June 26, 2022 10:53 am

The 20 Most Comfortable Shoes for Men You’ll Want to Live in

A house is only as strong as its foundation. A tree is only as solid as its root system. So why aren’t you paying more attention to your feet?

Investing in the most comfortable men’s shoes now will have you earning dividends for the rest of your life — living pain-free far into your future.

“The bottom line is you want to have a good, supportive but comfortable fit,” says Dr. Glenn Davison, owner of Advanced Podiatry in New York City and New Jersey and a Fellow in the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons. “This means you should feel the arch of the shoe underneath your sole.”

A comfortable foot generally means a well-supported foot.

 

In the past, it might have been difficult to find the balance between comfort and style. But not so today. Luckily, according to Dr. Davison, today’s performance sneakers and styles designed for anatomical support are generally ideal for preventing foot ailments that can lead to the need for costly interventions, like custom orthotics, later on.

“Very simply, there’s so much research and development in sneakers nowadays, Brooks Shoes figuring out where the pressure points are and the flexibility or rigidity required for different sports,” Dr. Davison explains. “So, even your average quality name brand sneaker is going to offer a good supportive fit.”

Top Comfortable Shoes for Men

  • Best for Long-Distance Running: Allbirds Tree Flyer Running Shoes
  • Most Comfortable Casual Shoes: Adidas Swift Run Sneakers
  • Best for Standing All Day: Under Armour Charged Assert 9 Sneakers
  • Most Comfortable Nike Shoes: Nike Free Run 5.0 Running Shoes
  • Best Slides: Vionic Stanley Slides
  • Most Comfortable Running Shoes: Asics Gel-Kayano 28 Running Shoes
  • Best Slip-Resistant: Fila Memory Workshift Shoes
  • Best for Walking: Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit Workout Walking Shoes
  • Best for High-Traction Hiking: Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Hiking Boots
  • Most Stylish: Cole Haan GrandPro Rally Sneakers
  • BestTennis Shoes: On The Roger Centre Court Tennis Shoes
  • Best White Sneakers: Rothy’s RS01 Sneakers
  • Also Consider Best White Sneakers: Cariuma OCA Low Sneakers
  • Best for High Arches: Puma Axelion Sneakers
  • Most Comfortable Slippers: L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasin Slippers
  • Also Consider for Walking: On Cloud Running Shoes
  • Saucony Stretch & Go Glide Slip-On Running Shoes
  • Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Running Shoes
  • Also Consider for High Arches: Skechers Arch Fit Banline Oxfords
  • Best for Low-Traction Hiking: Free Soldier Hiking Boots

What to look for in the most comfortable shoes for men

With so many companies in the game, there’s a comfortable and stylish shoe for any and every occasion. But with sartorial norms falling rapidly by the wayside, the lines between what shoe to wear and when are becoming increasingly blurred. A stylish, comfortable sneaker can be just as appropriate for work as it is for your workout.

Dr. Davison’s key advice is to always pick the right shoe or sneaker for your needs. “You stress and strain and use different muscles in different activities,” he says.

Think closely about how you will be moving, because not all shoes are created equal. While we all may want to Marie Kondo our closets, the reality is that it’s often best to specialize for the specific road you’re planning to travel.

Comfortable Walking Shoes: Our feet are our primary mode of transportation, so a comfortable walking shoe should be a staple in your closet. A good fit is pretty easy to come by when you pay attention to ensure you have enough room in the toe box to comfortably move your toes, says Todd Allen, CPT instructor and instructor at Bande. He’s also a fan of breathable mesh uppers, which help sweaty feet stay dry and comfortable longer.

Comfortable Shoes for Standing All Day: If you’re on your feet all day long, it’s important to focus on finding shoes that will distribute your body weight evenly, according to certified pedorthist Michael Fishkin. Proper heel cushioning and midfoot and arch support will leave your foot less apt to fatiguing quickly, he says.

Comfortable Workout/ Cross-Training Shoes: Cross-training shoes, which are defined as shoes that are optimized for a workout that involves two or more types of exercise, have flourished since they came on the market in the ’80s. Our workouts today are more diverse and dynamic than ever. “The right cross-training shoes shouldn’t bite the top of your foot, and the ankle height shouldn’t be too high or too low,” says former Reebok shoe designer Paul Litchfield. “If you do a few jumping jacks or move around in them in the store, the shoes should move with you and not cause any irritation.”

