Shoes and sandals that support the foot but don't look horrible...

(51 Posts)
Lavenderhoney Fri 25-Jan-13 18:57:10

I have Birkenstocks already but need some pretty flat ballet pump type things and some more sparkly sandal( flat) which support my feet as having had high insteps they have dropped.

I have been looking in the shops but they are all so clumpy and ugly! And so expensive to look so awful. Has anyone else had this problem or can help?

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 25-Jan-13 20:34:27

Sorry, no such thing as supportive sandals or ballet flats. It's sensible all the way.


I wear mbt's to work.

LifeofPo Fri 25-Jan-13 20:41:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 25-Jan-13 20:52:05

Orthotic devices need a supportive shoe, I won't issue insoles to nhs patients without the correct shoes as they won't work. If the shoe isn't held securely on the foot the foot moves off the additions and the arch support and won't work.

I'm not spending public money if its going to be wasted, if it doesn't alleviate the pain they end up in the bin.

Now, if you go private and want to pay £60-200 for something that won't work they will order them for you. Not that the reps emphasise the profit margins when they visit private practices.

Fairylea Fri 25-Jan-13 20:59:25

Some of them are hideous but try fly flots .... used to do them.

I had awful foot problems for a long time but found I could wear their sandals comfortably. Admittedly they are a bit frumpy (some very!) .. but some of them are passable !

LifeofPo Fri 25-Jan-13 20:59:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 25-Jan-13 21:17:10

You won't be getting the full benefit from them. Plus a lot of medical intervention such as drugs and ointments are atually placebo effect.

We'd love to be able to say yes just pop these in a pair of ballet flats but it just doesn't work that way. And there are private pods out there who will take a more liberal interpretation of guidelines. There's a lot of profit in orthotic devices.

LifeofPo Fri 25-Jan-13 21:23:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lavenderhoney Sat 26-Jan-13 03:22:26

Thanks for the replies. I'm hoping for a change from Birkenstocks they make my feet so dry..

Fluffycloudland77- what are mbts's?
Fairylea thanks I will have a look,
Lifeofpo, thanks, I don't wear heels anymore unless a once in a blue moon night with my dh. It might be an option for some flats I have to support my instep - do you mean those jelly insoles. Im not in pain but i need care to prevent future problems.

LifeofPo Sat 26-Jan-13 07:59:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 26-Jan-13 08:28:25

Masai bare foot technology. They dont have a flat heel but a curved one. You roll into the next step, with normal gait heel strikes quite a strain on the body.

Plus the insoles are removable, I like comfort so I take the provided insoles out and cut nice thick 5mm poron insoles out instead.

The criteria for shoes to support the foot are;

Firm heel counter (the bit at the back, it shouldn't collapse when you push it down).

Fastens over the bridge of the foot. Velcro, buckles or lace are all acceptable. You shouldn't be able to take the shoe off without undoing the fastening.

Round toed.

Deep enough for the toes to not rub on the top of the shoe.

Now, if you look at MBT trainers and shoes they are suitable, as are normal trainers. Men's and boys trainers can be brilliant for women as they are cut on a wider round toed last.

Birkenstocks don't fasten over the bridge of the foot, as you walk your toes will grip onto the shoes, now with a high instep the toes are prone to curling under anyway. You won't notice it happening though. But it's worth noting as its not good for your feet long term.

If you've had a high arch foot it doesn't absorb the shock of walking very well, so the MBT make walking less of a strain on my body, I have high arches that pronate (go flat).

Boots are never very supportive, we recommend boots for occasional wear or wet weather gear, but not as an everyday shoe.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Sat 26-Jan-13 08:43:23

For my DD the orthopedist recommended the Ecco Biom design (we already had them because they are the only ones to fit DD's weird narrow foot, high instep, she also have a collapsing arch).
they do ballerina types as well
She does have stupidly narrow feet though so if you are wide it might not fit but it is worth a try.

