10 Best Heels With Arch Support 2023 — Heels With Arch Support
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These heels were literally made for walking.
Shoe lovers, please rise. Now that we’ve chatted dress shoes and summer sandals, it’s time for my preferred fighter: heels—comfortable heels with arch support, to be exact. If you’re anything like yours truly, then finding reliable heels to add to the collection is key when you’re traipsing all over New York City. And it can be daunting to find a shoe that’s just as comfortable as it is stylish, especially for those with arched feet (or flat feet). Seriously, how did Carrie Bradshaw make it look so easy?
Whether you’re already a solid supporter (no pun intended) of orthopedic-approved shoes or have yet to understand them in their entirety, I’ve tapped an industry expert as part of my way to show that I am here for you, dear reader, every step of the way.
As promised, I’ve studied real customer reviews and consulted an expert who designed shoes specifically for women on the move. Sandra Powers Murphy, the founder and CEO of Scarlett Chase, a brand designed with orthotic and orthopedic professionals, shared with us why one should consider arch support in a shoe. “Generally speaking, despite the fact that women’s heels very rarely offer anything in the way of quality arch support, most wearers should benefit from arch support to help maintain proper alignment and support the muscular and skeletal structure of feet, particularly when in a high heeled position where pressure is placed on the forefoot.”
When wearers like you know what to look for and focus on in terms of quality arch support, that’s when things truly make a difference. Keeping the best fall 2023 shoe trends in mind, we found the best heels you need for game-changing arch support and all-day wearability. Read on to see them all, and even further, for more advice and shopping tips learned from our reliable specialist!
Don’t you agree that style and comfort are the best combo? Each foot is unique, and Scarlett Chase is so aware of that. Not only will these luxe pumps make you want to jump on the nearest runway, but the footbeds—made of mesh instead of sweaty leather—will adjust entirely to your foot after the first wear. Find another shoe that does that; I’ll wait.
Colors: Gold Lame, Black Metallic Snake, Silver Lame, Blush Glitter, Gold-Black Fishnet
Editor’s review: “I wore these pumps to the office and into the night to a birthday party with no fuss, which is nearly never the case. On top of getting heaps of compliments, they’re so comfy and mold effortlessly to your foot.”—Amanda Le, contributing writer
The colorway and mid-heel height just screams sophisticated. This round-toe shoe is made with strategically located cushiony padding, which means you can say goodbye to the possibility of blisters. And for some extra protection, pair them with the brand’s low-cut socks.
Colors: 11 options
Customer review: “They literally MAKE your outfit. Two full knee replacements and a back surgery, these shoes help me to walk without pain, and they have arch support too. Don’t even think about passing them up, if you have foot issues BUY these shoes.”
A silky block sandal from the Sarah Flint x Gracie collection has entered the chat. Featuring an intricate floral print and lace-up ankle ties, these sandals will bring you comfort you’ve only dreamed of. Plus, you can literally SEE the arch support this shoe offers!
Colors: 12 options
Customer review: “Incredibly comfortable—I always wait for the moment I can take off my heels, but not with these. Heel height is perfect—not too short nor too tall.”
I just know you’re going to want to pair these with your chic suit vest. Available in medium and wide widths, anyone can be the office It girl in these pumps.
Color: 7 options
Customer rCueview: “Lots of cushion, and [I] felt amazing for all-day wear. I spend 12+ hours at my job—some sitting and some walking in a 1,000-bed hospital (huge!). These shoes hold up and they look great!”
Add a little zebra print to your life at no cost to your feet—Aerosoles’ Camera Sandal comes with several innovative comfort features. The platform heel, diamond flex outsole, and ortholite foam insole are all designed for you to wear these printed platforms every day if you wanted to.
Color: 11 options
Customer review: “I’ve gotten so many compliments on these that I came back to get them in Black! I have flat feet, but the medium width fit perfectly.”
I’m always a huge advocate for anything metallic. Foot problems or not, why not allow yourself to party in a high heel?
Color: 14 options
Customer review: “These are SO comfortable and easy to walk in. I have joint and foot problems and cute shoes are always a problem.”
I mean, this shoe really speaks for itself. If you’re an avid fan of ballet flats, then this block heel version needs to be in your cart ASAP.
Customer review: “Never been happier with an everyday purchase. So adorable and easy peasy. The bow detail is perfection. I love my flats, and this is the best iteration.”
Pair these finely padded leather sandals with a tube dress, and you’re ready for your next vacation. It comes in the other two most important hues in my book: white and black.
Color: Desert Camel, Pale Oyster, True Black
Customer review: “They are by far some of the most comfortable heel/wedge/sandal straps I have ever felt! They are padded so nicely and are so soft, even without the leather broken in. The bed of this shoe is also so nicely padded.”
I always trust a science-backed brand. And why not get a little strappy for your next event or night out on the town? Podiatrist-designed, this functional high heel includes gentle contours that help support and stabilize the foot at an elevated angle.
Color: Champagne and Black
Customer review: “I’ve tried heels from many different comfort brands and FRANKIE4 [had] the first pair that was actually pain-free AND stylish.”
From a brand that’s totally editor-approved (and having a summer sale right now), these denim platform heels are bound to sell out fast.
Color: 6 options
Customer review: “Really impressed with the comfort with these. I can’t wait to get in another color!”
First things first: Let’s start by taking a good look at the arch area of the heel. Murphy shares that you should be able to visibly see if a shoe has an increasing rise under the arch. Most shoes designed for support often insert some type of padding (usually gel), which may help, but it’s crucial to know that this may not always generally conform to the contours of the bottom of the wearer’s foot.
According to Murphy, a common struggle amongst heel wearers who need arch support is that a custom orthotic or an off-the-shelf orthotic will not work within a heeled shoe, particularly a pump, as it compromises the fit of the shoe. She notes the best way to obtain high-quality arch support is “when it’s built into the shoe and the shoe is designed accordingly, also carefully considering the placement and padding of the heel and the forefoot in line with the arch.” Although this may sound intricate, she shares that at Scarlett Chase, appropriate foot alignment and padding, including structured arch support, is a cornerstone of its designs regardless of the style of the shoe.
What’s the best way to implement our expert’s tips? Here’s what to consider next time you’re thinking about investing in those pumps.
Sizing up: Wearers will often size up to increase the space in the toe box to avoid discomfort. Although this may fly for some, it could also cause slipping forward within the shoe, putting even more pressure on your toes and the ball of your foot. That said, it’s important to measure your foot (both length and width) to ensure you’re wearing the right size.
Width: If you suffer from bunions, have wider feet, or have other foot challenges, you should probably steer clear of narrow-cut shoes. You’re probably also better off with softer insole materials such as leather and suede opposed to patent and croc-embossed leathers.
Straps: Straps are your friend. A valuable proponent in fitting (and staying in) your foot in the shoe, there are certain styles, such as the Mary Jane, that may fit easier for those who struggle the most. Overall, wearers should seek a shoe that provides weight dispersion across the bottom of the foot from heel to toe, not centered solely on the ball of the foot.
Amanda Le is a contributing writer at Hearst Magazines, where she covers fashion, beauty, lifestyle, and entertainment. In her free time, you can find her thrifting her next outfit, traveling to new cities, crushing a boxing class, or eating her way through NYC!
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