(Yes, some are not so pretty – but keep going – there’s a little bit for everyone in this list!)
I’m partial to the Born Brand of shoes! This boot has soft, good quality leather and allows for extra room in the calf which is great for women with more muscular calves. They have good arch support and a rigid sole which allows for more protection of the foot. It has a decently wide toebox and the soft leather is good for women with mild to possibly moderate hammertoes and bunions.
The slightly tapered toebox may not work for women with severe hammertoes and bunions.
Once again, Born is a wonderful boot! The thick rigid sole allows for better biomechanical control of the foot which allows for comfortable all day wear. The wide toebox is great for women with mild to possibly moderate hammertoes and bunions. The boot is true to size and has good arch support.
If you have moderate to severe Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint) or any forefoot issues like capsulitis, osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease – this may not be the boot for you because of the heel height.
Check out the Born “Sash” boot for $78 on
It’s not officially on the “Top Twenty” list but it should be! I came across it and I love the Born brand and I couldn’t resist the price…
Bar none, Dansko are top-notch when it comes to comfort! Dansko shoes and boots have been a staple of my wardrobe for years. If you are on your feet all day, on concrete floors, have a history of foot pain or are looking for a great boot that will be comfortable – Dansko is it!
The only caution I give with Dansko is that if you have prominent “bumps” on your feet – particularly on the top of your midfoot area – the Dansko might apply too much pressure and it could be uncomfortable. Also, if you are older (geriatric), have muscle weakness or significant nerve damage – Dansko boots may be too heavy for you. You need something supportive but light.
Okay, not the prettiest thing on the block but hey, if your feet hurt and you need a dependable solid comfortable boot for all day activities – this is an even better Dansko boot than the one above. It’s hardcore Dansko comfort!
In an attempt to have some less expensive boots on the list, I found this Durango Boot at $128. It’s hard to find a high quality boot for less than sixty to eighty dollars but they are out there. This boot offers a thick rigid sole for more comfort and protection. The toebox tapers in a bit too much so if you have moderate hammertoes or bunions – this may not be the right boot for you.
Durango Harness The Dream
$59 on 6pm.com
A better price than the Durango above and a wider toebox. This boot has an awesome thick rigid sole which allows for exceptional comfort for all day wear on concrete surfaces. It has a low heel so that works especially well if you have forefoot problems such as Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint), osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease, mild to moderate hammertoes and bunions, and metatarsalgia.
check out the Durango “Flower in Love” boot for $84 on 6pm.com.
Fit Flop Hooper
Fit Flop Hooper – once again, not the cutest boot ever but – ridiculously comfortable! As I tell my patients, having style and looking fabulous is all about your attitude – not what’s on your feet. If your feet hurt, if you have chronic pain, if you are on your feet on concrete surfaces all day – don’t knock this boot till you try it!
If you have muscle weakness, significant neurological problems, are elderly or have balance issues, this might not be the boot for you.
Harley Davidson Huston Boot
I bought this boot for a winter trip to Germany because I knew I was going to do tons of walking. It was very comfortable and it has a great look that was easy to dress up or down. The toebox does taper in and is a bit narrow so if you have any issues with hammertoes, bunions, corns or calluses – proceed with caution!
John Fluevog Arresto
I love John Fluevog shoes! The low heel, wide toebox and supportive sole provides lots of comfort. This is a great boot for light office wear but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for hard-core all day, run around on concrete floors kinds of work.
John Fluevog Cece
Excellent John Fluevog Boot! This has the rigid supportive sole as well as the lower heel for more comfort. Great for anyone who can’t tolerate heels due to Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint) as well as metatarsalgia, capsulitis, hammertoes, bunions and osteoarthitis.
John Fluevog Together Hi Nico
I own the shoe version of this boot. The construction is basically the same and I absolutely adore it! It’s very comfortable and I can wear it all day long for light office work. However, if I was going to be doing increased activities – I would probably bump it up to my Danskos. I like the John Fluevog thick chunky heel, the supportive sole and the wide square toebox.
MBT is the ultimate classic boot when it comes to comfort! The rocker-bottom sole gives exceptional support, comfort and biomechanical control which is great for people with chronic foot pain and are on their feet all day.
The MBT boot is not recommended for patients with Achilles Tendonitis issues, balance issues, muscle weakness, and significant nerve damage. Also, just as an aside, don’t wear a rocker bottom shoe on a cruise. Nothing worse that wearing a rocker-bottom shoe on a rocking cruise ship!
