In Search Of The Perfect Pair Of Shoes

“A shoe is not only a design, but it’s a part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you’re going to move is quite dictated by your shoes.” ~Christian Louboutin

I’ve been searching for the perfect pair of shoes for a long time. Flats that not only provide comfort, but also don’t resemble the geriatric shoes our grandparent’s generation wore.

They were so ugly.

I began my search last summer when I had a blogger event that I knew involved a lot of walking. I needed to present myself in a professional manner without compromising functionality or comfort.

I did some crowd sourcing with colleagues who were more than helpful with recommendations of their “go-to” shoes. I put together a list, and looked up the suggested brands on the website, Zappos. On their site, you not only see photos of the shoe from every angle, but most of them provide videos of a model wearing the shoes.

I finally narrowed it down to a pair of Dansko sandals.

My new shoes worked fine for the short amount of time I wore them. But I knew in the end they could never be my “go-to” shoes for every day use. I am a sneakers kind of gal, and a heel of any kind is not for me. My weak and numb legs don’t do well with them, so my high heels were tossed in favor of sneakers, flats, or ½ inch heeled pumps.

Now I am on another quest to find the perfect pair of shoes. This time I thought I’d do a little research to learn more about shoes and what kind would be best for me.

According to The Mayo Clinic, a walking shoe should be built for form and function, be lightweight and provide good shock absorption. The shape and size of your foot should be considered; feet should never conform to the shoe. Make sure the width and toe box of the shoe fits correctly, and choose walking shoes that accommodate your shoe type. (For more advice from The Mayo Clinic click here.)

According to a National Multiple Sclerosis Momentum Magazine article, there are nine expert tips for finding the right footwear:

  • Light tread
  • Light weight
  • Secure fastening
  • Broad base
  • Extra depth
  • Firm heel counter
  • Correct size
  • Low heel
  • Sturdy shank

Just for fun, I thought I’d crowd source again, only this time I went right to the source: people living with Multiple Sclerosis. Their answers ran the gamut from sneakers to shoes to bare feet:

Sneakers: Name brands such as Converse, Reebok, New Balance, Nike and Fila.

Shoes: Tony Little (HSN), Saucony Flex Film, combat boots, clogs, TEVA, flip flops, Birkenstock, Clarks, Chinese slippers, Crocs, Sperry, and Naturalizer.

My personal favorite has always been Aerosoles. Their rubber soles are flexible, and they have extra cushioning that provide great comfort.

This spring as I look for new shoes, I’ll consider the advice of The Mayo Clinic, The National Multiple Sclerosis Society and my MS friends.

What are your favorite shoes?

NOTE: Many thanks to my MS friends who helped me compile a list of shoes for the purpose of this article.  You are all treasures.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The MultipleSclerosis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

View Comments (16)
  • KIMM
    2 years ago

    I trip, fall, stagger and look drunk while walking now. Actually, just gets worse- even with PT. I guess I get up better! LOL- and my gait has messed with one of my knees and keeps pulling my MCL. And the worst part is there are cute shoes I can’t wear anymore! I see commercials and I just see myself tripping with the shoes the model has. Well, the other worse part is I have to think about walking. I cannot multitask. No, no no! I can’t walk and talk at the same time. So silly, but i need to make sure my light leg is always lifted when I walk. So shoes cannot be heavy, cannot have soles that are sticky, and too much cushion inside (or flat) tires my legs.

    I agree the Aerosoles works well for dressier styles. I use Skechers slip on sneakers and no laces=no tripping. But I can’t fit orthotics in them, and arch support is not fantastic. A relative gave me 3 pairs of Merrell sneakers- which have excellent support, but they have laces. Must find workaround. I am happy to see I am not alone here in this quest!

  • DonnaFA moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi, Kimm! Thanks for sharing your story! My two boys have Sensory Processing Disorder. It expresses completely differently in each of them and my oldest has small muscle control issues and tying shoes still escapes him. There are several types of “no-tie shoelaces” available, and they help him because they make his shoes completely slip-on and look exactly like regular shoelaces, with no loose ends or dangling strings. They may be useful to you and allow you to expand your shoe choices.

