I actually said these words last night to my husband, “I’m scared of spring because of my toes.”
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If you haven’t hopped the athleisure sneaker bandwagon yet, climb aboard–the trend shows no sign of fading. Comfortable fashion sneakers
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For many women with problem feet, wearing comfortable sneakers used to be a requirement from their doctor that pushed the limit of work appropriate or stylish footwear. Remember that trend in the 80’s – suits and sneakers?? But now sneakers and kicks are actually the hit of fashion. “As dress codes across America continue to loosen, sneakers have become the default footwear for workers in many professions,” according to Business Insider.
We can apparently thank millennials for the major fashion shift to so-called athleisure wear in our clothes and in our shoes according to Forbes. Webster’s dictionary defines athleisure as “casual clothing meant to be worn for both exercising and for general use.” This has meant we get to wear more comfortable, practical clothes but it has also moved sneakers into the mainstream of women’s footwear. This is great news for us gals who need supportive, comfortable shoes but still want to work our style.
So if you’re ready to join the sneaker trend or need to replace your old pair, we have some ideas. If you’re wondering which sneakers will help your problem feet, we have plenty of tips on how to find the right pair and suggestions based on various foot conditions.
For many of us selecting the right sneaker is about finding shoes that support our feet for running errands, walking the dog or commuting to work. But medical experts also have plenty to say about how sneakers support our feet if we are actually using them to work out. Did you know that running and jumping generate an impact force through the legs that is three to five times your body weight? That’s according to Orthoinfo.com, the consumer website of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. “Sports can place tremendous pressure on the feet, ankles and legs,” AAOS writes. In fact, they suggest that if you are doing a specific sport (say tennis, hiking or running) more than twice a week, you should invest in shoes designed specifically for that sport activity. Additionally, they suggest buying those shoes, as much as possible, from a store that specializes in the sport you participate in.
• According to the Philadelphia Tribune, the right size for your walking shoes may be a size to a size and a half larger than dress shoes because your feet swell while walking.
• Your feet also swell during the day, so try on sneakers in the afternoon or after a workout.
• Wear the socks you actually wear while working out, to get a correct fit
• Experts say you should check the heel counter- that back part of your shoe that supports and ‘cups’ your heel- to make sure you are getting a snug fit in that area.
• Look for a toe box that offers plenty of room to wiggle your toes, and leaves a half-inch of room between your toes and the front of the sneaker
• Make sure you go ahead and lace up that shoe to see how it actually fits
• Shoes should only bend at the ball of the feet where your feet actually bend.
• You should not be able to twist a sneaker from side to side if you are looking for a supportive shoe
So let’s look at some specific sneakers that fit today’s trends, reviewed by barkingdogshoes for comfort and style.
Many of us want to get in on the stylish Converse like sneaker trend. But if plantar fasciitis limits your shoe choices from popular styles like Converse, we’re glad to show you the Taos Guest Star, and Taos Star which comes in many colors and patterns. It’s one of our favorite sneakers for problem feet.
Another PF friendly shoe you’ll find in our post “How to find shoes for plantar fasciitis” is a stylish high top from Vionic. Their Torri Sneaker helps some women with plantar fasciitis stay on-trend and would work in offices with a more casual or trendy setting. They come with a working side zipper and EVA footbed.
More than one fashion guide is predicting grey New Balance sneaks are THE next trend, seen on fashionistas at Fashion Weeks around Europe. Check out our New Balance sneaker reviews for details on this brand.
Red shoes are also a hot trend for Fall and we’ve got a supportive red leather sneakers by Romika. The Romika Nadine gets high marks for cushion and support with a leather and fabric lining that works with or without socks.
If color trends are your thing, picking up a pair of Rose gold sneakers or stylish navy from Ara may keep you on-trend with side zipper detail.
