How to Choose Shoes for 3 Common Foot Problems

Do you suffer from constant foot pain that keeps you from doing the activities you love? So many people struggle with daily foot pain from common foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, neuropathy, and bunions, and don’t know what to do about it. While there are medical treatments for these conditions, the first step to feeling better is simple. Change your shoes and you will shift the health of your feet and your overall wellbeing.

Pair of bare feet alongside a pair of red suede shoes

Finding the perfect pair of shoes for your foot problem requires a bit of research, but luckily we’ve compiled it all here for you. The right footwear can provide you with the support and cushioning you need to walk outside with your dog, meet your grandchildren for lunch, and feel like you aren’t in debilitating pain every time you stand up. With men’s or women’s supportive sneakers, you can start spring feeling energized, rather than stuck in your chair.

Plantar fasciitis is so common that around 2 million people are treated for it every year. It affects the plantar fascia, a long ligament that runs from the heel to the base of the toes. When this area is inflamed, you might feel intense heel pain and stiffness on the bottom of your foot. Plantar fasciitis is especially apparent first thing in the morning.

Plantar Fasciitis

If you have plantar fasciitis, the number one most important thing to look for in shoes is complete arch support and heel cushioning. Throw away your flat shoes and say goodbye to flip-flops. You need shoes with orthotic insoles that form to the shape of your foot and distribute pressure evenly along all points. Memory foam insoles are particularly good for people with plantar fasciitis. A shoe with a thicker platform is often preferable as they generally provide more cushioning for the foot. 


Neuropathy is a condition that affects the nerves in your peripheral system, particularly the extremities. It is often a result of diabetes, though it can come from other illnesses and vitamin deficiencies as well. The effects of it can be as mild as a tingling sensation and as extreme as a stabbing pain. 

If you have neuropathy, the best footwear will fit you perfectly and avoid causing blisters. Your shoes should be breathable and you don’t want them to be overly snug. A pair of lace up canvas sneakers is ideal for adjustability as you can loosen or tighten them as needed.


When your big toe joint becomes inflamed, whether from constant rubbing from your shoes, sports, or genetics, a bunion will develop. The more irritated your bunion becomes, the larger it grows and the more painful it will be. Unfortunately, once a bunion appears it is never going to fully go away without surgery. However, there are plenty of steps you can take to reduce the swelling and get rid of the pain.

When it comes to footwear for bunions, steer clear of any shoes that have a pointy toe. Look for a more almond or square toe shape that allows all of your toes to point straight ahead. Make sure that your bunion is not being pressed by the sides of your shoe, as this can make inflammation worse. You should also choose women’s or men’s comfortable sneakers that are made from a lightweight and flexible material that will stretch to fit your foot, rather than the other way around.

Rae Steinbach

Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing (of course).

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