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kimberlily February 14th, 2008 08:52 AM

Shoes for problem feet
I have high arches, bunions and Morton's toe (long second toe). The combination of makes shoe shopping a special kind of torture :lol:

I'm looking for AFFORDABLE shoes that have good support, are cute, and won't kill my feet. A tough order to fill, but I can't afford the pricier shoes. $60-$75 is the max I can pay for a pair of shoes.

I've tried Danskos, but honestly, I don't find them comfortable. In fact, I'm selling two of the three pair I own. I'm keeping the sandals and may sell them closer to summer, depending on how they feel after wearing them around the house a bit.

Any suggestions are more than welcome!

Shell February 14th, 2008 09:07 AM

Wow, I love Dansko's, they're my new favorites. Well, how about Earth Shoes? I like the karma ones. Birkenstocks are also great. Crocs, cheap and comfortable.

Unfortunately, good shoes are pricey--there's not much you can do about that. How about just one pair of good ones? That's what I generally do. I have bad feet, so I feel for you.

Altocumulus February 14th, 2008 09:23 AM

Are your feet wide or narrow? Mine are wide, with high arches and narrow heels...they look like swim fins. I like Danskos, but I also find Merrell and Keen work well for me. The occasional pair of Clarks or Naots is ok too, but they tend to be too narrow for me - if you have narrow feet they might work for you. Crocs are so comfortable that I ignore how hideous they are and wear them all summer. ;)

Veronica February 14th, 2008 09:32 AM

Kimberlily, I think we have the same feet! I also have very LONG toes but small feet, so arches don't always line up correctly.

I've had very good luck with Merrells, especially the Belluna sandal. Borns are good if the arch hits at the right spot. I just got some Skechers, I'll see how those work. I have quite a few Diesel tennies- some are better than others. Nike Rifts are good, too. Separation of the big toe from the rest of the toes is helpful.

kimberlily February 14th, 2008 11:24 AM

Mmmkay. I hate crocs. With a burning passion. So I'm not getting those :lol:

Shell, I love the styles of Dansko shoes, but I need a 42, and they are so clunky that I look like I've got clown shoes on. The dressier styles that I'm also drawn to tend to be too narrow.

When I got my orthotics, the foot dude told me I put too much of my weight on my heels, so he said I should stay away from Earth shoes.

Altocumulus, my feet are slightly wider than the average woman's. I used to be able to get away with it, but the bunion on my right foot is getting pretty painful, and now I can't even wear my old Aeorsoles loafers, which are made from a very soft leather, without pain. I wore them to walk DD to school this morning, and my foot hurt the entire way there.

I haven't seen manty styles of Clark's that I like. I'll have to check out Keen, Merrell and Born. I tried some Born shoes a while back but they were too narrow and made my bunion hurt immediately. Veronica, do you know if they come in wider widths?

Medievalsilver February 14th, 2008 11:38 AM

I agree with Veronica. I have two pairs of Merrells, and I love wearing them. I would also would recomend Medieval Moccasins: they are very comfortable and you add arch supports to them.

kimberlily February 14th, 2008 11:54 AM

Those are cute, Medievalsilver, but would only go with one outfit in my wardrobe ;)

Medievalsilver February 14th, 2008 04:36 PM


Originally Posted by kimberlily
Those are cute, Medievalsilver, but would only go with one outfit in my wardrobe ;)

I wear mine with everything, I got the green pair.

Islandgrrl February 14th, 2008 04:59 PM

I have sort of problem feet too. Really long toes (2nd & 3rd are longer than my big toe), little feet with a wide forefoot and narrow heel (ugh) - I'm 5'9" and only wear a size 7.5.

I know you said you can't do Dansko (they seem to be the very best for my foot, and just about the only thing I wear anymore other than my running shoes), and that's unfortunate because they're reasonably affordable if you can find them on sale.

