Orthopedic sneakers are designed with a firm heel counter, a wide toe box and offer the foot a well-balanced, roomy and supportive fit. A podiatrist can provide custom orthopedic shoes for individuals with severe problems or for those that the standard orthopedic sneaker does not help correct the problem or alleviate the foot pain.
An orthopedic should not have a heel measuring more than 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches for the best support and comfort level. Some characteristics that are common to an orthopedic sneaker include a long vamp, a removable inner sole, a semi-rigid or rigid shank and a firm heel counter. For people who have disorders that cause swelling in the feet, such as diabetes, the shoe should offer plenty of room.
For those who suffer from diabetes or swollen feet, an orthopedic sneaker with a hook and loop closure offers an easy adjustment to provide a better and more comfortable fit.
Orthopedic sneakers often have a rubber outsole to prevent slipping that is flared to help provide foot stability. Some shoes come with a polyurethane rocker sole to absorb shock and help reduce pain in the ball of the foot.
Orthopedic sneakers come in a variety of styles and offer various features, such as plastizote foam linings to reduce pressure points, padded collars to reduce irritation and interchangeable or removable insoles to accommodate other orthopedic inserts and to control perspiration issues.