Stylish Orthopedic Shoes UK for Women [2022]

Stylish Orthopedic Shoes UK for Women [2022]

If you want to find stylish orthopedic shoes in the UK, then you’re far from alone. I’ve had spinal surgery twice, and wearing comfortable, shock-absorbing footwear on an everyday basis is an absolute must. If you like to find good travel gear, then well-fitting shoes that feel good can also make all the difference when it comes to hiking, exploring cities or walking around a new place, seeing the sights.

Having covered the best back backpacks for spineys, top camping beds for back pain and the cosiest reclining camp chairs, I’m now turning my attention to what you wear on your feet. During the two decades since my back problems began and the dozen or so years following my last spinal surgery, I’ve really discovered what works when it comes to keeping my spine aligned, supported and as painless as possible.

See the best stylish orthopedic shoes for women overall here

I rate the Skechers Flex Appeal highest because I own three pairs myself! The memory foam soles are the most comfortable I’ve ever walked on and they can be worn during all seasons.

The thing is, I’ve discovered which brands offer the best orthopedic shoes for women, and have tried and tested many before settling on my fail-safe favourites. So if you want to find trendy orthopedic shoes in the UK that will leave no one guessing your cosy little secret, this guide is here to help.

All the top comfy and stylish orthopedic shoes options can be found right here, from casual sandals and trainers to smart shoes and boots for the workplace. There’s even wellies to wear in the garden or when walking the dog on the beach or in the woods.

These are the best orthopedic shoes available in the UK that are fashionable, hard-wearing, good-looking and comfortable. Yep, you can really can have it all when it comes to footwear.

Stylish orthopedic shoes for UK women contents

Stylish orthotic shoes in the UK comparison chart

NameStyleColoursKey featuresPrice
FitFlop LuluToe post sandalBlack, tan, pinkVersatile style, adjustable fit, cushioned soleClick here
Skechers Meditation New MoonFlip flop sandalBlack, white, pinkLow profile, glam looks, Yoga Foam soleClick here
Keen RoseOutdoor sandalGrey, taupeGood traction, water resistant, velcro fasteningClick here
Birkenstock MayariEveryday sandal26 coloursAdjustable closure, half sizes & wide/narrow fittingsClick here
Skechers Flex AppealCasual trainerBlack, grey, white, navyAll-season shoe, great for all ages, memory foamClick here
Clarks Un LoopMoccasin shoeBlackPull-on style, regular/wide fittings, ideal for officeClick here
Vionic SiennaAnkle bootBlack, tan, oliveWaterproof, stylish looks, stable & supportiveClick here
FitFlop MuklukShearling bootBlack, tan, navy, greenSuper snug, slip-resistant, microwobbleboardClick here
Rieker ChelseaKnee length bootBlack, brown, tanEasy-on, stretch panel, reasonably pricedClick here
FitFlop WonderWellyWellington bootBlack, navyWaterproof, contoured sole, shock absorbing heelClick here
Skechers Ice AngelSlippers9 coloursSlide-on style, memory foam footbedClick here

Orthopedic shoes in the UK for ladies – Top options

Best orthopedic shoes for women – What to look for

Heel

The heel height can be critical when it comes to choosing casual or dressy orthopedic shoes. Too flat and there’s not enough support; too high and you can place strain on your spine, joints and muscles.

The exact height that suits each wearer is a matter of trial and erro, but as a general rule of thumb, a few centimetres or around an inch is ideal.

Sole

The thickness and type of sole is also crucial. More thickness means more space for cushioning and scope for contouring. A thin sole is best avoided as it adds little or no support.

Fittings

If you need wider or narrower fittings, than many products on this list do offer these. Some also come in half-sizes, which is a godsend to those for whom one size is too small and the next one up overly big.

I highly recommend taking a look at the latest customer reviews to check out what they say about fitting. In my experience, for example, FitFlops and Skechers are larger fitting than most and I can order a size 6, whereas with other brands I’d need a 6.5 or even a 7.

Season

As well as whether you need orthopedic shoes for work, play or travel, which season is your footwear for? This guide orders them from summer sandals to winter boots and wellies, with shoes in-between.

Fastening

Putting shoes on and taking them off can be a problem for many people – not least those who’ve had spinal or joint surgery, or suffer from arthritis. You can simply slide your feet into some of these shoes, while others have features like stretch to make life less painful.

orthopedic shoes for women

Fashion orthopedic shoes for women – reviews & recommendations

FitFlop Lulu adjustable sandal

Best for summer style

podiatrist recommended shoes uk

The problem with some ladies orthopedic shoes in the UK is a lack of adjustability, but not so with these particular FitFlops. A buckle closure means you can fasten them in the position that’s most comfortable for you.

This FitFlop Lulu comes in a go-anywhere style that will take you to the boardroom, the beach or the bar. They come in black, tan or a peachy-pink shade known as ‘warm rose’.

