When it comes to the best shoes, finding the right fit is essential, but comfort reigns supreme. And according to the professionals, there are a few brands that fit the bill in terms of support and all-day comfort.
Board-certified podiatrist Ernest L. Isaacson tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the best shoes simply fit and feel good. “Most feet feel better in a low heel or something with good arch support, preferably a custom orthotic, so try to avoid anything too flat or flip-flops for long walks,” he explains.
As far as fit goes, Isaacson says it’s important to make sure there’s “plenty of room for the true width of the foot” which you can determine by standing up at the end of the day when feet are swollen.
Ahead, shop the most comfortable shoes, according to the professionals.
One shoe brand that the pros agree on is Asics.
Board-certified podiatrist Sarah Abshier says Asics tend to have more space in the forefoot area which will give walkers much-need relief on long strolls.
“I am an Asics guy. Love the structure, high-quality materials, supportive footbed, breathable fabrics,” Board-certified foot surgeon Alec Hochstein tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
“The most popular running shoe and good for walking too. Good support and selection and they even carry a more stylish line,” adds Isaacson.
Shop it: Asics Tiger Runner, $60 (was $65), zappos.com
Isaacson recommends New Balance sneakers for comfort and support, especially for those with wide feet.
This pair of sneakers are designed for runners, which means you’ll feel zero discomfort no matter how far you walk. It features a cushy foam insole and incredible arch support. What more could you ask for?
Shop it: New Balance Women's Fresh Foam Arishi V1 sneakers, starting at $12.50, amazon.com
Hoka One One
Despite their bulky appearance, Isaacson and Abshier highly recommend Hoka One One sneakers.
“These shoes help reduce the impact on joints and have added cushion,” says Abshier.
Isaacson explains that the thick “rocker bottom sole” helps the foot roll with each stride rather than create shock with heel-to-toe-contact.
“This is ideal for high arch feet, those that tend to lead outward, and those with arthritis in the middle of the foot,” he says, “I’ve recommended these to many people with otherwise intractable foot issues, and they are so good I lose the patient to the shoes.”
Shop it: Hoka One One Cavu sneakers, $74 (was $110), zappos.com
According to Hochstein, Birkenstock makes the perfect summer shoes.
“Sandals are a must this time of year, and I always look for sandals that will have a structured footbed or one that will accommodate an orthotic,” he explains. “Birkenstock has classic styles and well-manufactured footbeds that mold to the owner’s foot over time — they are high quality and will last for years.”
The popular Arizona style is lightweight, features a deep heel cup, has adjustable straps, and has a raised toe bar designed to encourage natural gripping.
Shop it: Birkenstock Arizona sandals, $100, zappos.com
“I don't think you can do much better than Ecco shoes for both men and women,” says Hochstein of the brand with the American Podiatric Medical Association seal of approval.
With a wide range of styles, Ecco offers everything you need from daily work shoes to casual sneakers. “And the designs are always stylish,” adds Hochstein who notes their selection may look trendy but are comfortable enough to wear all day.
Shop it: Ecco Gillian Slip-on sneakers, starting at $50, amazon.com
Many podiatrists will tell you to steer clear from flip-flops — especially if you plan on walking for a while — but if you’re going to go for the popular sandal style, opt for a pair from Vionic.
Abshier says the brand is excellent at crafting fashionable, well-constructed shoes for every season.
Physical therapist Marsha Fechter agrees. “I have been a PT for almost 32 years and have struggled with appropriate shoes for my patient,” she explains. “Vionics are stylish and supportive and functional, and I can stand by my decision to allow flip-flops for my back and foot patients who want to stay out of pain during the summer months.”
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