A couple of brands I've tried with success are Haflinger (they make awesome felted clogs - kind of on the wide side; Rieker - had a pair of slides that I wore until I wore them totally out; Josef Siebel - really, really, really comfy shoes even if they are not the most attractive; my guilty pleasure: a pair of Cydwoq's my aunt gave me because they hurt her feet (not mine!)(and NOT cheap).

I discovered a long, long time ago that buying cheap shoes is just not ever going to work for me. On the other hand, a pair of Dansko clogs (at anywhere from $95 to $120) lasts me at least 5 years before they need replacing. So I can't complain too much.

Good luck!

Shell February 14th, 2008 05:12 PM

Kimberlily, you mention orthotics, are they the kind made especially for your foot by a podiatrist?

I ask because my doc told me to do that, but I went instead to a store called "Good Feet" because they make orthotics that correct the problem, not just support the current foot/arch shape, if that makes sense. I loved mine, and wore them all of the time. My feet are so much better now, that I only wear them if I have a serious problem (once every few years).

Everyone I know with custom supports just keeps getting worse.

I don't know if this would apply to or help you, I just thought I'd mention my experience.

Euphony February 14th, 2008 05:13 PM

Yep, I know you hate Crocs - but have you seen their site lately?? They have oodles of new styles. Don't mind me I have some super ugly ones, and some cuter ones I just don't care - they are too comfy!

I second Medieval Moccasins - I bought a pair for my wedding and I adore them! I wear predominantly skirts and dresses though so they go with nearly my entire wardrobe (either that or I'm seriously dillusional - the jury's still out).

kimberlily February 14th, 2008 06:33 PM

Shell, I do have custom orthotics. They're sport orthotics though, since I'm a runner and need serious support or my knee blows out.

Do you have custom ones, or are yours off the rack?

Flying Betty February 14th, 2008 10:41 PM

I have wide feet and finally gave in to the reality that I just cannot wear regular width shoes and have to fork over the money for decent quality shoes. That said, are there any outlet malls in your area? I got several pairs of nicely fitting Easy Spirits at one this fall when I started working and needed a more professional wardrobe. Ecco is another brand that fits me nicely (but $$) along with Born. In general, European brands or brands that are European style run wider than American shoes.

kimberlily February 14th, 2008 10:57 PM

Thanks for the feedback, Flying Betty. There's an outlet mall not far from my house, but it doesn't have much in the way of shoes. I am hoping to make a trip to DSW soon though.

For the record, here are my poor feet. I've been wearing bunion splints at night, and they help, but I wake up in the wee hours and take them off because they start bothering me.

The bunion on the right foot hurts a lot. I am sure that surgery is in my future, but with two kids under 6 and nobody to help me with them while DH is at work, my feet will have to wait.

Anje February 14th, 2008 11:10 PM

Just writing in to comiserate. I have flat feet and tailor's bunions (courtesy of a podiatrist who should be sued), long toes and big hard plastic orthotics. (The othotics are a pain to fit into shoes, but for me they are THE only option, and when I got them at age 17, I discovered that it was possible to walk without constant pain.) My main problem with shoe shopping, though, is that at 5'7" I wear a size 11, men's. At this point I'm contemplating checking the drag queen stores in Chicago for shoes.

Veronica February 15th, 2008 06:36 PM


Originally Posted by kimberlily

I haven't seen manty styles of Clark's that I like. I'll have to check out Keen, Merrell and Born. I tried some Born shoes a while back but they were too narrow and made my bunion hurt immediately. Veronica, do you know if they come in wider widths?

We didn't carry much wide widths when I worked in the shoe store- Naturalizer was one of the few that we routinely had wides in.

If you need wide, def. avoid Cole Haan. I remember that was one that ran particularly narrow.

