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Can Orthotic Shoes Be “Cool?” 

Orthotic shoes have always been known for being comfortable, but they haven’t always been known for looking fashionable. Orthotics are over-the-counter or custom-made inserts designed to provide sturdy foot support and aid in keeping good posture. They come in different shapes and sizes, depending on the individual’s condition. Back in the day, if you were fitted for orthotics, you were doomed to big, bulky brick-looking footwear that put a damper on any outfit you paired them with. Now, however, orthotic-friendly shoes can be comfy and cute—you just need to know the tips for making orthotics work for you!

It’s important to note that not all shoes work with orthotics. After all, the shoes appropriate for orthotics will need some room to be placed in the spot where the previous shoe’s insole was. This means certain types of footwear—like high heels—aren’t going to work. Look for:

  • Rigid heel counter – To keep your ankles in the proper position when using an orthotic insert, your shoes must have a firm heel. This will prevent the ball of your heels from rolling or sliding away from the shoes even when you walk or run quickly.
  • Minimal torsion – Buy shoes that don’t bend easily. If you get ones that twist too much, you won’t get enough arch and support that your feet require.
  • Firm density midsole – Touch the midsole and check if it’s soft enough. Then, try to put a bit of pressure on it and check if it compresses easily. The midsole plays an important part in supporting the strength of the orthotic inserts you will use in your shoes.
  • Wider foot support – A broader footbed means greater foot support. Along with your customized foot inserts, a pair of shoes with a wide foot base will help you move with greater comfort.
  • Wide toebox – Narrow shoes will create foot issues like bunions or painful, achy toes. Plus, if you get a shoe that is too narrow, there won’t be enough room for your inserts to fit comfortably or correctly.
  • Low heel – If you need to wear inserts, it’s best to look for shoes with low or no heel. This will make certain your walk helps you maintain good posture.
  • Proper shoe depth – With enough shoe depth, you can fit an orthotic insert with no problems at all. This will additionally help your shoes from slipping off when you go for a run.

Now that you know what type of shoe you need, it’s time to pick out a pair that works for your particular style! Here are a few orthotic-friendly shoes that are fashionable and work functionally with orthotic inserts:

 Palladium Pampa Hi Originale

These shoes are super cute and great for those outdoorsy types. They work really well with inserts—just check out the Zappos comment section here for proof. These chic boots come in tan, black, and (our favorite) army green.

Rockport ProWalker NEXT sneaker

Rockport is well known for its comfortable shoes, but these kicks are especially perfect for the resurgence of ‘90s fashion. Just about everyone owns a pair of chunky white shoes right now, so no one will even know these are orthotic-friendly shoes. These come in both men’s and women’s fits, and both designs are trendy and comfy!

Sorel Kinetic Sneak


These adorable urban-chic shoes are so cool, it’s hard to believe they are also orthotic-friendly! You will love how easy these are to pair with almost any outfit! Mostly, though, you’ll love that they are so easy to slip on!

Southlake Orthopaedics has the orthotic solution for you

If you’re in need of orthotic shoes, your best resource is an orthopaedic specialist. Let our experienced team at Southlake Prosthetics & Orthotics help you discover the right insert for you! Book an appointment easily with us today by clicking here.


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