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Your Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Orthopedic Shoes

Your Comprehensive Guide to Choosing the Right Orthopedic Shoes

Lisa Kay

Lisa Kay

Lisa Kay - Founder and Designer of Sole Bliss Shoes - Shoes for Bunions & Wide Feet

Dr Brad Schaeffer

Dr Brad Schaeffer

Dr Brad Schaeffer, DPM - Board Certified Foot Surgeon & Podiatrist with the ABFAS

How to Choose the Best Orthopedic Shoes


So you’re thinking about investing in orthopedic shoes? Before you choose the right orthopedic shoes for women or men, there are a few things you need to consider. We will show you all of the best orthopedic shoes for women and a few options of orthopedic shoes for men too. The key features to consider are arch support, cushioning, a wide toe box, and adjustable straps while opting for breathable fabrics like leather to keep your feet cool and comfortable. We hope that you will find this guide to orthopedic shoes useful and be sure to contact your doctor or podiatrist to ensure that you pick the right style for your foot structure and its condition.






What are Orthopedic Shoes?


Orthopedic shoes are footwear specially designed to support the structure and mechanics of your feet, ankles, and legs. They are highly recommended for people living with foot conditions that cause discomfort or pain, as well as for those recovering from foot surgery.


The key purpose of orthopedic shoes is to provide enhanced support, helping to stabilize the foot and reduce strain on the lower limb structures through their strong midsole and outsole. They also provide superior comfort by having enhanced cushioning, which helps to absorb impact and reduce the stress on your feet and joints.




Felicity Ivory & Black Leather - Orthopedic Shoes



Orthopedics vs. Orthotics: Understanding the Difference


Do you get confused between orthopedics and orthotics? We don’t blame you! Both derive from “ortho” in Greek, meaning “correct,” and are designed to address foot problems. However, orthopedic shoes are comprehensive solutions that include the entire shoe, whereas orthotics are a medical specialty involving the creation and use of devices known as orthoses.


Orthopedic treatments can also be surgical or non-surgical and address whole-body bone and muscle problems, whereas orthotic treatments involve designing and fitting custom devices to support specific parts of the body.


Orthotics must be supplied and fitted by suitably trained medical professionals, including a full musculoskeletal assessment by your podiatrist. Once you have purchased your Sole Bliss shoes, you can further enhance support by inserting your new orthotics into your shoes to aid with movement and pain relief.






Types of Orthopaedic Shoes


Athletic Orthopedic Shoes


Specially designed to combat the high impact from running and other cardio activities, orthopedic athletic shoes need to offer enhanced cushioning and a sturdy outsole.


Orthopedic Dress Shoes


Orthopedic dress shoes need to be crafted so they can be both stylish and supportive – particularly if you are transitioning from the office to the evening. They should offer fantastic arch support, a comfortable insole and a wider toe box.


Orthopedic Sandals


Just because sandals are open-toe, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have extra support. Orthopedic sandals are typically designed with supportive footbeds, adjustable straps and more often than not, a contoured design to support the arches and align the feet properly.


Orthopedic Boots


Orthopedic boots designed for women have supportive insoles, a wide toe box and added ankle support which is essential for stability and can prevent ankle strains and sprains.


Athletic Walking Shoes


Typically designed for everyday use, orthopedic walking shoes feature good arch support, cushioning and a sturdy outsole.




Hero Black Leather - Orthopedic Walking Shoes



Our Top Recommendations:


Bunions don’t need to get in the way of staying active! Introducing Feather – our chic new sneaker for bunions which is crafted on a low platform sole and feature our ultra-cushioned and contoured footbed.





Perfect for events season, Kitty exudes luxury, comfort and style. Crafted from soft and breathable metallic taupe, these kitten heels are fully leather lined and feature our Bunion Bed stretch panel and three layers of soft underfoot cushioning.



Kitty Metallic Taupe - Heeled Orthopedic Shoes



These fashionably chunky sandals for bunions are made in soft-white, Italian crafted leather and come with a practical backstrap, our ultra-cushioned footbed and Bunion Bed stretch panel to protect and comfort your feet. Molto chic!




Bertie White & Metallic Leather - Orthopedic Sandals




What are the main features of Orthopedic Shoes


Here are some of the main features to look out for when buying orthopedic shoes:


Arch Support


The best orthopedic shoes offer improved arch support which helps to distribute pressure evenly across your feet. This is important as it helps to maintain proper foot alignment and can reduce pain and discomfort.




Cushioning is a must when buying orthopedic shoes as it helps to absorb shock and minimizes the impact on your feet when walking or standing. That’s why Sole Bliss shoes have three layers of underfoot cushioning to protect and comfort the soles of your feet and provide shock absorption. When it comes to soft, cushioned orthopedic shoes for women, we are number one! 


