The Best Shoes for Orthotics

Orthotics can be a pain in the ass.

At first, they feel stiff, uncomfortable, and odd.

Finding the right pair of shoes is mandatory if you want to benefit from your orthotics.

After all, if you choose the wrong pair of shoes, they can cause more harm than good.

So what’s a good shoe for orthotics?

One that is supportive and deep enough to accommodate your orthotics.

Running Shoes

New Balance 840v3

new balance 840v3

There really is no competition when it comes to orthopedic shoes: New Balance offers a variety of shoes with a variety of specs. You can get running shoes, walking shoes, training shoes. You can get narrow widths, standard widths, and even extra-wide widths. Not to mention that there are models that vary in depth.

But what makes the 840v3 stand out from all the other New Balance models?

Well, it’s the company’s deepest shoe.

This means that if you wear orthotics that give you a lot of added height, this shoe will be able to accommodate both your feet and your orthotics, without resulting in the dreadful ‘heel lift’.

In addition to being very deep, the 840v3 comes in a variety of different widths: narrow, standard, wide, and X-wide.

These different widths ensure optimal fit, so that regardless of your feet size, you’ll always feel comfortable when wearing the 840v3.

For example, if you have naturally wide feet, you can choose the ‘wide’ width to ensure that your feet don’t get ‘crushed.’

On the other hand, if you have extremely small feet, you may benefit from the ‘narrow’ width, which offers a more snug and secure feel.

Because the 840v3 is a running shoe, it offers more support and cushion than cross-training shoes. This means that you’ll be able to stay comfortable all day long, while negating your pronation problems.

The neutral build of the shoe makes it suitable for orthotics: the shoe will accommodate the orthotics, and the orthotics will help correct your pronation problems. Never buy stability shoes for your orthotics, because you will end up ‘overcorrecting’ your problem.

In conclusion, the 840v3 is the most well-rounded shoe for those with orthotics. The deep foot bed, the personalized width, and the comfortable support makes this model a top choice for walking, running, and other cardio-related exercises.

Note: I actually had to buy the 840v3 online, because all the New Balance stores around me had discontinued selling them. Use this link to help with width sizing.

Cross-training Shoes

New Balance 857v2

The 857v2 is New Balance’s deepest cross-training shoe (it is a bit shallower than the 840v3 reviewed above). It comes in widths ranging from narrow to XX-wide.

There are a couple of main differences between cross-training shoes and running shoes:

  1. Cross-training shoes are more versatile than running shoes: they can be used for all forms of exercise… heavy squats included. On the other hand, running shoes are not recommended when squatting heavy (the soft cushioning absorbs too much of the tension).
  2. Because cross-training shoes typically offer less support and cushion compared to running shoes, they may feel a bit more stiff. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing: the rigidity will help to stabilize your feet better.

If you are a fitness freak, then I’d recommend you get the 857v2 for your heavy weightlifting sessions, and the 840v3 for everything else.

If you don’t have the money, then just get the 857v2, as it is the most versatile shoe (it is almost as comfortable as the 840v3).

If lifting heavy is not a priority for you, then the 840v3 would be the best choice.

Please note: The 857v2 is a bit shallower than the 840v3.

Don’t Destroy Your Body

I just want to conclude by saying that if you wear ill-fitting shoes with your orthotics, then you will end up causing your body more harm than good.

The first pair of shoes that I got for my orthotics were Nikes. In the beginning, they felt extremely comfortable, and that’s why I decided to buy them. However, after prolonged durations of wear, I started experiencing a lot of discomfort in my legs.

I thought it was just my body getting used to the orthotics, but after months had passed, the soreness in my left hamstring had gotten so bad, that I would come home from work everyday cringing in pain.

I soon realized that my Nikes were to blame: they failed to offer the depth and support needed to accommodate my orthotics.

So don’t let Nike’s signature foam fool you. It may feel comfy at first, but in the long run, it will destroy your body.

In fact, I’d advise staying away from most big-brand names, as they tend to design shoes tailored to the general population.

We are special people. And special people need special shoes.

So stick with names like New Balance, who design their shoes with ‘special’ feet in mind.

Because we are special after all, aren’t we?

Until next time,

Darren Li


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