If you’re a nurse or teacher who also wants to stay stylish, we need to pause and acknowledge the beating your feet may in jobs that often require many hours of standing. Nurses will be happy to know we recommended a sneaker by Fenton from their Nurse Mates Align collection in our recent review of the Best Nursing Shoes. And teachers can step out in the colorful comfortable Sillian Tano which comforts bunions and hammertoes with a synthetic nubuck style. These shoes from Clarks are part of our review of Comfortable Shoes for Teachers.
Whatever your profession, if you have a foot condition or other conditions that require you to look for supportive shoes, we’ve provided a guide by foot condition with several options of sneakers that may work for you.
If your one of the ‘lucky’ ladies like Kirsten Borrink, the founder of barkingdogshoes.com, who has hammertoes you know that finding shoes that aren’t painful and don’t have an orthopaedic look can be difficult. This sneaker trend can be great news for that curly toe you need to fit. You’ll want to check out her review of the cute slip-on Earth Zoey, a fashion sneaker with a lining that cushions the top of her second toe.
Another shoe in the knit fashion sneaker trend that can be helpful for hammertoes (and also bunions and plantar fasciitis) is the FitFlop Uberknit line. Their high top style hugs your feet and its stretchy upper will cushion your toes. Both the FitFlop Ballet Flat and the FitFlop High Top Sneaker come in sizes 5-11.
Knit trainers are a popular style but usually the comfy knit equates to a lack of support for your arches. We’re happy to highlight the Altra Escalante knit sneakers as part of this trend but also part of our recommendations of supportive shoes with arch support.
Moving on to slip-on sneakers. You may have noticed this style can be dressed up or down depending on the materials, color and fabric. If you’re looking for supportive options we give high marks to the Vionic slip on sneaker. The arch support is wonderful and these orthotic-friendly sneakers come with a removable footbed. You’ll also love some of the styles in our review of Wear This Not That: Lovely alternatives to the latest trends We found supportive options designed to fit well from leading comfort brands.
The Sofft Somers is a dressier slip on sneaker that may work for you. Check out our review for details on why we love the fit and support.
If knee pain is leading your shoe shopping choices, experts suggest cross trainers, as they offer more lateral support. You can find some helpful suggestions in our reviews of the Best Shoes for Knee Pain. You’ll also find several suggestions for osteoarthritis. You can read our full review of Skechers Go Walk and find the latest styles in that line here. If your knees are sore from fallen arches or overpronation, you may like the Abeo line from the Walking Company.
We know that for some readers, like one who commented on a recent post about popular comfort brands, rheumatoid arthritis has wrecked their feet and a rocker sole sneaker may be all that seems to help. The PW Minor sneaker accommodates an orthotic and has that rocker sole that may bring relief. Learn more on our rheumatoid arthritis page.
If you are one facing compromised joints, you may love the bright colors and the genius behind the pods in the design of Cloud Running Shoes by On shoes. Our reviewer said she wears running shoes, not to run, but because they cushion her painful joints. The toe box also gets high marks for working around bunions and hammertoes.
And finally let’s look at our favorite new choices from comfort brands we love. Beginning with Dansko. Known now for more than clogs, check out the Dansko Charlie. This stalwart of comfort brands has produced another winner here with a wide toe box, enhanced arch support and a removable footbed to accommodate an orthotic
And even Birkenstock is getting on the sneaker trend with the Arran Canvas recommended by one of our readers. They come in trendy red and have removable insoles.
We hope our guide to comfortable sneakers is helpful in your shoe shopping! As you can see we value our reader comments. Feel free to join us on Facebook or comment on our blog posts with shoes that have worked for your.
Business Insider “Sneaker makers are emphasizing comfort over performance — and it’s a brilliant move”
CNBC athleisure trend in fashion
Forbes Magazine “Athleisure trend is here to stay”
Orthoinfo.com – Athletic shoe information page on the consumer website of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Philadelphia Tribune – “Wearing the right socks and shoes”
Fashionista.com fashion blogger on New Balance trend
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