Comfortable Running Shoes: If your workouts typically involve logging long miles on the road or track, you know the value and comfort of a purpose built running shoe. Running shoes have gotten so good, according to running coach Cory Smith, that you really can’t choose wrong, as long as you follow your own personal preferences. Take into account what’s important and feels good to you — whether that’s weight, stability, cushioning or any other range of factors.

Comfortable Trail Running Shoes: Trail running is thrilling because it’s full of surprises. Variable surfaces, unexpected obstacles and sudden climbs all amp up the cardiovascular benefits but pose the challenge of your feet staying consistently comfortable. Seasoned trail runners will remind you to make sure you’re selecting shoes that provide good protection and cushion, adequate grip and rugged construction.

Comfortable Workout Shoes: If you’re looking for a good generalist workout shoe, focus on any known foot problems that might cause flare-ups. Think about whether you have high arches, a wide feet or bad knees. Doctor of physical therapy Dillon Caswell, reminds us that there isn’t a shoe that can do everything, nor is there one universal shoe that works for everyone. In addition to any known physical conditions, take your own workout habits into close account.

Comfortable Hiking Shoes: Picking the most comfortable footwear for hiking is really about knowing the appropriate shoe for the type of terrain and distance you’re looking to trek. Identify whether you’re looking for a lightweight hiking shoe, a hybrid or a true backpacking boot, and go from there.

Comfortable Dress Shoes: Dress shoes today are more versatile than ever. Lucky for men, clever design innovations have made them more comfortable as well. Look for things like textured rubber outsoles and cushioned footbeds.

Comfortable Work Shoes: Work shoes used to be synonymous with dress shoes, but with traditional office dress codes out the window, most of us will find much more Hoka Running Shoes flexibility and choice in what is “work-appropriate.” These days, it seems nearly every category of comfortable shoe can foot the bill for office wear. Take what you already know about your foot into account, and you should be able to find footwear that strikes the right chord for any work situation.

Now that you’re thinking more about your feet and what may be currently causing you discomfort, ahead are the 20 most comfortable shoes for men to shop that will suit a range of needs and lifestyles.

Want to up your shoe game? Sign up for Footwear News’ Weekly Style newsletter to stay in the know on the latest sneaker releases and best footwear finds to shop now. 

Allbirds Tree Flyer Running Shoes

Most Comfortable Long Distance Running Shoes for Men

  • Sizes: 8-14
  • Colors: Natural Black, Blizzard, Yellow, Orange and Beige
  • Low carbon footprint, made of sustainable materials

When Allbirds set out to develop the Tree Flyer, it aimed to earn the silhouette a spot among the best running shoes. Crafted over two years and tested by 115 runners, the Tree Flyers were designed to go the distance. An all-new insole and flared external heel are built to provide cushioning and support, while the toe spring is created to ease the transition of your gait. “I now have just over 300 miles on them, and 3 or 4 sessions in the washing machine and they are still holding up incredibly well,” writes one reviewer. “They have a great cushion in them, but still manage to be lightweight and not bulky which is the ideal.” Plus, the shoe has an ultra-low carbon footprint and is made with a range of sustainable materials.

To note: One FN editor and former marathon runner found the shoes to be springy, soft and mostly flexible during a 45-minute run, but mentioned she had to add an insole for additional arch support to stay comfortable while running for extended periods of time.

 

sneakers

 

Buy: Allbirds Tree Flyer Running Shoes $160
BUY IT

 


Adidas Swift Run Sneakers

Most Comfortable Casual Shoes for Men

  • Sizes: 3.5 – 14
  • Colors: 11

For over 70 years, Adidas has remained one of the most renowned makers of athletic wear in the world. While sporty, the brand’s Swift Run sneaker is built for daily life. Perfect to don from work to the weekend and available in a range of colors, the slip-on style features a lightweight, sock-like knit upper and sturdy OrthoLite insole for all-around lasting comfort. Plus, it can be thrown quickly, so you can get out the door at a moment’s notice. “I own many pairs of Adidas shoes, and these are high on my list,” writes one reviewer. “Love the look and comfort.”

