The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Top Orthotic-Friendly Shoe Brands: Look Great Without Crushing Your Feet!

Posted by on Tuesday, December 17th, 2013


Getting orthotics was one of the best decisions I ever made. I walk my two German Shepherds for an hour every day, which can really take a toll on my feet. After a while, I felt a sharp, shooting pain in my inner ankle bone and it was tender to the touch.

A quick visit with the podiatrist was all it took to get my feet molded and a pair of custom leather orthotic inserts ordered. The pain was completely gone within a week, and I was no longer wearing my shoes out along the inside sole. The only problem was that I couldn’t wear my orthotics in every pair of shoes I owned without crushing the top of my foot. So I sought some advice on orthotic-friendly shoes and here’s what I found out.

walking dogs
When walking a German Shepherd, you need the right footwear, which may include orthotics! Image Source:

 Orthotic-Friendly Sneakers

My staple shoe is a pair of Asics Gel Blur-33 Cross-Trainers. It’s loaded with arch support and comfortable padding, not to mention one of the roomiest toe boxes I’ve ever worn. After a year, the bottom treads are barely worn — with a perfect wear-pattern starting straight down the middle. That’s proof that my orthotics are working… and that these shoes rock!

Asics Gel sneakers are some of the most comfortable shoes you’ll ever wear — plus they fit orthotics with room to spare! Image Source:

Other recommended brands for orthotic wearers include New Balance — one of the top recommended athletic shoe brands of podiatrists nationwide — and Brooks, which accommodates orthotics in every model except for the PureProject shoe. All three brands are ideal for runners, walkers, and cross-trainers alike.

Dress Shoes For Orthotics Wearers

Dress shoes is where finding fashionable footwear that’ll accommodate orthotics gets tricky. For women, Dutch shoe brand Wolky has a few stylish models with extra room to spare — like the Seraphina, Tyler, and Tempo. Better yet, features brands like ECCO, Oh!, Naot, and Sofft that are definitely suitable for date nights.

Men can find orthotic-friendly dress shoes by Mephisto, Hush Puppies, Clarks, ECCO, and Bostonian. You’d never guess there were orthotics hiding in these slick styles!

men's shoes orthotics
Clarks Chart Limit for men is a surprisingly roomy shoe that fits orthotic insoles. Image Source:

Boots That Accommodate Orthotics

I always wore a trusty pair of Merrell Moab hiking boots, which have withstood the test of time and provided unparallel comfort. Of course, I can’t exactly wear these suckers “out on the town.” So other options include Clarks, which has several neat-looking boots with removable footbeds, and Aetrex.  Zappo’s also lets you search orthotics-friendly boots, which is where I found brands like Rieker, ara, and Munro American.

Men have a number of orthotics-friendly brands to choose from, including Dunham, Laredo, John Deere, Wolverine, and Drew boots — all available through a special “removable footbed” search on

The Bottom Line

With so many helpful online search options these days, there is no reason to put off getting the custom orthotics your feet rightfully deserve. Foot pain is not normal! It may take you a couple of days to acclimate to your orthotics. At first, you may feel like you’re walking on a block of wood. But once the leather softens during the warmth of wear for a perfect fit, you’ll wonder how you could’ve ever lived without your custom insoles.


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.