After a long, slushy winter, spring has finally arrived! That means it is time to transition from winter boots to spring shoes. We asked Laura Pantano, a Certified Canadian Pedorthist who works at PBO Group Niagara, for some spring shoe shopping suggestions for orthotic wearers.
According to Laura, “Custom-made foot orthotics will only work properly if they’re fit in the correct shoe. The most important thing to look for when you’re shopping for an orthotic-friendly shoe is a removable insole. The insole that comes in the shoe you buy will need to be taken out and replaced with your custom-made foot orthotic.”
If you’re in the market for a new pair of athletic shoes, look for some of Laura’s favourite orthotic-friendly brands. New Balance is great for people with wide feet as they offer extra wide widths. If you have particularly high or low arches, Asics has some great styles and they’re often available in fun colours. Laura also likes Saucony’s track and trail shoes.
If you’re looking for a casual shoe, there are three brands that Laura recommends to her clients most frequently. Clarks has a great range of both casual and dress shoe styles with removable insoles. Clarks’ products are also often available in wide widths. The Orthofeet brand is particularly suitable for people who have foot issues related to diabetes or arthritis thanks to extra depth and width options. MBT is a unique looking shoe and the company makes the bold claim that their shoes are the most comfortable on earth. MBT shoes are designed to promote a gentle rolling motion and are often a good choice for people dealing with forefoot issues.
If a new pair of sandals is on your shopping list, Laura also has some brands for warmer weather footwear that she regularly suggests. Finn Comfort is a high-quality sandal with removable footbeds. While custom insoles can’t be placed inside Birkenstocks, Laura is a big fan of this brand’s highly supportive footbed. Mephisto is another great sandal option and some of their styles are compatible with custom foot orthotics.
Keep in mind that every foot is unique, so not every shoe is right for every person or foot type. Laura has some additional tips for a better shoe shopping experience, “Give yourself plenty of time so you can try on different options and visit different stores to get a feel for different brands. Go to stores that have trained their employees on how to properly fit shoes. If you’re feeling unsure about what shoe is right for you, have a foot assessment done by a Certified Canadian Pedorthist to get customized recommendations for the brand and style of shoe that will best support your unique feet and their specific needs.”