Oh, have you tried Yoga Toes? They actually seem to help. My massage therapist has also been working on getting the muscles to release around the bunion- it seems to help as well (my other foot I had surgery on.) The podiatrist also told me to wear toe separators in my shoes. I find it especially helps with my running shoes.

kimberlily February 15th, 2008 07:06 PM

Veronica, I've heard of Yoga Toes before, but never bothered to look them up until today. I'm borderline between the Small and Medium, so I sent them an email to get their advice on size.

Caldonia Sun February 15th, 2008 08:13 PM

I have very achy feet and have to buy good shoes. Fortunately, I'm not a shoe hound, so having just a few pairs is find by me. But unfortunately, they are expensive. Naot and Merrill make some comfy shoes. New Balance came out with a line of casual shoes called Aravon. I have a pair of Mary Jane's that are extremely comfortable. If you can find good shoes on sale, but may be able to afford them. Our local shoes store have a few sales on the better ones each year and I try to catch it.

Good Luck! Sore feet ruin your day, don't they?

Veronica February 15th, 2008 09:21 PM

Finally had time to find the link- the Nike Air Rift is pricey, but I got a pair for cheap at the end of the season, and they are very comfy (limited on socks, though, because of the split toe!)

Tigerdawn February 15th, 2008 09:41 PM

I feel some of your pain, Kimberlily. I have extremely high arches and narrow feet with even more narrow heels. My second toe is also longer but I don't have any problems with bunions, thank goodness. My job requires me to stand on concrete all day. I finally caved and went to my local New Balance store and got the most expensive pair of shoes they carry. I think I paid $145. They are hideous. But, with 2 pairs of arch supports, I can wear them with only mild heel pain.

I have taken to wearing some awesome arch supports I found at Walmart in pretty much every pair of shoes I own (even my crocs). They're made by ProFoot (called Sport-something?) and they're light purple. They are guaranteed for a whole year and only cost like $4. Other people seem to like them too because they're almost always sold out when I go to get more.

I do have a problem with my second toe poking through the front of my crocs though. I just put the heel strap up when I'm going into public.

If your feet are wide and you need a lot of toe and ball room, I'd suggest Birkenstocks. They have great arches too. I got mine in Germany for a fraction of the cost. I bet one of our German LHC friends would be willing to ship some to you directly. :)

Sandie February 15th, 2008 10:22 PM

Not a specific shoe recommendation, however try . They have just about everything imagineable for any kind of problem foot.

kimberlily February 16th, 2008 10:33 AM

Ick. Birkenstocks. I know they're good for my feet, but I've never seen a pair of Birks that looked the least bit attractive to me. I'm more of a Mary Janes kind of gal ;)

Tigerdawn, I'll see if I can find those supports.

Sandie, I got my bunion splints from that merchant. I am wary of buying shoes online though, because it is such a PITA to send them back if the fit isn't right.

Katze February 19th, 2008 03:36 AM

...coming in late to this one...

I've got club feet (Tallipes deformity), extra super tiny feet AND the long second toe (foot size is a 35-37 metric, toe size can make me go up to a 38).

My feet hurt a lot and have for years, and I live for shoes that are comfortable all day.

My best recommendation is to find a BRAND that works for you. For me, Eccos are the best. No, they are not cheap, but my first pair lasted *3 full years* of living and walking in New York City, and 7 years later are old and battered but still wearable. Merrells can be OK, and some Skechers, but Eccos are far and wide the best shoes for my feet. The best Eccos are the 'receptor' line with heel stabilizer and metal lasts.

Other people I know with foot problems like Danskos, New Balance, Birkenstocks, Avia, and other 'health' shoes. Again, you should expect to pay around 100 $ for them, but most of these brands are built to last.

quidscribis February 19th, 2008 03:54 AM

I officially wish I lived in civilization. The only shoes available here are from Bata or the like (typically rubber flip flops or sandals with hard soles). Seriously uncomfortable and not good if you have problem feet or big feet. I wear a 42 (or 10 for North Americans), wide, and have bunions and a collagen defect that means that the bones in my feet subluxate and dislocate all the live long day (along with my other joints, but this is a thread about feet, so...) I would so love to get decent shoes.