    We’re glad you’re here! -All Best, Donna (MultipleSclerosis.net team)

  • Marilyn E
    3 years ago

    I find I am tripping and falling more these days than ever before. Nike used to work fine for me. Not heavy, soles don’t stick to floor and yet they don’t slip and my feet didn’t get burning hot in them. The last pair I bought just didn’t work so I changed over to New Balance. They are heavy, I trip all the time when I wear them and my feet get hot and burn (there is even fabric on the top). An almost all leather sneaker, not fake man-made material. Plus, they stick to the floor. I was so happy when I found Cushe slip on shoes. They are light weight. Have all fabric on top. I took the insoles out that came with them and wear them with “Aetrex” insoles for extra support. the soles are flat and I find I don’t trip as much anymore. I also wear Easy Spirit slip on shoes with an open back. I loved my first pair so much I bought them in every color only to find out the sizing has changed and now they don’t stay on as good. I tried putting insoles to take up the space but then they get too tight across the top of my foot. I wear them ONLY because I already bought them. I won’t buy these again. Thanks for all the input. I plan to look into some of the other brand names mentioned here to see what options will work for me.

  • 4 years ago

    when i walk i have to slide or shuffle. try to find shoes or slippers that don’t have non-slip soles.

  • Nobu
    4 years ago

    Ariat low lace up boots, Lowa and Asolo hiking boots or shoes, Keen hiking sandals, Teva boots. Not stylish or light weight, but good ankle and foot support and either good insoles or can take Superfeet insoles. The new Teva boots are called black olive and are rather cute.

  • Schrodie
    4 years ago

    I swear by Skechers Go Walk 2 shoes! Just be sure to order 1/2 size larger.
    They will fit snugly, but conform to your feet. They are so lightweight, and cushy enough to help me keep my balance.

  • Sara Rodriguez
    4 years ago

    Sketches have some great lightweight comfortable options. Two brands I’ve found that make amazingly comfortable shoes AND super cute options are Soft spots and Sanuk. Sanuk is mostly sandles I think. I got married in a pair of low heel mary jane softspots, they have memory foam insoles & I walked all over New Orleans in them.

  • Ojibajo
    5 years ago

    I just posted a question in an online group about finding attractive shoes to wear that will accommodate an AFO. All of the responses I got were, “Just wear your sneakers with your dressy clothes. Who cares what people think? Well, clearly I do or I wouldn’t have asked. I am new to the AFO world. I could probably go without for a few hours, but it is better that I don’t right not thanks to a foot injury this past winter. So until things are a little stronger I am trying to be compliant which is testing my patience and my wardrobe! I am not feeling comfortable in shorts or capris and I right now am limited to three pair of sneakers a pair of black Sketchers, a pair if New Balance, and a pair of Fila. There were all on sale and were available in a wide width. I would prefer to wear dressy capris and sandals or ballet flats when dressing up for the summer but the size of the AFO won’t allow it. I have been sticking wearing jeans in 80+ degree weather or jsut sticking to home when it is too hot that I can’t stand wearing jeans OR the AFO which is also very hot and uncomfortable. I was never much of a fashionista, but this is pushing things a little too far for me. I am hoping that this is temporary.

  • Laura Kolaczkowski
    5 years ago

    my closet is full of Alegria shoes – originally made for nursing. their key points are –

    they have rocker soles (keeps me back on heel so no foot drop is possible)
    non-skid bottoms so does great on wet floors (think messy hospital environment),
    not a gum bottom like sneakers (which can stick on the floor and cause tripping),
    removable foot bed (so orthotic will fit if needed),
    Different size inserts to change it from normal to widewidth,

    and easy no questions free shipping and return if I don’t like them. Akin to dansko’s I would highly recommend them. They come in European sizes but their customer service people will help you figure out your size.

    Best of all they have several styles but have AMAZING colors and patterns if you want a fun shoe.

    http://www.alegriashoeshop.com/

    And no, I am not on commission. I wish I were because there are now many people wearing these because of my recommendations. Be sure to look at their clearance shoes.

  • Cathy Chester moderator author
    5 years ago

    Sounds wonderful, Laura. Thanks for the information. I do like my Dansko’s so perhaps I’ll give these a whirl!

  • Betty
    5 years ago

    I recently found some Skechers which are fabulous. One is a “go walk” and the other is “flex”. They are light weight but provide excellent support.

  • Cathy Chester moderator author
    5 years ago

    Great! Thanks for sharing, Betty!

  • Steve Woodward
    5 years ago

    when i was at Uni, i had a pair of green canvas Adidas Campus – the comfiest shoes i ever had!

    they don’t seem to make them anymore, so i got these blue beauties for my birthday last year – http://instagram.com/p/a3AYMqDwbE/# – still amazingly comfy (and still old skool cool, too)

  • Cathy Chester moderator author
    5 years ago

    Wow, they look comfy, Steve. Thanks for sharing!

  • Cathi
    5 years ago

    My favorite shoes are Bailey Button Uggs. I live in them from October thru March. Flat, cute, easy to get in & out of.

  • Cathy Chester moderator author
    5 years ago

    Ooh, they sound comfy, Cathi. I know a lot of people swear by Uggs, so thanks for sharing your favorite shoe story!

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