 

 

Adidas Swift Run Sneaker
CREDIT: COURTESY OF AMAZON

 

Buy: Adidas Swift Run Sneaker $22-$149
BUY IT

 


Under Armour Charged Assert 9 Sneakers

Most Comfortable Men’s Shoes for Standing All Day

  • Sizes: 7-15, including half sizes and extra-wide options
  • Colors: 10, including black and white and a blue and white version

The technical structure of a running shoe ensures that the weight of your foot is evenly distributed, which Dr. Fishkin mentions is an essential feature for all-day comfort. Under Armour’s Charged Assert 9 is Amazon’s number one best seller in men’s road running shoes,Oofos Outlet complete with compression-molded foam that shapes to your foot and a lightweight mesh upper that eliminates rubbing and chafing. It’s a great shoe for those on their feet all day long. “I bought these shoes for work,” comments one shopper. “I’m on my feet 12 hours a day, and these give great support.”

 

Under Armour Charged Assert
CREDIT: COURTESY OF AMAZON

 

Buy: Under Armour Charged Assert 9 $39-$87
BUY IT

 


Nike Free Run 5.0 Running Shoes

SPONSORED

Most Comfortable Men’s Nike Shoes

  • Sizes: 7-15, including half sizes
  • Colors: 7, including Pure Platinum/Off White/Photo Blue/White and Anthracite/Medium Ash/Kumquat/Blackened Blue

Nike is the world’s largest supplier of athletic shoes, but it’s also a juggernaut in fashion. Collaborations with powerhouses like Supreme, Dior and Commes de Garcon have made the brand a go-to for sneakerheads the world over. Inspired by the styles of the ‘80’s, the Nike Free Run 5.0 is no exception. The cushioned insoles and breathable upper of the comfortable Nike shoes offer a barefoot feeling that will keep you comfortable all day. “I’ve owned about 10 pairs of Nike Frees, and I will probably buy more pairs of these,” writes one reviewer. “Super comfortable.”

 

Nike Free Run 5.0 Running Shoe
CREDIT: COURTESY OF NIKE

 

Buy: Nike Free Run 5.0 Running Shoe $100
BUY IT

 


Vionic Stanley Slides

Most Comfortable Men’s Slides

  • Sizes: 7-13
  • Colors: Black and Brown

Most slides and sandals run high on convenience but low on the support and stability you need to keep your foot truly comfortable. Not so with Vionic’s Stanley slides. Of course, we’d expect no less from a company founded by acclaimed podiatrist Phillip Vasyli in 1979. These comfortable slides deliver sly support in spades with a concealed orthotic arch and custom fit thanks to an adjustable strap that keeps your foot securely in place. One Vionic customer raves, “They really do help with my plantar fasciitis and seem to immediately relieve symptoms.”

 

Vionic Stanley
CREDIT: COURTESY OF AMAZON

 

Buy: Vionic Stanley $109
BUY IT

 


Asics Gel-Kayano 28 Running Shoes

Most Comfortable Running Shoes for Men

  • Sizes: 6-16, including wide and extra-wide options
  • Colors: 16, including Black/Graphite Grey and Lake Drive/Black

Running shoes and ankle support don’t normally go hand-in-hand, according to Dr. Geller, but Asics’ Gel-Kayanos prove that this marriage can exist. These comfortable Asics running shoes have been the gold standard of support for decades and are a trusted go-to for runners around the world. The sturdy platform and supportive upper that firmly hold your feet in place have been upgraded in recent years with the addition of an FF Blast midsole in the Asics Gel-Kayano 28. One long-time Asics wearer notes, “I’ve been wearing Asics since the early ’90s when I ran in college. In my opinion, this may be the brand’s best shoe yet. Fit and stability are similar to previous Asics Kayanos, but the cushioning feels better.”

 

Asics Gel-Kayano 28
CREDIT: COURTESY OF AMAZON

 

Buy: Asics Gel-Kayano 28 $109-$275
BUY IT

 


Fila Memory Workshift Shoes

Most Comfortable Slip-Resistant Shoes for Men

  • Sizes: 6.5-16, including extra-wide options
  • Colors: White and Black

Fila’s Memory Workshift is Amazon’s number one bestselling work shoe and has garnered thousands of glowing reviews from customers. Chief among their compliments is that the shoe provides excellent traction thanks to a solid, non-stick rubber sole. The memory foam sock liner provides ample cushioning and the perforated leather upper lends breathability and ventilation. All that attention to detail will leave your foot cozy, dry and comfortable for hours.