But I did find Birkenstocks at one store here, and despite them not being at all attractive (to me), I bought a pair anyway. And that's what I wear the majority of the time since they're the only ones that don't cause more pain. *sigh*

kimberlily February 19th, 2008 10:00 AM

I'm going shoe shopping today. Hopefully I'll be able to find SOMETHING comfortable. I don't live near any stores that specialize in "comfort" shoes, but I'm going to hit Macy's since they have a pretty good selection, and apparently there's a new store in the mall that sells comfort shoes but they don't have a brand list on their website.

Abanilla_Surfer February 22nd, 2008 11:08 AM


Originally Posted by kimberlily
I am wary of buying shoes online though, because it is such a PITA to send them back if the fit isn't right.

I hear you on that one. I'm a 43 in Spain and the standard stock in the stores stops at 41. I also have very narrow feet which means that even if I can find my size for length they just slip off. So for the last 5 months I've been living in men's trainers. I do have some dressey shoes that are okay if I go out for a meal but I couldn't wear them if were standing or walking. So I end up living in jeans so that my trainers don't look odd.

The other thing is that I know from many years of shoe shopping that 99.7% of everything I try won't fit and I'd be embarrassed about sending back everything I tried if the suppliers sizes didn't suit me.

eaglesflight February 26th, 2008 10:02 PM

I'm amazed to see people in this thread describing $75-80 shoes as low priced. In the past couple of years, I have realized that one may have to buy more expensive *fill in the blank* (just about every product, including shoes) than you can find in Wal*Mart and Family Dollar to get any kind of quality or lifespan out of the product. (Yes, I'm that cheap.)

Thus, my most recent acquisition in the shoe department came in the form of a trip to Kohl's and the purchase of a $55 pair of Reeboks. I felt like I was putting the downpayment on a car or something. I am an incurable cheapskate, so I just had to keep repeating to myself that spending more money now would save me money in the long run.

So, as $55 shoes go, I can't compare, but they hold up a lot better than the $10 pair of sneakers I got at Wal*Mart the time before. They're even staying white a lot longer. I also found that Reeboks fit my feet so much better than anything I could find at Payless or the WM. See, I have high arches, resulting in high bones in the tops of my feet. Normally one could buy shoes in wide widths to compensate, but my feet are wide (they look like squares), so in order to get shoes both wide and tall enough, I had to go up a size, or two...or three. My 8.5D feet would often be clomping around in 10D shoes. (D is the same as W, regular width shoes are C and regular narrow shoes are B. A shoes are extra narrow, E are extra wide. Then you get into the whole AA, EE business.)

It had gotten to the point where I was so used to wearing giant clown shoes that when I tried on the shoes I ended up buying, I almost couldn't bring myself to buy them, because also they were a perfect fit they seemed awfully constricting. But I kept feeling the end of my big toe from the outside with my finger and marveling that I was able to slip an 8.5D on my foot and not have my high foot bone stop the shoe. I mean, I would normally try on a pair of shoes that would fit me in every other dimension of my foot but they were so short in height that I could only fit my toes into the shoe.

Now I'm trying to convince my husband to start wearing shoes that fit him. He already has to buy the $75 Reebok shoes just to get a 13W that is wide enough to accomodate his 12EEE feet. He tells me he could not get used to having his toes constricted in a 12EEE shoe. I'm thinking he would be amazed at the difference, but so far it's not even debatable with him.

Kimberlily, I really hope you find a shoe that works for you. I couldn't imagine having severe foot pain with young children in the house.

Katze February 27th, 2008 05:27 AM for price, it's worth it.

I have to have shoes that I can walk in - I like to walk despite my club feet, it's good for me - and cheap shoes just don't cut it. Those who can shop at cheap shoe stores are lucky, I guess, but the things probably still fall apart in a year or less.