FitFlops are the most comfortable everyday sandals I’ve ever owned – and my hairdresser, who’s on her feet all day – completely agrees. I now have about six pairs, and haven’t actually needed to buy any new ones for a few years as they just last and last.

High points:

  • Go-anywhere style
  • Adjustable fastening
  • Cushioned, supportive sole

Low points:

  • Flip flop shape isn’t for everyone

Click here to view the FitFlop Lulu range

Skechers Yoga Foam flip flops

Best lightweight sandal

specialty shoes for problem feet uk

If it’s beachwear you’re searching for, these cute orthopedic shoes for women from Skechers are ultra lightweight and therefore easy to pack into a suitcase, backpack or beach bag. While this is thinner than others, it features that Skechers foam sole that’s like walking on air.

When I want to wear something more low-profile than FitFlops this is my go-to choice, and the rear ankle strap also comes in useful when you want more security.

These come in black, white or blush pink. The rhinestones give them a more glamorous look than you’ll find with other top orthopedic shoes.

High points:

  • Low profile design
  • Glamorous looks
  • Yoga Foam sole

Low points:

  • Not as well suited to all-day wear

Click here to view these Skechers rhinestone flip flops

Keen Rose sandal

Best for outdoor adventures

orthopedic shoes gout

Ideal for active women, the Rose sandal from Keen is one of the most stylish orthopedic sandals available in the UK. This highly practical shoe is ideal for long walks, whether that’s an all-dasy shopping trip or a stroll along the sands with the dog.

The upper is water resistant, while the sole provides great traction even on slippery surfaces. Half sizes are available, which is good news to someone like me who often seems to need an in-between fitting.

A quick velcro fastening reduces the time you need to spend bending, and this sandal from one of the best outdoor footwear brands around comes in a couple of colours. I have a client with an adventure tour company and she always recommends Keen footwear.

High points:

  • Great traction
  • Water resistant upper
  • Simple velcro fastening

Low points:

  • Casual look not suitable for all occasions

Click here to view the Keen Rose range

Birkenstock Mayari

Best for everyday wear

wide fit orthopedic shoes uk

You only need to look at the vast range of colours these Birkenstocks come in to see clearly how popular they are. There are a whopping 26 options, including plain shades and patterns. It goes way beyond brown.

Birkenstocks are prized for their comfort, which is all down to German engineering. The footbed is moulded to mimic a footprint in the sand – yes, really! This combined with a shock absorbing sole and an adjustable buckle closure ensures feet are supported and comfortable.

The design of these cradles the foot, protects the spine and joints, and tones the muscles of the legs and feet. They also come in half sizes plus wide or narrow fittings.

High points:

  • 26 colours
  • Adjustable closure
  • Half sizes & wide or narrow fittings available

Low points:

  • Not the cheapest sandals

Click here to view the Birkenstock sandal range

Skechers Flex Appeal

Best for all seasons

trendy orthopedic shoes

Skechers orthopedic shoes are my go-tos when it’s too cold for FitFlops. In fact I love the Flex Appeal so much that I have it in three colours and styles, and it’s footwear I use all year long.

The air-cooled upper keeps your feet cool even during hot weather, while the memory foam sole makes this the most comfortable shoe ever. I’ve got Mister in on the act with the men’s orthopedic shoes from Skechers and he completely agrees. Just add thermal socks when it’s cold in winter.

Skechers is such an accessible brand to people of all ages – I’ve seen everyone from kids and teens to grandparents wearing them well. Just buy a pair, and maybe like me you’ll never go back to any other kind of stylish athletic shoes.

High points:

  • Ideal for all seasons
  • Suitable for every age group
  • Ultra comfortable memory foam sole

Low points:

  • It’s hard to stop at one pair

Click here to view the Skechers memory foam range

Clarks Un Loop

Best for classic appearance

wide orthopedic shoes

Clarks orthopedic shoes in the UK are an ever-popular choice and so it is with their Un Loop moccasin. Made from soft, supple leather for breathability, these are ideal for casual or office wear, and go with anything.

They’re available in regular or wide fittings, and the pull-on fitting is stretchy to make life easier. Despite the smart look these are ideal for all-day wear, and thus a great choice for anyone whose job demands a lot of standing and/or walking.

The only downside is that there are no other colours than black, but that is the most versatile footwear shade you’re going to find.

High points:

  • Stretch, pull-on style
  • Wide or regular fitting
  • Smart enough for the office

Low points:

  • Only available in black

Click here to view the Clarks Un Loop moccasin

Vionic Sienna ankle boot

Best for non-orthopedic looks

who sells orthopedic shoes

When you want stylish orthopedic shoes for ladies that will take you anywhere, the Vionic range of boots in the answer. My favourite is the Sienna, available in black, toffee or olive. No one would know this was built and bought for comfort – they’re among the best looking orthopedic shoes out there.

Vionic promises that wearing these boots can reduce plantar fascitis and heel pain. The lock heel makes you feel far more secure when walking, and is a great height for those who want to combine style with comfort.

The sole is designed to support the arch while offering stability and cosy cushioning, and the Nubuck finish has been waterproofed for all-weather wear.