The shoes seem indestructible so far she has those and they still looks new after a nearly everyday wear since september (she usually trashed her shoes during the 1st week)

toucancancan Sat 26-Jan-13 08:46:04

Fluffy, can I ask why you don't recommend flat boots, as they do have a firm heel and hold your foot over the bridge.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 26-Jan-13 08:55:47

They don't fasten over the bridge of the foot though, the fastening needs to be there or the foot moves around when you walk. Now this movement causes corns and callus formation. In some cases patients walk differently to avoid the painful areas and in doing so cause muscle injuries.

cocolepew Sat 26-Jan-13 09:07:56

I use Birkinstock insoles in everything . I have the soft padded ones.

toucancancan Sat 26-Jan-13 10:06:14

Thanks fluffy, - I'm keeping this thread for future reference.

toucancancan Sat 26-Jan-13 11:23:26

Ooohh one more question fluffy, if you have fallen arches are u better to potter round the house barefoot or always wear something to support your feet?

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 26-Jan-13 11:36:10

It depends how bad it is. If its bad enough to warrant orthotic devices then its best to wear them.

Barefoot makes your skin toughen up and form callus.

I just wear slippers.

toucancancan Sat 26-Jan-13 11:39:45


Lavenderhoney Sat 26-Jan-13 19:23:46

Thank you! This is all very helpful. I need to get some proper shoes.

I also have extra bone growing on my bone on the joint under my big toe- its hereditary, and I have to have it sorted at some point. Dreading it and was hoping to find a non surgical solution?

Diddydollydo Sat 26-Jan-13 19:45:37

Apologies for total thread hijack but having fluffy on here is too good an oportunity to miss! smile Apparently i have plantar fascilitis and it bloody hurts is there anything I can put in my shoes to help?

Diddydollydo- I have this and have found a few of the clarks styles suit. For active I have a pair of wave technology trainers I think they were called wave top lace. Shoes with extra cushioning in the heel help a lot. I find stretching exercises on an evening help loads too. I have managed to stop the pain now, but I have managed before and it came back. Anyway hope this is of some help to you.

Diddydollydo Sat 26-Jan-13 20:54:33

Thank you worn out I actually quite like Clarks shoes which is lucky! Was only diagnosed this morning after bloody months of pain.

doglover Sat 26-Jan-13 21:46:48

I, too, have P.F. Diddlydollydo and have found Fitflop shoes, boots and sandals to be a godsend. After 2 years of crippling pain, I now lead a normal life ......................... AMAZING!!

BestIsWest Sat 26-Jan-13 21:55:01

Fluffy, can I ask what you think of fitflops? (sorry to hijack OP). Not necessarily the sandals but the trainers etc? I have fitflop boots with a strap and buckle over the instep.

doglover Sat 26-Jan-13 22:06:47

The trainers are so comfy and supportive. I'm not keen on toepost sandals so only wear the ordinary styles - have about 5 pairs smile which solve all my foot-related problems. HTH

I have been wearing off the shelf orthotics in a variety of boots and shoes for several years and they have all but eliminated pain I was suffering (piriformis nerve in my leg), I only wear them about half the time now so I can wear a wider variety of shoes/sandals, but I do still need a decent sole, ballet flats and thin soled sandals are a no. It is very hard to find shoes that accommodate the orthotics though. I have big wide feet too which adds to the overall difficulty of finding anything and even without the fallen arches precludes ballet flats. They also emphasize the frump factor sad. I have to say I have always found the orthotics fine in boots, they stay put and I have never developed callouses etc.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 26-Jan-13 22:24:07

Diddly, yes the nhs can supply what you need for free, there will be a waiting list but you get sound advice from them. Sometimes it heals anyway, I get it from time to time but it goes away in me.

Lavender, sorry only way to get rid of bone is to let a surgeon operate, it doesn't mean you can't get second and third opinions and research surgeons though.

chocolatecheesecake Sun 27-Jan-13 07:34:29

Whoknows where do you get your shoes from? DM is waiting for her orthotics to be made. She is already a wide size 8 without them so advice on where to get shoes would be much appreciated.

Sorry, that was a bit misleading, they aren't all that big lengthways (6), just very wide. I really struggle with shoes, so wear boots as much as I can (even those are a problem due to wide calves) and in summer sandals with a high arch support (Scholl or Birkenstock, the types that have straps over the arch of your foot, not the ones with just a band over the toes), I only really wear shoes for work or the odd night out. When I first got the orthotics the only shoes I could wear them in were a pair of Clarks, so I wore them for every day at work (casual dress code but no open toes allowed) and for the odd smart occasion wore courts without the orthotics.