$100 Eccos lasted me for over 5 years, they're about at the end of their lifespan but still wearable (just look shabby). Sadly the Receptor sole isn't something that I can get resoled (as Birkenstocks can be) so they are throwaway, at the end of the day, but worth it.

Just two cents from someone whose feet hurt almost every day.

kimberlily February 27th, 2008 12:00 PM

Eaglesflight, the most I've ever spent on shoes is $65, and that was for a fabulous pair of boots that I could not say no to (I haven't worn them in a year though, because they'll probably kill my feet now... my feet have gotten considerably worse since I bought them).

I'd be willing to shell out $100 (I only have $200/month to spend on myself) for a perfect pair of shoes that was cute, comfortable, supportive and would last, but I have yet to find anything like that. I'm interested in Soft Spots, which run around $85-90 and come in wider widths, but there's only one store locally that carries them, and it is hard for me to get there on the bus. There's always Zappos, with their free return shipping if they don't fit, but it isn't very convenient. I might just go for it anyway. I'm going to try going to the local place first though, if I can figure out how to get there and back before DD is off school (darn half-days!).

I did too much walking on Monday (about 7 miles) and my right foot hurt so much that I wanted to cry. It STILL HURT last night when I put lotion on. I want a foot transplant.

CryssieWillow February 29th, 2008 06:02 AM

Aw, I'm so sorry about that!

Ok, I am going with the unconventional suggestion but perhaps you should just forget about the shoes for a bit. You are a stay at home mom right? You live in California so you could be able just to go bare foot. It is essentially what our feet are made for. The most comfortable way to walk so to speak. If you lack callous just put on socks or something. Perhaps it will take some pressure of those bunions.
I also have weird feet. Narrow at the heels wide at the toes with a good arch and I once broke my left little toe so that one is bumpy and kinda movement impaired. And I have always had a hate-hate relationship with shoes. It is such a pain to find a comfortable pair.
In the summer I wear either an expensive pair of flipflops from the outdoor sports store, quality sandals and whenever I can I just kick them of and go barefoot. Sure, your feet get dirty, but I love it.
In the winter I wear my armyboots. They are not really cute but they are made to last and be comfortable once you walked them in. And I do have strong and healthy feet now.

kimberlily February 29th, 2008 09:06 AM

Cryssie, your suggestion won't really work for me. With my high arches, I need support. Even flipflops aren't very comfortable because they have zero support for my arches ;)

Besides, I like having soft, smooth feet :lol:

Medievalsilver March 1st, 2008 06:16 PM

As for Flip flops, I'd go with a foam pair nothing hard, or expensive. you can them just about anywhere. I have a pair of foam pair that I got a target a few years back, and they very comfortable. I have high arches as well.
Because the foam conforms to your foot.

kwaniesiam March 1st, 2008 07:29 PM

I have high arches and wide feet too and the two most comfortable pairs of shoes I own are men's skate shoes and my Dr. Martens. Vans are great sneakers, they last a long time and are very supportive and comfortable since they were originally designed to be worn for skateboarding. Maybe look into those? Also maybe try Dr. Martens. They're a bit pricey but they also last a very long time and they have a ton of different styles. Hope you find something that works out for you. Your feet are put through so much work and making sure they're comfortable and taken care of are very imporant since you use them more than anything else in everyday life.

kimberlily March 2nd, 2008 10:07 AM

Well, I went shoe shopping at DSW yesterday. I didn't find any Mary Janes, but I did find some absolutely adorable flats that feel incredible. They're Clark's (I usually don't like their shoes) and the style is called Henna (how perfect is that for a hennahead like me!). I love how the cutouts look like dragonflies :D I only paid $69 for them too.

I also got a pair of sandals, from Born. I only paid $25 for the sandals. Mine are black though.

Now all I need is a pair of Mary Janes and I'm set for shoes for a while.

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