Merrell Martina Waterproof
I think this is a cute look! And waterproof – what’s not to love? This boot has a thick rigid protective sole, wide toebox and low heel which is great for all day wear.
I love this boot! It’s gorgeous and also super comfortable. The Naots tend to run narrow to medium widths so if you have large or muscular calves – this is not the best boot for you.
It also accommodates a dress orthotic although it doesn’t necessary need arch support as it has a thick rigid protective sole with decent arch support already in it.
Another great Naot boot! Thick rigid sole, decently wide toebox and it accomodates a dress orthotic although it doesn’t necessarily need one.
It’s a great looking boot and works great if you have mild hammertoes and bunions, metatarsalgia, and mild Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toejoint). It does run narrow to medium and does not work well for women with wide feet and calves.
Spring Step Thrive
Love the price! Not to mention it’s a great boot. The thick rigid sole is very protective and comfortable for wonderful biomechanical control of the foot. The wide toebox offers adequate room for mild to moderate hammertoes and bunions.
Excellent for anyone who has forefoot or midfoot issues such as osteoarthritis, Hallux Limitus (limited range of motion of the 1st toe joint), degenerative joint disease, capsulitis and mild to moderate tendonitis.
You can’t go wrong with Uggs!
This Ugg has a sole that is thick, rigid and protective for more comfort as well as a wide soft toebox that is awesome for mild to possibly even severe hammertoes and bunions.
The Ugg will accommodate custom-molded orthotics as well as over-the-counter inserts for more arch support. Many of my Pediatric patients wear Uggs with their orthotics because it’s one of the few shoe choices that is biomechanically sound for their feet (which pleases their Parents and Podiatrist!) and also lets them feel like they are wearing something cool and somewhat fashionable (which pleases them!).
Dr. Marten’s Bellissa $150
I love the way this boot looks!
Dr. Martens have always been a standard of comfort because of its trademark thick, rigid, protective sole. The more traditional “combat boot” style of Dr. Marten’s are popular with many of my teenager patients who have “biomechanically challenged” feet and can’t comfortably wear the Converse or Van’s. When I tell them they can wear Dr. Martens with inserts – their eyes light up. Funny how they were cool when I was a teenager and still are…
Check out the Dr. Martens website – they have lots of cool colors and styles and if you have a kid with foot issues and you need to wean them away from Converse or Van’s – try luring them into comfort with Dr. Martens!
The more traditional Dr. Marten’s “combat style” boot (not pictured here) is great for kids (or adults) with flat feet, hypermobility, ligament laxity, ankle instability – as long as they are worn with arch support.
What’s not to love? These are cool! Perhaps it’s the remnants of my nineties Goth days (I admit it – just a little Goth – circa 1999!) but I love these. Great for trooping all over the city in all sorts of weather – durable, comfortable and, one again, great for anyone with “biomechanically challenged” feet who want a cool look with comfort. The laced boot allows for more give so if you have trouble with boots being too tight in the calf or pressing too much on the top of your foot because of a high arch or a bump (exostosis) on the top of your foot – this would be a good option as you can adjust the tension with the laces. For the more daring fashionista – you can go to 6pm.com get this boot in some bold colors for $75).
I couldn’t resist! I’ve got a long term love affair with Dansko shoes and this waterproof boot is great for trudging trough all types of gnarly weather. I did my residency in Buffalo and many is the time I had to walk my sweet pitbull Sheba at ungodly hours in sleet, rain, snow and all types of foul weather – this boot would have come in handy…
P.S. If you are in horrible weather and need a hardcore coat – try the “Stadium Parka” from LandsEnd. I’m not sure I would have survived Buffalo without that coat!
Funny to end a blog on shoes with a recommendation on coats but – c’est la vie!
Keep scrolling down for my September 17, 2011 blog on a great Donald J. Plimer boot!
One of my patients said she asks a salesperson at DSW call her when they get in a shipment of Donald J. Plimer shoes in because she gets first pick of the shoe she wants at deeply discounted prices. Make friends with salepeople! They can be great assets in helping you in your search for the perfect shoe!
I hope this was helpful!
Remember, good boots are an investment…
Hope all is well,
Dr Cathleen A McCarthy
For more recommendations of
Comfortable Boots – check out…