I've more or less given up on them in shoes now because I don't need them all the time and work which is sitting all day anyway, but for any serious walking I wear lace up walking boots or trainers with orthotics in. My trainers are properly fitted, gait analysed running shoes form a running shop and are the comfiest footwear ever.

Shoes - I find my best bets are Clarks, Hotters and occasionally M&S, but very rare to find a pair that are wide and can take the orthotics without being hideous I'm afraid.

Chandon Sun 27-Jan-13 17:31:53

Hi lavender, the only ballet flats I can wear are Gabor, they give a lot more support than normal flats. Not orthopedic perse, but properly made shoes that fit the foot.

polyhymnia Sun 27-Jan-13 17:42:50

fluffy could I ask what you think of Fitflops, please? Do you rate them highly, as you do MBTs?

Am mainly thinking of the trainer/sneaker type ones, which lace up, so should support the bridge of the foot.

I do like and wear the FF boots too, and have just got a pair of their Due 'ballerina style' shoes, but can see these don't meet your requirement to support the bridge of the foot. But I don't have PF at the moment, just want something comfortabe to do lots of city walking in.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 27-Jan-13 19:44:09

Podiatrists aren't trained that one make of shoe is better than another, as long as its a shoe that fastens over the bridge,has a firm heel counter and a nice round deep toe then it's going to be better for our feet than a slip on style.

I bought the MBT as I've got a high arch and I find them more comfortable.

Snowkey Sun 27-Jan-13 20:19:43

I wear clog style birkies around the house, I never walk on bare feet if I can avoid it. I have found this allows me to get away with slipping an orthotic in a normal shoe when I can or not as the case often is without causing injuries.

I've got freakily narrow quite hypermobile feet with a minimal arch on the inner side (I can just about fit my fingertips under the arch)

I love FlyFlots for sandles because I need the adjustable uppers in sandles. I Had ones with a wedge and 3 buckled straps a while back that had a nice arch support.
And when the fashion was toe-post sandles I got a pair that had a buckle strap.

OK not the sexiest shoes on the planet, but comfy.

For day-to-day:
trainers., M&S lace-ups (mum boots blush ) M&S walking boots type (can't drive in snow boots, but walking boots ok)

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 27-Jan-13 20:30:11

I was wondering where you were 70. wink

Correct me if I'm wrong I came out of the NHS a year ago.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 27-Jan-13 20:31:38

I mean about the advice I've given so far. (Geriatric care now so I'm spending more time to trying to prevent ulceration)

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 27-Jan-13 20:32:10

Fluffy please could I hi-jack.

Dd has a wide foot and a high instep. She is a keen dancer and whilst she has an aesthetically pleasing foot for ballet she needs to make sure she builds strength & needs a good supportive shoe. She knows that ballet flats don't suit her feet and despite only being 11 is sensible enough to realise she has to have what fits (she had a choice of one pair if winter boots as age couldn't get any others on & there is only one brand of trainers that fit).

After years of wearing start-rite shoes for school like these is at the moment wearing a pair of clarks shoes with a concealed wedge (clarks in the past have not been deep enough but sales assistant said some styles are changing).

The problem us that she is due to go to high school in September where the rules are totally flat shoes only. The brogue styles available are generally not wide enough. Most girls wear those , ballet flats or clarks flats with a little strap across the foot (not deep enough and only marginally more supportive I think than the ballet flats.

I am prepared to do battle with regards to a small or wedge heel if need be but I need to know if there is evidence as to what sort if shoes she should be wearing.

Yes, advice right on.
I'm mainly diabetic patient based (I avoid Biomechanics like the plague).

Sandles are a pain really because the backless types are really useless for insoles/orthotics,
And ballet shoes were really big a couple of years back, but hopefully fashions change so they'll slope off.

