Cards on the table: orthopaedic trainers don’t exactly have a reputation for being stylish.
The first image that springs to mind is probably something unnecessarily layered – and we’re not talking Balenciaga Triple S style – in an odd colour combination that you’d never reach for.
The trick with finding versatile, lifestyle-friendly orthopaedic trainers is to look a little further afield from specialised brands and focus on a few key features instead. Support, structure and comfort are three of the most important things to keep in mind when shopping for orthopaedic-friendly footwear made from durable materials that won’t lean inwards with each step.
Mr Nicholas Cullen, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Stanmore Foot & Ankle Specialists, says: “Supportive trainers help to absorb some of the increased stresses that come from running or walking by distributing weight more evenly across the foot.
People who have slightly flatter feet, otherwise known as ‘overpronation’ and those with heel pain may benefit from more support under the arch of the foot while those with higher arched feet are better with a neutral trainer with a more cushioned sole to absorb shock more efficiently.
For example, during the running cycle, loads of greater than 2.5 times your body weight are absorbed through the foot and these increased forces are absorbed by the various bones, ligaments, joints and tendons within the foot.
When you’re buying new trainers, try to replicate the same socks you would tend to use with them in order to assess the size and comfort. If your feet tend to swell, try on shoes later in the day to make sure they can accommodate you throughout the day.
There are many specialised running shops which have the facilities to assess you through walking or running on a treadmill and can offer really helpful advice to navigate finding the right shoe for you.”
We’ve rounded up all of the most supportive pairs of orthopaedic trainers below.
New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v12
Pull on a pair of New Balance’s Fresh Foam X 860v12 and you’ll swear you’re walking on clouds. These seriously soft, cushioned trainers are some of the best out there for providing orthotic support without waving goodbye to comfort or style.
Unlike many pairs around, these offer the perfect level of cushioning under the toes while still allowing for flexibility and full range of movement. They’re brilliant for running (and workouts in general) but, with a range of different colours, also work well as day to day trainers.
Buy now £140.00, New Balance
KG Kurt Geiger Limitless
The problem with many trainers if you wear orthotics is their lack of support. That’s not something you’ll struggle with when it comes to KG Kurt Geiger’s Limitless trainers: a high powered pair of shoes that virtually strap you in and keep you comfortable all day long.
This stylish pair are a little bulkier than your average trainer and, with their neutral colours and pop of orange, promise to add a little spice to your shoe rack. Not a fan of orange? These vegan-friendly trainers also come in a range of other shades.
Buy now £149.00, Kurt Geiger
Saucony Guide 15
Saucony’s Guide 15 is one of the best orthopaedic trainers for running, with a slick and stylish design that you’ll look forward to pulling on before your next workout. Bouncy and cushioning without waving goodbye to structure, these trainers feature more foam, less weight and an improved guidance frame to help steer your stride.
If you’re shopping online, Saucony is one of the best brands to try out, thanks to its extensive guide that’ll ensure you’re selecting not only the right size but also the right style for your foot. If you’re an orthotics wearer, you can’t go wrong with the Guide 15.
Buy now £130.00, Saucony
Adidas Originals Stan Smith Shoes
It’s virtually impossible to walk more than a few London streets without seeing at least pair of Adidas Originals Stan Smiths. These ever-so versatile trainers are supportive and comfortable and come in a huge range of colours.
Made from a few high-performance recycled materials with the same, consistent classic silhouette, these trainers are stylish enough for everyday life yet structured enough to wear to the gym.
Buy now £80.00, Adidas
Nike Dunk High
Looking for orthopaedic trainers with a little more ankle support? Look no further than Nike’s ever-famous High Top Dunks. With a classic high-top design, sport-like essence and elevated midsole, these shoes’ high quality means you can easily wear them for hours on end without any kind of discomfort.
Often lauded “the most comfortable trainers ever” with a large range of colours and sizes, these are some of the most versatile trainers around: the biggest problem is choosing just one colour.
Buy now £109.95, Nike
ASICS Gel Kayano 29
Asics’ Gel Kayano 29 is the new and improved version of the Gel Kayano 28 – an already popular shoe that’s back with a few extra little benefits. It’s 10g lighter than its predecessor, and features a more energised feel thanks to the addition of its extra cushioning in the upper midsole.
Perfect for stopping your feet from feeling fatigued on walks, runs or other workouts, these trainers promise to follow in the footsteps (pun fully intended) of the 28 with a few new colours available, too.
If you’re covering long distances regularly, they’re an essential purchase.
Buy now £165.00, Asics
It doesn’t matter what your favourite colour is: there’s a Veja shoe to suit.
Available in almost every shade under the sun, the Veja Campo Trainer is a top pick for sustainability and style, with a retro feel to round it off. Mixing social projects, economic justice and ecological materials, Veja ticks all the boxes when it comes to planet-pleasing footwear that looks good and does good at the same time.
Buy now £130.00, Office
Balenciaga Track logo-print woven low-top trainers
When it comes to designer trainers, it’s hard to beat Balenciaga for support. A little less OTT than the ever-popular triple S’s, the Track logo-print woven low-top trainers provide enough support to keep your feet suitably strapped in and come with a little extra bounce to support you day to day.
With their reinforced rubber outsole and foam cushioned moulded sole, they’re durable enough to withstand a little wear and tear, even if you’re someone who’s a little hard on their feet.
Buy now £725.00, Selfridges
Vans Old Skool Trainers
Loved not just by skaters nowadays, the humble Vans shoe promises to stick around forever. These highly durable trainers were practically designed for wear and tear and promise to keep your toes cosy no matter what kind of stress you’re putting them through.
Even if you’re not jumping on a board or hurling yourself off of ramps, you’ll appreciate the heavy duty nature of these trainers and their loyal determination to survive year after year. Their flat nature makes them perfect for inserting insoles if necessary.
Buy now £64.99, Office
Alexander McQueen Women’s Oversized Sneaker
The classic white trainer will never go out of style and it doesn’t look like the chunky dad trainer look will either. What do you get if you marry the pair together? Alexander McQueen’s Oversized Sneaker, ideally in all-white or with a contrasting black rim. Made from smooth calf leather with the Alexander McQueen signature on the tongue, these trainers are perfect for providing that much needed support with a sleek finish to match.
Buy now £450.00, Alexander McQueen
Hoka Mach 5
Hoka’s shoes are practically designed to be orthopaedic-friendly and come in a range of styles with varying levels of support for all kinds of pronation. The Mach 5 is one of the brand’s newest releases and is designed for top performance.
Known as “the lovechild of Mach 4 and Mach Supersonic”, it comes complete with a snappier ride in the form of a stacked midsole setup that’s responsive, lightweight and comfortable. The best part? Its “intelligent cushioning” experience, utilising the power of your last step to power you into your next one for reduced fatigue and a faster run. A new PB awaits.
Buy now £129.99, Sports Shoes
Axel Arigato Marathon Runner
Axel Arigato’s Marathon Runner was inspired by running shoes throughout the 90’s. But no pressure to run your own marathon while wearing these – something the brand itself clarifies, ensuring they’re used for daily strolls around the city rather than personal bests.
Fusing together vintage sportswear chic with an oversized sole and a splash of colour to match, these vibrant trainers are made from leather and a wide-weave mesh fabric: breathable yet fashionable at the same time.
Buy now £230.00, Axel Arigato
You can wear them on your commute, to the gym, while running weekend errands and pretty much anything in between. Our favourite orthopaedic trainers for women are New Balance’s Fresh Foam X 860v1 with their super soft cushioning and reliable support.
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