Professionalish shoes I can run in
August 27, 2017 12:44 PM   Subscribe

I just started a job where, in addition to being on my feet all day (which I'm used to), I sometimes need to be able to run. What are some non-sneaker shoes that will allow me to do that?

I'm looking for a reasonably professional-looking shoe that will allow me to run (short distances, not more than a few times a day typically) without wrecking my feet/ankles.

- must come in (women's) half sizes
- strongly prefer vegan shoes, but if that's not possible then it's not
- I have intermittent plantar fasciitis, I over-pronate, and I'm slightly overweight, so supportive shoes are important
- price is some object? I don't really want to spend more than $100 but I could, I guess?
- I wear pants and skirts/dresses about equally often so if there are shoes that work with both, that'd be amazing, but also I can buy two pairs of shoes
- I will do basically anything to avoid going to a shoe store in person
posted by goodbyewaffles to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (20 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Please groove to Algeria shoes. I have your issues, plus flat-ish, wide feet. These shoes can be run in, worked in, dog-walked in, and go-to-gallery-opening in. I have six pair of various styles.
Vegan they ain't, but you can't have everything.
posted by BostonTerrier at 12:53 PM on August 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Do you have access to a podiatrist? Because one part of the solution could be orthotic inserts that you put into various shoes (which insurance might pay for, in total or partially) -- this would mean that the support is custom-molded to your foot for maximum aid, and you could be less picky about the support the shoe itself provides.
posted by BlahLaLa at 12:54 PM on August 27, 2017

Right, should've said that: I am pretty afraid of doctors and hate dealing with insurance so custom orthotics are out. I have bought Dr. Scholl's insoles or whatever but they always slide around in my shoes and make me crazy. I'd rather have fewer shoes than a lot of shoes and annoying removable insoles.
posted by goodbyewaffles at 1:00 PM on August 27, 2017

How much running? Because Dansko flats are quite supportive (they don't just make clogs)
posted by Peach at 1:13 PM on August 27, 2017

Look for Aravon shoes by New Balance.
posted by she's not there at 1:14 PM on August 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Have you tried more expensive insoles than Dr. Scholl's? Superfeet inserts cost $30-$50 apiece but come in different levels of support, and the heel cup design holds your foot (and the insert) in place pretty well. Examples from Nordstrom, which will happily take a free return (via mail) if you try them and find that they don't work for you.

Also, Dr Scholl's themselves come in tons of different styles. The "tri-comfort" insoles are the only kind I will buy. I linked to Target which is consistently cheaper than Walgreens for this particular product.

For the purpose of running, the #1 most important thing is to have a strap that holds your heel firmly in place. No slip-ons.
posted by serelliya at 1:20 PM on August 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Skechers has some dressier styles with their memory foam insole, which is insanely comfortable. These ones, maybe? Not vegan but hits everything else on your list.
posted by Flannery Culp at 1:59 PM on August 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

Fluevogs, bought used on Ebay. They are the most comfortable, dressy shoes, I have ever owned and you can absolutely run in the Minis.
posted by corb at 2:48 PM on August 27, 2017

When I had a job where I had to look professional while being on my feet I generally wore rubber-soled loafers or mary janes from Payless or Kmart.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 3:12 PM on August 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

I would find shoes that you like and then see a podiatrist to get fitted for custom orthotics. I'm a physician and have similar requirements for shoes - after having excruciating foot pain in my right foot and being worried about a stress fracture, I saw a podiatrist. He took some X-rays and it turns out that I just needed to be wearing the right insoles. My foot pain was better within days.

FWIW, even though there are non-clog Danskos, I would not recommend them for anyone who has to run. The soles are too thick to feel what's underfoot. I have sprained both ankles while wearing them because of this.
posted by honeybee413 at 4:49 PM on August 27, 2017

Dr. Scholl's insoles aren't worth the rubber they're made from. Superfeet or Powerstep Pinnacles are where it's at. (I find the latter stay supportive for longer, but YMMV.) I used to have custom orthotics for my flat feet, but when they wore out I just started getting "premium" off-the-rack ones (I always get the most supportive, so either Superfeet Orange or Powerstep Pinnacle Maxx) and I never noticed a difference between them and my custom ones. Much cheaper too, and no need to deal with a doctor.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:53 PM on August 27, 2017

Did you know that Zappos have free returns? You could order 20 different pairs and easily return all of them if you wanted to. Most shoes have videos of a real person wearing them, too.

If you are ok with clogs, Sanitas (clearance, outlet) are better for running (for me at least) than sneakers, no joke. They can look "crunchy" but in patent "leather" they look quite professional, I think.

(People referenced Dansko above so I want to mention that they used to be amazing when they were manufactured by Sanitas but they lost that partnership in 2007 and haven't been the same since).

If you prefer more feminine shoes, Taryn Rose is the gold standard and can be in your budget if you get them on clearance.

Both Sanitas and Taryn Rose offer a lot of vegetarian options.

Lastly, a couple years ago I went to my local running store and for all of $20 and 5 minutes their on-staff physical therapist looked at my running gait and recommended appropriate insoles for me.
posted by rada at 4:57 PM on August 27, 2017 [2 favorites]

Seconding Alegria. I have some of the same foot issues as you, and wear Alegria runners to work (as a nurse). I haven't tried their non-runner options, but the insoles are solid and provide excellent arch support.
posted by snorkmaiden at 6:41 PM on August 27, 2017

Dansko clogs are amazing but actually hard to run or even walk long distances in. They are IDEAL for standing-based and regular walking around jobs, however.

Mephistos are much more flexible for movement and still supportive but not cheap, at all.

(Interesting news re Dansko, I had been wondering about the difference)
posted by bquarters at 6:42 PM on August 27, 2017

Duty boots. A nice polishable leather toe (or the vegan equivalent), plenty of ankle support from the 6 to 8 inch height of the boot, plenty of sizes available (including wide sizes), and basically designed to be used for long periods of standing and walking with short stretches of running.
posted by ericales at 9:22 PM on August 27, 2017

I love All birds - sleek but pretty walkable. Not vegan thiugh
posted by pando11 at 10:06 PM on August 27, 2017

I worked Security (walking patrol) at a certain rodent's house and took the recommendation of my LEO family member and bought a pair of Red Wing work shoes. The exact model I had (which were rated for the USPS workforce) appears to not exist anymore, but this is similar. I worked there for almost four years and only at the end were they starting to wear out.
(Yes, those are a men's shoe, but they're treated as unisex.)
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:17 PM on August 28, 2017

This is a job for the Keen Rose sandal. They are more close-toed than they appear in the photo. I wear them to the beach, work, nice restaurants and they are perfection - look like new, and I often get compliments on them.
posted by dreamphone at 6:51 PM on August 28, 2017

I ended up, as suggested, buying a bunch of pairs on Zillow. I kept a pair of Skechers. They've been serving me well for a month know :) Thanks, Flannery Culp and everybody!
posted by goodbyewaffles at 1:40 PM on September 27, 2017 [1 favorite]

...why did I say Zillow? Zappos. Yikes, past self. (also, that's "a month NOW")
posted by goodbyewaffles at 5:41 PM on September 28, 2017

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