My pet hate is the knock off Ugg/ knackered Ugg- you know the ones that are completely wrecked at the back and the heel cup is on the floor.
I feel like shrieking "You'd be as well in a thick sock for all the support you are getting" <<calm>>

Never tried the MBTs myself but I have the pronated type of feet that they maybe don't suit.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 27-Jan-13 20:48:09

I hated bio too. As a pet hate I give you kids in heels. I had a 7yo with corns on the 5th IPJ once. All of a sudden the 15 blade looked huge.

Pictures, can she wear trousers for school? It'll be easier to find a supportive shoe for trousers rather than skirts. Her calf muscle might ache for a few weeks though if she's used to being on tip toe. But the rules for supportive shoes remain the same.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 27-Jan-13 20:53:45

No. It's a private school - skirts only.

She is prepared to wear whatever she needs to wear if it helps support her feet. She has only been wearing these concealed wedges (and its a low wedge at that) since November.

Everyone is in uggs or fake uggs out of school but she turns her nose up at them as bad for her feet.

Fluffycloudland77 Sun 27-Jan-13 21:05:30

I think you've got a lot of shoe shopping to do then, she's still growing so still needs a shoe that fits over the width and fastens over the bridge.

I'm not aware of any special rules for foot type and shoe, our training told us it just has to fit the shape of the foot and fasten.

Lavenderhoney Mon 28-Jan-13 05:25:15

Pictures, I've just bought my dd pablosky shoes. They are pricey but have a proper support for the arches. They strap on properly and are very comfy too. Perhaps you could try them?

Picturesinthefirelight Mon 28-Jan-13 15:23:32

I've just googled them and they look as far as i can tell from t the website really giid but the website doesn't show any UK stockists. I found mention of a shop in Norfolk sticking them but none near to me. We have clarks, start rite lelli kelli, ricosta & sketchers in the licsl shops.

Are they good for wide feet?

Lavenderhoney Mon 28-Jan-13 20:35:28

I don't know about wide feet- you might have to call them, or the shop in Norfolk. Dd has narrow feet and high arches, but some styles she tried on were for wide feet. Could you email her sizing and ask them? They are very nicesmile

Havingkittens Mon 28-Jan-13 22:42:17

I have these in teal, although I can't see that colour on the website. They are extremely comfortable and work well with my custom orthotics. I have had a bunion op that didn't really work out very well and now I can't wear anything that doesn't cushion the balls of my feet sad.

These are the slippers I wear, not cheap and not sexy but they are absolute bliss!

herbaceous Mon 28-Jan-13 22:56:28

Can I corner you with a foot question fluffy? I've long had pronating feet, and my arches need support all the time. I find off-the-peg orthotics as good as ones made for me.

But over the past few years my metatarsal arches have also fallen, so that the bones on the ball of my foot get sore when walking too far. It also means heels are a total no-no. Not that I can balance in them anyway. wink

Is there anything that can be done for fallen metatarsals? I'm sure I read of a procedure where pads of collagen are inserted into the foot... Or is that a vanity type procedure for heel-wearing lunatics like Victoria Beckham?

whats4teamum Tue 29-Jan-13 08:35:17

Lavendarhoney I think I have just had the surgery, cheilectomy, for the bone spurs you describe. I was dreading it but found a surgeon specialising in feet and was able to have keyhole surgery.

It was day surgery and only had one further day with big bandage and surgical shoe. Then plasters and encouraged to walk on it and put up when sitting.

A few weeks on and I am able to potter about pretty much as normal. Can drive and do normal everyday stuff. Not ready for a hike yet and if I had a job that required all day on my feet would struggle.

My surgeon said if done early can prevent you having to have a second operation. I'm really glad I had it done already.

Lavenderhoney Tue 29-Jan-13 09:44:22

Whatsfor you are really brave! Does it hurt much? My surgeon told me it would be day surgery, general anesthetic and I wouldn't be able to walk for 3 days!! I have a bone spur. He told me not to leave it too long. I see him for my back now so he likes to nag. He told me to lose weight to, and I am seeing him Thursday. He says my tummy is too bigsad compared to the rest of me.

Did you get put out completely?

toucancancan Sun 17-Mar-13 21:49:22

If worn with orthotics, would these give decent foot support?

BrennieGirl Mon 18-Mar-13 00:20:29

Pictures Startrite are now doing a brogue style shoe, so you may find them wide enough for your DD and suitable for school.

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