While they can’t necessarily work miracles, comfort shoes provide the wearer with benefits such as additional padding, observation of pressure points, wider soles and better support that improve the walking experience.
When you have a medical condition that makes walking uncomfortable, comfort shoes come to the rescue with special construction that can help make walking easy again. While they can’t necessarily work miracles, they do provide the wearer with benefits such as additional padding, observation of pressure points, wider soles and better support that improve the walking experience.
Sometimes referred to as “orthopedic,” comfort shoes are produced by a wide variety of manufacturers, such as Dr. Scholl’s , Comfort One and even New Balance. In some cases, they are geared toward specific conditions that consumers might be dealing with, such as diabetes, while in some, they are designed for the average consumer who might need some extra protection against the rigors of walking.
For example, Arcopedico is one of the most popular manufacturers of comfort shoes, and they provide options in a wide variety of styles, colors and widths. Their most notable feature is the polyurethane outsole, which helps absorb the impact of every footfall while providing additional traction to avoid slipping and falling. Other companies use similar materials for shock absorption and traction.
You’ll also find that comfort shoes provide more room for the wearer, making it easier to stave off injuries to the foot, such as calluses, Dansko , for example, produces occupational comfort shoes that have Thermoplastic toe boxes that simultaneously provide the toes with more room and provide reinforcement for the shoe itself. Dansko also uses PVC for the inner frame, which protects the entire foot without sacrificing flexibility.
Dr. Scholl’s also provides innovative designs in comfort shoes, such as their Women’s Client mary janes, which have cushy memory foam insoles for shock absorption as well as suede leather uppers for maximum flexibility while walking.
Soft materials such as gel, memory foam and leather are the cornerstones of comfort shoes, as they allow the foot to move freely regardless of the speed or gait at which the wearer walks. In many cases, these materials are combined with reinforcements, such as the PVC in the Dansko shoes, providing support for the moments when you need it most. Some are also made with different variations of canvas, which is both breathable and durable.
Additionally, most comfort shoes are built upon a foundation of extreme traction because consumers who buy these types of shoes are more prone to slip-and-fall accidents. Rubber tread is the most frequently used material for this type of feature, and can vary depending on the amount of slip resistance required for the shoe. Cross-hatched tread is generally the most effective, and is common with tennis shoes, walking shoes and sometimes even sandals.
And finally, clogs are the latest style in comfort shoes, and are preferable to many closed-toe versions because of their breathability. In years past, comfort shoes were often considered ugly and were easily identifiable, but now manufacturers are focusing on style as much as function. Clogs often have adjustable heels that allow for swelling and other changes to the foot during the day, and are sometimes just as comfortable as your standard walking shoe.