High points:

  • Stylish looks
  • Waterproof nubuck
  • Supportive, stable sole

Low points:

  • They don’t come cheap

Click here to view the Vionic boots range

FitFlop Mukluk

Best alternative to Uggs

leather orthopedic shoes

Forget Uggs – if you need warm orthotic shoes for women in winter then you really need these! The style of this FitFlop shearling boot is similar, but I actually prefer the appearance of this one, as to me it looks neater.

It’s not only about looks here though – it’s about combining warmth with heavenly comfort wherever you go in winter. The colour choices include chestnut, black, navy and dark green. My FitFlop boots are well-worn now, but still going strong.

These are perfect for me during the colder months as I spend a lot of time outside – walking my daughter to school and riding my bike. I also work in a summerhouse in the garden which takes a while to heat up, so these are ideal for avoiding cold toes in the mornings.

High points:

  • Super snug
  • Slip-resistant sole
  • Microwobbleboard technology

Low points:

  • Some dislike the rear split

Click here to view the FitFlop boots range

Rieker tall Chelsea boot

Best full length boots

special orthopedic shoes

So we’ve got stylish orthopedic sandals covered, but what happens in winter? Having covered short shearling boots, we now turn to a taller option. Available in several neutral shades, this classic Chelsea boot can take you anywhere in winter.

The block heel and grippy sole make walking even on frosty or icy ground a cinch, and the upper is made from durable, breathable real leather. An elasticated section outs paid to problems when putting long boots on – an issue I encounter following a spinal fusion.

This stretch piece also means these boots fit more women more comfortably than those with a more rigid design. Even when worn straight out of the box wearers love them.

High points:

  • Easy to pull on
  • Stretches to fit
  • Reasonably priced

Low points:

  • Limited half size options

Click here to view the Rieker boots range

FitFlop WonderWelly

Best for wet weather

fashion orthopedic shoes

Pretty orthopedic shoes are all very well, but what about when you need to wear wellies? FitFlop make them in long and shorter versions, and they’re ideal for muddy walks, gardening and wet weather.

Wellington boots are known as being notoriously uncomfortable to walk in – but not these ones. They have a specially formed honeycomb heel and contoured sole to help ensure comfortable feet with every step.

Available in navy or black, these are the ultimate non slip orthopedic shoes when wellies are what you need.

High points:

  • Waterproof
  • Contoured sole
  • Shock absorbing heel

Low points:

  • Limited colour options

Click here to view the FitFlop WonderWelly range

BONUS ITEM – Skechers Ice Angel slipper

Best orthopedic slippers

Skechers orthopedic slippers

And finally – what about when you’re at home, or your hotel? These orthopedic slippers for women from Skechers are highly rated, affordably priced and come in 9 colour options.

Ortho slippers for ladies don’t come any cooler or more comfortable than the Skechers Ice Angel. I love being able to slide my feet right into mine too – mornings and a fused spine aren’t the best mix.

Memory foam is the clincher here – and the sole is tough enough for popping outside quickly to the recycling bin or to check on the washing too.

High points:

  • 9 colours
  • Slide-on style
  • Memory foam footbed

Low points:

  • Only for indoor wear

Click here to view the Skechers Keepsakes slippers

Stylish orthopedic shoes for women – FAQs

What shoes do podiatrists recommend in the UK?

Although of course expert options vary, brands that pay a lot of attention to comfort and ergonomics are often recommended by podiatrists. These may include the likes of FitFlop, Skechers, Birkenstock, Clarks, Vionic and Rieker, plus outdoor footwear manufacturers like Keen.

Who should wear orthopedic shoes?

Some would certainly say that everyone should wear supportive orthopedic shoes, especially on a day-to-day basis. Though the positive effects will be felt more by those with existing spinal, muscle or joint conditions, everyone can wear fashionable orthopedic shoes in the UK and feel the benefits!

What’s the difference between orthotics and orthopedic shoes?

Orthopedic shoes are designed to minimise pain while providing support for the wearer’s joints, spine and muscles. The term orthotics usually refers to some sort of insert that’s placed inside the show for added comfort and support, and this may be prescribed by a medical professional.

Are orthopedic shoes expensive?

Orthopedic shoes can be pricey, but don’t necessarily cost more than a similar branded fashion shoe. They are a lot more affordable than custom orthotics, which will require professional input as well as the cost of the inserts themselves.

Should I buy orthopedic shoes?

Yes! Once you’ve tried the best orthopedic shoes for work and leisure that are supportive, comfortable and minimise pain, there’s no going back. For those with conditions like back pain, plantar fasciitis, arthritis and more, orthopedic shoes are indispensible.

Which are the best women’s orthopedic shoes in the UK?

The best orthopedic shoes for women are those that suit the season, the occasion and above all are comfortable for the wearer. As you can see orthopedic shoes can be cute, and apart from occasions like weddings I personally wear them all year round, whatever is on the agenda.

Polly x

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