Wide Toe Box


A wide toe box helps give your toes some extra wiggle room, reducing pressure on them and accommodating foot conditions such as bunions and hammer toes.


Removable Insoles


You may find that your orthopedic shoes also have removable insoles, allowing for the use of custom orthotics.


Adjustable Straps


Orthopedic shoes for women and orthopedic shoes for men may also have adjustable straps, Mary Jane designs or laces which allows for a customized and secure fit that can accommodate changes in foot size or shape due to swelling.



Nancy Silver & Black Leather - Mary Jane Orthopedic Shoes



Benefits of Wearing Orthopedic Shoes


By ensuring your orthopedic shoes tick all the right boxes, you can enjoy a number of benefits including improved support, pain relief, improved mobility and better comfort. You may also find that the added support can help prevent foot injuries by reducing the strain on the feet, ankles and lower limbs.



Tips for Buying Orthopedic Shoes


Before you purchase the best orthopedic shoes, you first need to identify what foot condition you may have, be it plantar fasciitis, bunions, or even arthritis. This is because your feet will require different levels of support and cushioning. Always consult a professional before purchasing orthopedic shoes, as they can provide a thorough assessment of your foot condition and recommend the most suitable type of orthopedic shoe for your specific needs.





What to Look for in Orthopedic Shoes


We recommend that you find orthopedic shoes with breathable materials, such as leather, to help keep your feet cool and comfortable. As well as this, you may want to consider choosing a shoe style with adjustable features – think Mary Jane styles and laces – that can help to accommodate any changes to your feet while you’re walking due to swelling.


It is also important to consider how your orthopedic shoes fit too, so make sure the ones you choose are long and wide enough so they don’t rub. Your toes also need to have that extra wiggle room, while good arch support is crucial to distribute pressure evenly across your feet.





Can Orthopedic Shoes Be Stylish?


Yes! Long gone are the days where orthopedic shoes had bulky, plain designs. Just check out our extensive range, you’ll be spoilt for choice! We even have orthopedic shoes for men, which has been created to alleviate the discomfort for men with foot pain, plantar fasciitis, bunions and other foot problems.



Are Orthopedic Shoes Covered by Insurance?


Your health insurer may provide orthopedic shoes for patients with certain medical conditions that affect their feet or mobility. These are typically provided through a specific Orthotic Service, which assesses and treats patients with abnormal function of the musculoskeletal system with devices like orthopedic footwear to support or correct the function. However, please consult your Doctor for the latest advice.


Can Orthopedic Shoes Help with Back Pain?


Yes! Orthopedic shoes are designed to provide proper support and alignment, so not only can they help to support back pain but can also improve posture.





At Sole Bliss, we believe that everybody deserves beautiful shoes. Even if you suffer with your feet. That’s why we design on-trend, luxuriously comfortable orthopedic shoes for people with bunions, wide feet and sensitive soles.

If you have any questions about finding the best shoes for your feet, please contact our Customer Care team who are highly knowledgeable and here to help!

Discover our New Collection NOW!

Call: +44 (0)1923 227 400 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm UK)

Team Sole Bliss xo

When it comes to comfort, Lisa Kay knows it all! Lisa has been a Shoe Designer for over 20 years. She has used her own experience dealing with bunions to create Sole Bliss - the shoe brand dedicated to women with bunions, wide feet and sensitive soles. Lisa has worked with Italian and Spanish artisans and the world’s leading podiatrists to create the best shoes for women with bunions and wide feet. Every pair of Sole Bliss shoes contains an award-winning, podiatrist-approved Comfort Technology.

Dr Brad Schaeffer is a Certified Foot Surgeon with the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery. He trained at Hoboken University Medical Center with a 3 Year Comprehensive Foot and Ankle Reconstructive Surgical Residency.

After residency, Dr Schaeffer has continued training and crafting his skillset in cutting edge surgical techniques and regenerative medicine.

Dr Schaeffer was also discovered for the hit TV show, "My Feet Are Killing Me". He is known for bringing his eye of aesthetic medicine and attention to detail to every patient that he treats.

How Shipping Works

As soon as you place your order, you will receive an Order Confirmation email.


If you order before 11pm (Eastern Time), your shoes will be dispatched the next working day and delivered within 2 business days.


On the day of delivery, you will receive an email from Fedex confirming your delivery.


Receive your parcel and try on your shoes!


Returns & Exchanges are always FREE! You will receive a free USPS returns label inside your parcel, and you have 40 days to return your shoes to us.

Call Us

If you are hesitant about ordering shoes online, the Sole Bliss team is very happy to deal with any inquiries by telephone on 917 475 0027, Mon-Fri, 6am-12pm (Eastern Time).