 

Fila Memory Workshift Work Shoe
CREDIT: COURTESY OF AMAZON

 

Buy: Fila Memory Workshift Shoes $39-$129
BUY IT

 


Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit Workout Walking Shoes

Most Comfortable Men’s Walking Shoes 

  • Sizes: 7-16, including half sizes and extra-wide widths.
  • Colors: Gray/Navy and Black/Blue

If a comfortable walking shoe is on the agenda, Skechers’ Go Walk Arch Fit walking shoe checks all the boxes. The style delivers on superior arch support with a removable podiatrist-designed Arch Fit insole. The arch molds to your foot and delivers the even weight distribution and shock absorption that professionals like Dr. Fiskin recommend. The Hyper Arc technology also adapts to your stride and is optimized to provide a smoother, more efficient walking gait. And, a breathable mesh upper leaves your foot feeling dry.

 

Skechers Arch Fit
CREDIT: COURTESY OF AMAZON

 

Buy: Skechers Go Walk Arch Fit $67-$203
BUY IT

 


Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Hiking Boots

Most Comfortable Men’s Shoes for High-Traction Hiking

  • Sizes: 5-14
  • Colors: Shark/Orange

When traction and stability are paramount to ensure you make it to the top of the peak, there are few better options that fit this criteria than Scarpa’s Zodiac Plus GTX hiking boot. The style offers the exceptional traction of a technical mountaineering boot with none of the weight that can drag down the average day hiker. The Sock-Fit DV system adds water- resistance and elasticity to the tongue for a snug, mid-foot hugging fit. The Perwanger leather outer coupled with a Gore-Tex lining help feet stay bone dry. And while many hiking boots require a break-in period, Amazon reviewers report that this model feels comfortable right out of the box.

 

Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Hiking Boots
CREDIT: COURTESY OF AMAZON

 

Buy: Scarpa Zodiac Plus GTX Hiking Boots $298-$543
BUY IT

 


Cole Haan GrandPro Rally Sneakers

Most Stylish

  • Sizes: 7-15, including wide-width options
  • Colors: 6

When it comes to stylish shoes, Cole Haan has been a trusted source for over 90 years. The Grand Pro Rally carries on that tradition with a casual, versatile look. A loafer-sneaker hybrid, the perforated leather outer delivers style cred and pairs just as well with jeans and a t-shirt as it does with a button-down and khakis. However, unlike most loafers, these soles contain an Ortholite footbed for comfort. “Great looking casual sneakers,” writes one reviewer. “They’re very comfortable yet stylish. I highly recommend them, and I should also mention that they are a great value for the price.”

 

Cole Haan GrandPro Rally Sneaker
CREDIT: COURTESY OF COLE HAAN

 

Buy: Cole Haan GrandPro Rally Sneaker $73-$299
BUY IT

 


On The Roger Centre Court Tennis Shoes

Most Comfortable Tennis Shoes for Men

  • Sizes: 7-14
  • Colors: 14

Reviewers note that On’s The Roger Centre Court tennis sneaker is stylish enough to be worn anywhere but still delivers the comfort and performance you need to serve up aces on the court. Crafted in collaboration with tennis champion Roger Federer, this style utilizes On’s signature Speedboard technology to enhance agility and allow for explosive movement. And the serious Swiss engineering of the CloudTec cushioning system promotes equal weight distribution across the foot that pedorthists like Michael Fishkin recommend for guaranteed comfort. Try the pair in classic white for an ultra-versatile look.

 

On The Roger Centre Court Tennis Sneaker
CREDIT: COURTESY OF ON

 

Buy: On The Roger Centre Court Tennis Sneaker $189
BUY IT

 


Rothy’s RS01 Sneakers

Most Comfortable White Sneakers for Men

  • Sizes: 7-16
  • Colors: 12, including white

If classic white kicks that deliver on both style and comfort are what you crave, look no further than Rothy’s RS01 sneaker. Complete with a flexible upper, contoured footbed and grippy outsole for support, all of Rothy’s styles are also made with the label’s signature thread spun from recycled plastic water bottle and are 100% machine washable. “I’m kicking myself for not getting these sooner,” writes one reviewer. “They have become my everyday go to. With or without socks, it doesn’t make a difference. Walked almost eight miles in these the second time I wore them. Feet felt great.”

