so I bought a pair of Orthoheels. I only wore them, not my other flip flops, and the pain lessened and went completely away. They are so comfortable and fit the sole of the foot like an athletic shoe, I am so glad I gave them a try.

    • Joy

      Excellent choice !

    • Bev Waldron

      I love the Orthaheel sandals, flip flops and bedroom slippers. I have back, and knee problems and these really helped.

  • Wellwisher

    If walking shoes are the best, then we should encourage everyone to wear them!!

    • Susan

      I wear Birkenstock sandals. My feet perspire too much in “closed” shoes, so I wear them only when absolutely necessary.

  • NoHighHeels

    If walking shoes are the best, then non-uniformed Cleveland Clinic employees should be allowed, even encouraged, to wear them. Maybe it does not quite look as professional as wearing dress shoes with office attire, but I think it would be a great opportunity to encourage patients to wear proper shoes as well. And shouldn’t healthcare workers lead by example? Why tell them to lose weight, quit smoking and control their blood pressure if you allow them to destroy their feet with high heels?

    • Ruth Bednarczuk- DeVine

      You can find walking shoes that won’t look bad with office wear… look around… they are out there.

    • Megan Light

      I agree we should be able to wear comfortable shoes at work! I recently got a pair of Gravity Defyers and they are amazing for work. The causal shoes have the same technology as the athletic ones. My feet don’t hurt at all by the end of the day.

    • lizzilou

      Yes! I agree and it should also be allowed or even required at other places of employment. It would cut down on “days missed” from pain from bad shoes, example toe, heel, ankle and leg problems can literally put you on your “behind” or “back” from injuries, from wearing heels. Many insurance company’s could save $$$$ which saves us all in not having insurance premiums rising, if we don’t have to go to doctor with feet , leg, hip, and back problems. !!! Which all are made worse from wearing heels. Not to mention , falls and getting heels stuck in cracks, carpets and sidewalk grills, or getting on or off elevators !! Yes I have probably had all of these accidents !! LOL !!

  • Marlanew

    My foot surgeon recommended Telic sandals and approved of my Oofos sandals even though I had surgery for Achilles tendonitis.

  • mary

    The best you can do for your feet is Yamuna Foot Fitness. Exercising all 27 bones and 32 muscles found in one foot, 10%of all muscles and 25% of all bones in the body are in the foot. The feet are your foundation exercise them.

  • Regina Thompson Reighard

    I must have a 2″ heel in sandals and at least 2 – 3 heel on other shoes due to a 4 break in my ankle anything else kills my ankle.

  • Orthodoc2000

    See an European Orthopaedic doc, since there is ample knowledge, experience and non surgical as well as surgical options in one hand!

  • Amanda Snyder

    I love the vibruim shoes they are awesome. They also give great support and correct gate.

  • sexyover40

    I love Birkenstocks! They have a negative heel and are very flat. They have a wide toe box too. They are not that fashionable but I think they look cool. And, I have seen professionals wearing them.

  • ArchProblem

    I live Florida. You can’t wear sneakers all the time! You have to find good shoes with arch support! I have a arch problem from a foot injury. I look for sandals with arch support. I like “Reefs”. They support your arch!

  • Brenda Payne

    That may be all well and good, but those of us that are professionals can’t wear sneakers all day. how about some options that don’t look like something my 90 year old grandma would wear.

    • Joy

      There are several options for you to look at. Search the web for Dansko, Aetrex, Orthoheel which is now Vionics, I believe. They all have a dressier shoe type for those of us who need to wear them.

  • marcin

    Flip-flops – what about warm climate places like Philippines???

  • SantaMonicaPodiatry

    The points made above are good guidelines, but medically speaking it is recommended to wear a variety of heel heights and there are guidelines to choosing each type of shoe (from high heels, to sneakers to flip flops) to enjoy the variety of shoe choices and minimize the chance of injury or pain while wearing them. Here are our tips to choosing shoes: — you can also take your shoes in to your podiatrist and have them create padding and support to make your favorite shoes more comfortable.

  • NotSure

    Can Achilles tendinitis cause pain up and down the fibula side of your leg and a popping around the outside of your ankle? Recently received this as a diagnosis for these symptoms but, due to plantar fasciitis, I have worn walking shoes almost exclusively and don’t feel the explanations accurately describe what I’m feeling in my leg so I am trying to decide if a specialist is in order.

  • Melynda

    Olukai is. Flip flop originally made for life guards in Hawaii. They have good arches and support. Also make closed shoes I have never. Tried

  • Chrissy Loo

    ha ha ha, I have severe psoriatic arthritis that causes inflammation of the Achilles tendon and ball of the foot, tennis shoes make it 20 times worse, I wear thick flip flops (like Yellow Box) and nothing else!! Dare I put my foot inside a tennis shoe…the swelling, the throbbing, no way!!

  • carllvsports

    My trouble is that I have to wear high heels all the
    time due to my job. I started to feel pain on my feet several years ago. I
    didn’t take it seriously at that time. But now they are really painful, to the
    point that I can’t get my shoes on without a struggle. I need to take some
    measures to prevent the situation from going any worse, and fast. I heard a
    laser treatment could be effective on this type of issue. I got some
    information from here:
    Does anyone have related experience? Thanks for any advice.

  • Megan Light

    My feet always use to hurt when I wore shoes to work. I don’t even walk around much but 8 hours in uncomfortable shoes no matter if you are walking or not sucks. I recently bought some Gravity Defyers and they are amazing. I don’t feel any pain at the end of the day and the shoes are actually kind of cute, especially the boots. I am against feeling pain :)) when there is no reason to.

  • Nelda Gajdos

    I have problems with my ankles so my doctor gave me a prescription for orthotics to stop the pronation which was making my ankles hurt. I started wearing shoes and slippers from Orthaheel as well as my orthotics and I have saved myself from having to have surgery on my ankles. I also had plantar fasciitis and no longer have that either. You can buy them at Lucky Shoes but I have found better prices on QVC.

  • Cathy McLean

    The best shoe I have found for walking and working (I’m a nurse doing 12 hour shifts) are the good old earth shoe with the negative heel and wide toe. They support and comfort my feet, and have done away with my foot pain. Sure wish they would go back to the original from the 70’s!

  • Kat

    What do you think about clogs?

  • lrae78

    How good or bad is walking barefoot?

  • Peggy Legrande

    I worked for a number of years as a flight attendant at Southwest Airlines. I wore tennis / walking shoes and uniform shorts to work most of the spring/summer. When you work ten hours in a long metal tube hurling through the air seven miles up, going 500 miles per hour, it helped me smile :) :) to have comfy shoes.