I need more cushion for the... oh, never mind.
November 12, 2011 7:24 PM   Subscribe

It's cold outside! Help me find some wintertime shoes [or inserts], that aren't crocs. All sorts of feet problems and style nitpickiness inside.

I've always been plagued by terrible feet. Plantar fashciitis, being overweight, and other things with how my feet are formed make for very painful appendages. Working retail, it would get so bad I couldn't think, and I would come home and be in so much pain I couldn't sleep. Then, about 7 months ago, I found crocs. It was kind of a spur of the moment, sure why not lets just try them on decision. And they literally changed my life. My feet don't hurt as much, or sometimes not at all. But now it's cold and the mary-jane esque shoes I have are a no-go. I've tried a bunch of other shoes, and I've found that I don't really need support, I need cushion. That's why crocs work so well- they're just a foot shaped piece of squishy rubber. Ideally my shoes would be made out of that weird gel squishy stuff you find in mouse pads.

So, now that it's cold outside i need some more substantial shoes. I've checked out all of the other crocs, even tried them all on, and i don't like them. So now I'm looking for other shoes you may know of that are unusually squishy. Or maybe even some inserts that are squishy. Don't make me resort to buying some crocs flip-flops and shoving them into a boot.

As far as style goes, I'm a bit of your typical early-20 hipsterish kid when it comes to footwear. I like oxfords. I like boots. I could even be persuaded to wear man shoes that didn't make my feet look huge. As long as I can wear it with a dress/leggings, and it's flat, I'm good to go. I'd prefer it be on the dressy side of casual, though.
posted by FirstMateKate to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (18 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Crocs make boots. Look on endless.com, they have a bunch of styles.
posted by fshgrl at 7:30 PM on November 12, 2011

It'd be helpful to know what you have tried and disliked. Pretty common answers to this question include Clarks and Danskin. You mention you have tried other Crocs and dislike them - have you tried their clog?
posted by quodlibet at 7:30 PM on November 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Try out some inserts from your local drug store, get the cushiest ones possible and then bring them when you go try on shoes, you might need a slightly longer or wider size shoes if you're going to wear them with inserts.
posted by mareli at 7:31 PM on November 12, 2011

How about Alegria boots? Alegrias are made for people with RA and other such issues, so they are super super squishy. Insanely so.
posted by dayintoday at 7:35 PM on November 12, 2011

Dansko clogs, all the way. Especially if you are not too worried about aesthetics. I stand up all day and they are the only thing I wear to work.
posted by bquarters at 7:36 PM on November 12, 2011

Dansko - not danskin.
posted by quodlibet at 7:40 PM on November 12, 2011

Dr. Scholl's has various types of "massaging gel" inserts that look pretty squishy to me. As mareli says, bring them with you when shopping for shoes.

I guess Docs might be a little too blocky for your tastes, but man, those air-cushion soles really are comfy for standing and walking.

Finally, re plantar fasciitis: I had a horrible case of it that would go away and come back. Physiotherapy and massaging my soles with a rubber reflex hammer finally banished it for me 5 years ago and counting. (If you don't have insurance, spending the money for a single consult with a PT who can show you exercises and self-massage techniques can still help a lot).
posted by maudlin at 7:45 PM on November 12, 2011

Softwalk shoes have this egg crate kind of footbed that is extremely cushy.
posted by crankylex at 7:50 PM on November 12, 2011

Also, Zappos has a wide selection of Softwalk shoes, including boots.
posted by crankylex at 7:53 PM on November 12, 2011

A podiatrist could make you a custom insole that would help fix the problem. I was in this exact situation two years ago. After using my custom insoles faithfully since then, my feet have healed, and I no longer have pain, even when I don't wear them. Cushion feels good, but it's likely not actually helping your feet get better. Good luck!
posted by decathecting at 9:13 PM on November 12, 2011

Insoles are fucking awesome. If you like the deepest, plushest cushioning, you can layer them so they are little matressess for your feet. Also think about wearing all-day socks or hiking socks as well as the insoles.

I use the Dr Scholl full gel inserts and then hiking socks and can be up on my bunion afflicted, cranky ass feet for ten hours or so with no issues. Combine that with some Docs and it's seriously lush.
posted by Jilder at 12:25 AM on November 13, 2011

Keep stretching and exercising your foot, there are lot's of good exercises online. I had plantar fasciitis for a year and it took me ages to get rid of it.

Also recommending Springstep shoes. I have 2 pairs of their shoes and they are like walking on air, cute in a fun way not overly twee. While not cheap they are not as expensive as some comfy brands out there.

I know you said no Crocs, but have you checked out the Crocs website what you see instores is maybe 1/10th of what they sell, they have a lot of super comfy closed shoes and boots. I have shoes from their I wear for office work and no one believes me when I say they are crocs. I have a pair of their heels and it's like walking on clouds and the only heels I can wear all day. They also do an insert for putting in normal shoes.
posted by wwax at 6:29 AM on November 13, 2011

Definitely not dressy, but have you tried Uggs? They are mega comfy!
posted by Kololo at 7:49 AM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

I can't find them on Landsend, but my current shoes are Merrills, and are very comfortable, look okay, and make my feet happy. I do okay with Dansko, and some similar clogs. Also, check out LLBean.
posted by theora55 at 10:14 AM on November 13, 2011

Take a look at Footsmart - they have lots of comfy shoes, and recommendations for specific foot problems. I personally have had great luck with Orthaheel shoes and insoles, worked even better for me than the spendy custom orthotics I got from my podiatrist.
Also nthing Danskos. They aren't cushy, but feel oh so good. I've bought quite a few pairs of Danskos on ebay, if you want to try them without the initial cash outlay for new ones.
posted by sarajane at 10:35 AM on November 13, 2011

The squishy-comfiest shoes I've found, that completely relieve plantar fascitis issues as long as I'm wearing them, are Skechers shape-ups - those ugly things that supposedly "tone" your legs and have your heel sitting lower than the rest of your foot. Relieves all pressure, somehow. So squishy, so comfy... I haven't tried the boot version, but at this price it's definitely worth a try:

posted by fingersandtoes at 5:23 PM on November 13, 2011

I've recently had to come to terms that all my adorable non-supportive shoes must go, so I, too, am in the market for good supportive squishy-insoled shoes. So far the thing that's worked best (because I am vain, dammit, and picky as fuck when it comes to the style of my shoes...and it seems you and I have similar styles) is to buy good quality supportive shoes and then stick memory foam insoles in them. They get squished flat pretty quickly, so I put new ones in every couple months.

For good quality stylish boots that are supportive and well padded to begin with, I've found that since riding boots and prairie looking boots seem to be in style, that real riding boot companies have what I want. I bought a pair of Ariat jodphur boots on ebay, and I am never going back to fake riding boots. They're sooooo nice.
I am currently stalking these Ariat boots and these.

Good luck, I'll be watching this thread!
posted by JuliaIglesias at 5:43 PM on November 13, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks to everyone who made suggestions!I've decided to go with insoles like some of you suggested. This brand got good reviews, and I've got my eye on this pair in particular. [Don't they just look heavenly?] There's a running supply store by my house who sells them. After I give them a try, I'll let everyone know how it goes.

[And Julia, buying new insoles every few months won't even make me bat my eye. I'm on pair 3 of Crocs, just since february! The weight on the ball of my foot is so concentrated to one teeny, tiny spot, that it only takes me 2 or 3 months to wear a hole in my shoe. Crazy, I know.]
posted by FirstMateKate at 1:46 PM on November 16, 2011

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