 

Rothy’s RS01 Sneakers
CREDIT: COURTESY OF ROTHY’S

 

Buy: Rothy’s RS01 Sneakers $175
BUY IT

 


Cariuma OCA Low Sneakers

Also Consider Most Comfortable White Sneakers for Men

  • Sizes: 5-13, including half sizes
  • Colors: white and 15 other hues
  • Made of sustainable materials

Another comfortable classic white sneaker option, the Cariuma OCA Low has over 6,800 reviews and an average five-star rating on the brand’s website. “The most comfortable sneaker I’ve ever worn,” notes one shopper. “Literally like how I imagine walking on a cloud would feel, and they go with everything!” Cariuma blends classic styling and construction with new school ethics — utilizing natural rubber, vegan insoles, organic cotton and recycled materials — to deliver a shoe that feels good and does better for the environment, too.

 

Cariuma OCA Low Sneakers
CREDIT: COURTESY OF CARIUMA

 

Buy: Cariuma OCA Low Sneakers $79
BUY IT

 


Puma Axelion Sneakers

Most Comfortable Men’s Shoes for High Arches

  • Sizes: 7-14, including half sizes
  • Colors: 8, including Black/White and High Risk Red/Black

The antidote to the pain caused by a high arch is good support. Dr. Jackie Suetra recommends keeping your ankle in a neutral position to best absorb shock. The Axelion,from the experts at famed sportswear brand Puma is designed for just that purpose. An arched sole helps optimize foot alignment, while a generously cushioned footbed softens the impact of every step. One reviewer raves, “The arch placement in many brands are mis-aligned with my arches. This is my second pair of Puma Axelions and I expect to buy this shoe again, and again.”

 

Puma Axelion Sneaker
CREDIT: COURTESY OF AMAZON

 

Buy: Puma Axelion Sneakers $56-$196
BUY IT

 


L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasin Slippers

Most Comfortable Men’s Slippers

  • Sizes: 7-14
  • Colors: Brown, Chocolate, Black, and Graphite

Rarely do those soft slippers you pad around the house in deliver the type of support your foot truly craves and podiatrists recommend. But L.L. Bean’s Wicked Good moccasin is a great solution. These offer both the luxe, plush comfort of a genuine Australian shearling lining paired with a contoured memory foam footbed and super durable rubber outsole. That combination offers both support and traction for premium comfort. And keep customers coming back for more. “There’s no better slipper in our books,” writes one. “We’ve been buying Wicked Good slippers for years.”

 

L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasin Slipper
CREDIT: COURTESY OF NORDSTROM

 

Buy: L.L. Bean Wicked Good Moccasin Slippers $79
BUY IT

 


On Cloud 5 Running Shoes

Also Consider Most Comfortable Walking Shoes for Men

  • Sizes: 7-14
  • Colors: 7

Although developed as On’s flagship running shoe, the On Cloud is one of our favorite hybrid running/lifestyle shoes. The slip-on style’s molded heel provides stability and is complemented by a memory foam insole and superior outer cushioning for comfort and support. These features have made the sneakers a common sight on sidewalks everywhere, with reviewers buying multiple pairs.

 

on cloud 5
CREDIT: COURTESY OF NORDSTROM

 

Buy: On Cloud Running Shoe $139
BUY IT

 


Saucony Stretch & Go Glide Slip-On Running Shoes

  • Sizes: 8-13, including half sizes
  • Colors: Black

If you’re looking for your sneaker to be a jack-of-all-trades, the Saucony Stretch & Go Glide slip-on is high on our list for both comfort and versatility. The Form2U memory foam sock liners, moderate stack VersaRun cushioning and breathable mesh upper deliver anatomical support appropriate for any workout. Yet these still remain stylish enough for the office or weekend brunch. “Had to buy a second pair because I liked the first pair so much!” comments one shopper.

 

Saucony Stretch & Go Glide Slip-On Running Shoe
CREDIT: COURTESY OF AMAZON

 

Buy: Saucony Stretch & Go Glide Slip-On Running Shoe $48
BUY IT

 


Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 Running Shoes

  • Sizes: 7.5-15, including half sizes
  • Colors: 8

Named after the trusted winged steed of Greek mythology, the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 is a workhorse of a shoe beloved just as much for its performance features as it is for its aesthetics. Cool, breathable uppers, a slightly wider fit and plenty of underfoot cushion provide support for running or walking, while a sleek, minimal silhouette make it perfect for both dressier and casual occasions on your calendar.

 

Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38
CREDIT: COURTESY OF NORDSTROM

 

Buy: Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 $139
BUY IT

 


Skechers Arch Fit Banline Oxford

Also Consider Most Comfortable Men’s Shoes for High Arches

  • Sizes: 4-15, including half sizes and extra-wide width options
  • Colors: 10, including Navy, Taupe and Charcoal/Black

With hundreds of five-star reviews on Amazon, Skechers’ Arch Fit Banline is arguably one of the most comfortable shoes around. And, it provides some of the most consistent support for your arches. As one reviewer attests: “I have a high arch to my feet, and finding shoes for casual wear that are comfortable all day has always been a problem. Most of the time, I’ve had to resort to inserts that just add to the cost of the shoe. This is my second pair of Skechers Arch Fit shoes and they work for me. Also knowing they’re going to be spot-on in terms of shoe size is an added plus, allowing you to simply order them online rather than having to shop in store.”

 

Skechers Arch Fit Banlin
CREDIT: COURTESY OF AMAZON

 

Buy: Skechers Arch Fit Banline $60-$200
BUY IT

 


Free Soldier Hiking Boots

Most Comfortable Men’s Shoes for Low-Traction Hiking

  • Sizes: 7-13, including wide widths
  • Colors: Black, Brown, and San

Featuring a combat boot-inspired look with the tech of a trail-ready style, the Free Soldier men’s hiking boot will leave you ready to battle both backcountry and city streets. The upper sports durable, anti-puncture fabric and waterproofing that provides general all-day use in a variety of activities. If the terrain you’re tackling is particularly rugged, you may want to look for an option with slightly more attention to traction. But if your Saturday is going to take you from the trail to yard work to a well-deserved drink at the bar, this is the comfortable hiking boot for you.

 

Free Soldier Hiking Boots
CREDIT: COURTESY OF AMAZON

 

Buy: Free Soldier Men’s Hiking Boots $56-$64
BUY IT

 

What to look for in comfortable men’s shoes for different foot types and conditions

With so many options and flexibility in what type of shoe you can wear for every occasion, the key to foot comfort may actually be understanding how your individual foot type and existing conditions affect the shoes you should be considering.

  • Flat Feet: For someone with flat feet, where your entire foot is touching the ground, wide-lasted shoes are generally the best option. Pedorthist Michael Fishkin reminds us that flat-footed folks should not look for shoes with an hourglass shape at the bottom. “Instead, they should have a straight-across design underfoot,” he says. Your foot will be cradled better, and you’ll avoid painful pinching, chafing and rubbing.
  • Wide Feet: If you ever feel pressure on the sides of your feet while wearing shoes, chances are you have a wide foot, says New York-based podiatrist and foot surgeon, Dr. Bruce Pinker. Luckily, with at least 10% of the population falling outside normal sizing spectrums, many brands take wide feet into account and offer models in varying widths. Measure your foot and ask if the shoe you’re considering comes in a wide, extra-wide or extra-extra wide option.
  • Ankle Support: The causes of weak ankles may be difficult to pinpoint, but the complaint is infamous. If you know you suffer from ankle pain or weakness, look for high-top shoes. “They’re great for additional structure and support to prevent ankle injury,” says Dr. Dan Geller, a board certified foot and ankle surgeon and advisor for Kane Footwear. But watch out: “Running shoes may not always be the best for folks with weak ankles, as some can actually roll you out,” he says.
  • Plantar Fasciitis: The stabbing pain on the bottom of your foot, known as plantar fasciitis, is no joke. It’s a very common injury due to overuse. Utah-based podiatrist Dr. Mike Rushton reminds us that it can significantly interfere with daily life. “When plantar fasciitis gets sore, it hurts badly because it’s always under pressure. You can’t take a break from standing and walking,” he says. For a comfortable shoe, find the balance between cushion and stability and pay attention to arch support. When your body weight is evenly distributed across your foot, some of the pressure on your heels will be alleviated.
  • High Arches: Having high arches means your feet are structured in a way that naturally places excess weight on the balls or heels when walking or standing. This can lead to a slew of problems if you don’t wear supportive shoes, says fellow New York-based podiatrist Dr. Jackie Sutera. “High-arched feet are best treated with supportive, softer and more flexible, lightweight types of soles,” she says. “Avoid rigid, thin and flat shoes.”
  • Knee Pain: Our knees are in constant use and difficult to rest when you’re constantly on the go. Shoes can’t fix knee pain, but picking the right pair tailored to your foot type can make you a lot more comfortable and help alleviate further complications. The key to comfort? Dr. Mark Mendeszoon, a podiatrist and owner of Achilles Running Shop in Pennsylvania, encourages frequent replacement of your shoes to ensure they’re operating at their best.
  • Back Pain: Back pain is a complex, but common complaint. Like knee pain, shoes can’t fix the problem, but picking the correct style can make you much more comfortable. When shopping, think about the type of back pain you have and consult your doctor. But if you think you get sore from being on your feet all day — as many nurses and doctors do —
    you’ll want a shoe that has proper support and cushioning, Dr. Mendeszoon says. “Achieving proper foot alignment helps prevent all kinds of aches and pains, including in your back,” he adds.
  • Heel Spurs: “Heel spurs are a growth of bone on the bottom of your heel,” explains Dr. Rushton. In some situations, doctors may intervene with surgery, but Dr. Rushton generally leans towards treating the symptoms with well-fitting, comfortable shoes. “You need a cushy heel,” he says, and recommends brands like Altra and Hoka One One, which tend to offer models with ample support.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes can cause all sorts of discomfort for your feet. Dr. Rushton advises that poor circulation to extremities can cause problems like neuropathy and loss of sensation. The key for diabetics is to look for shoes with a roomy fit, he says. Apart from shoes specifically tailored for diabetics, opt for silhouettes with wide box toes and soft shoe interiors, which will help decrease friction on the foot.
  • Bunions: In addition to being caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes, painful bunions can result when you don’t pay attention to your foot’s specific biomechanics. Unlike back and knee pain, bunions are actually treatable at an early stage when you choose the right comfortable shoe, says Dr. Davison. Look for shoes that stabilize your foot into a neutral position and help distribute weight evenly.

Meet the Author

Peter Tittiger is a freelance journalist and content consultant. He is also an avid runner and a slave to his feet. A firm believer in “No Days Off,” he regularly logs at least five runs a week and cross-trains in the pool or on a bike. He has trained for and run in nearly a hundred races, including the New York City Marathon, and has neared annual completion of the full, five-borough, NYRR half-marathon circuit.

Meet the Experts

Dr. Glenn Davison is owner of Advanced Podiatry in New York City and New Jersey and a Fellow in the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Todd Allen is a certified Personal Trainer and instructor at Bande.

Dr. Michael Fishkin is a certified pedorthist and currently treats patients at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists.

Paul Litchfield is the head of product at GoRuck, a fitness brand focused on creating sports equipment for rucking. He previously served as the vice president of Reebok Advanced Concepts for nearly three decades and served as the chief engineer of footwear and apparel innovation and product creation for global manufacturing services company Jabil.

Cory Smith has been a runner and running coach for over 25 years. He is the founder of Run Your Personal Best, Smith holds a USA Track & Field Level 1 and 2 Endurance Certification, three Maryland State records and is a two-Time NCAA Division National championships qualifier.

Dr. Dillon Caswell is a doctor of physical therapy and an adjunct professor at SUNY Upstate.

Dr. Bruce Pinker is a board-certified podiatrist and foot surgeon of Progressive Foot Care in New York state.

Dr. Dan Geller is a board certified foot and ankle surgeon and advisor for Kane Footwear.

Dr. Mike Rushton is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) and co-founder and medical director of Forward Motion Orthotics in St. George, Utah.

Dr. Jackie Sutera is a board-certified podiatrist and practices in New York and northern New Jersey. She is a member of Vionic’s Innovation Lab and practices “whole body podiatry,” guiding patients to understand how podiatric issues can also relate to their overall health.

Dr. Mark Mendeszoon is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) and owner of Achilles Running Shop in Pennsylvania.

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