Orthopedic wedding footwear — dare we say orthopedic chic? [UPDATED!]

Updated Jan 5 2021
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Orthopedic wedding footwear -- dare we say orthopedic chic?
Gentle Souls Women's Brynn Mary Jane Flat

Some of us who are getting married have special needs feet — we've got arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and/or countless conditions that cause us pain or discomfort. Chronic pain doesn't make us love cute shoes any less! And heck: some of us who don't have chronic pain just plain old LIKE shoes that feel awesome.

So, here are a few options for those of us who need (or just want!) lower heel heights, more arch support, padded footbeds, and a little more love for our toes. Obviously, you know your special foot needs best and I'm certainly not saying every one of these styles will work for every foot… but each of these brands all have a solid commitment to comfort, stability, and support.

If you're feeling bummed because these don't feel sparkly or fancy enough, that's an easy fix: just get some SUPER SPARKLY shoe clips to slap on 'em and VOILA! Instant orthopedic chic, dahling!

Imagine these oxfords laced with a ribbon that matches your wedding outfit!

Chelsea Crew velvet flats from Modcloth

Orthopedic wedding footwear -- dare we say orthopedic chic?
Gentle Souls Women's Noa Star Wedge Sandal

Orthopedic wedding shoes -- dare we say orthopedic chic?
Geox Womens W THYMAR 1
Orthopedic wedding footwear -- dare we say orthopedic chic?
Gentle Souls Women's Oona Gladiator Sandal
Orthopedic wedding shoes -- dare we say orthopedic chic?
Rieker Women's 608B9 Regina B9 Sandal
Orthopedic wedding shoes -- dare we say orthopedic chic?
Vionic Women's Bella II Sandals


  1. I come from a family of "bad feet" and struggle with always needing a certain kind of support- I can't do flats, and I can't do heels for that long. Clarks brand has been my savoir, and I've got a pair of small heels from them that have been my life savor at every single wedding I've been to since getting them- including my own! I don't know if they still sell them, but they are very similar to these:

    • I totally recommend Clarks heels & boots, I have several pairs that I've walked & stood in for hours on end, comfortably, no problem. And they last for years too! Every other season or so, they'll have some cute, vintagey styles even.

      Aerosoles is another brand I love. Same fit, comfort, & durability as Clarks, just different styles. Also has some great flats. Neither of these has a ton of wild, out-there styles, but they may have the one or two interesting colors or a design with some flair.

  2. THIS!!! I've had a bad left ankle due to multiple sprains since I was 13. The value of a nice, comfortable, but cute pair of shoes has been a hard-learned lesson for years. I can't do flats, as I don't feel any support, and anything over a 1" heel makes my chances of yet another sprain go up exponentially, not to mention just looking at them can make my ankle want to start throbbing in pain.

  3. Blarg! I needed this article two months ago! XD

    I've been battling a wicked case of plantar fasciitis and wedding shoes for our big day were a challenge to find. I settled on these absolutely gorgeous sandals for the ceremony and slipped on my most comfy pair of shoes after pictures. It worked out really well. I still got cute shoes for pictures and comfort for reception. 🙂

    • If you're still dealing with plantar fasciitis now, I highly highly recommend Kalso Earth shoes: http://www.earthbrands.com/item/kalso-earth-shoe-solar/14001. I started wearing some about 6 months into my diagnosis and within a month (while still icing my foot at night and doing some minor stretches), I had no more pain.
      The Solar Maryjanes in the link are also cute and get mad compliments even on my big size 11 feet 🙂

  4. I ended up picking the Gentle Souls Lily Moon shoes in teal (the bright purple flats in this one.)

    I've been breaking them in by going to our dance lessons in them, and not only are they crazy comfy, but I get stopped all the time by people who tell me how much they love them and asking where I got them. It makes me a bit sad they will be hidden under my floor length skirt!

  5. Yes! I have terrible feet, and much as I love shoes, they do not always love me. These are all beautiful. Thank you!

  6. I so wish I could do a guest post on "my" type of shoes, but sadly they do not seem to exist. Unless one of you lovely people knows where to find cute, comfy, affordable shoes in a women's 10.5…?

  7. None of these would work for my feet, since my first three toes are all the same length, which means finding shoes that do work is really hard. But! I wanted to make a plug for those stick-on gel arch supports you can put into shoes. They are the best, and make shoes (especially flats!) soooo much better. I have really high arches and pronate terribly, so for me, good arch support is a must. Since my feet are so hard to fit because of my toes and long narrow foot, I rely on the gel inserts to make my shoes wearable.

    • Arch gel supports REPRESENT!

      Bad back, wide front feet, skinny ankles = gel inserts for every pair of shoes in the house. They really can make the difference between 'Almost fits, will hurt back' and 'Perfect fit, wear all day' shoes.

  8. A reminder that funky colored Converse aren't just for the groom. A grey pair is my "shoe of last resort" if we can't find a prettier shoe that complies what my orthopedist says I need. I'm looking into shoes for contra/folk dancers, since they're often flat and have to be comfortable. Has anyone gone in this direction?

  9. My girlfriend and I are looking at engagement rings, and I just pulled up Offbeatbride to see what their suggestion was. The GF (who has mobility issues) kind of flipped her shit at this post. Thanks for making our day!

  10. OMG thank you for posting this! I have struggled with plantar fasciitis for a couple of years and I know with that it's just going to be an ongoing struggle as I get older, and my wedding is in 2 years. Yay!

  11. I have fallen arches and have been wearing arch supports for some years with grear effect. Of course the problem is getting shoes for attending weddings or the like and I'm sick looking at the ususl clunky ones on offer. Does anyone know of a brand that looks smart, a little heel and can also take a customised orthotic.

  12. Can anyone tell me the brand of the teal slides pictured above? All I can make out is "Thi" and I REALLY love those. Thanks in advance!

  13. I'd love to find out more or purchase from one of these brands, but I don't see the brand names listed on anywhere to click? Help!

    • Heya! This post is 4+ years old at this point and definitely due for an update! We'll see what we can do…

      • Yes, please update! My wedding is this October (writing this in July), and as much as I love and live in my Birks, I so much want to wear pretty heels, at least part of the time. Anyone know if Irregular Choice shoes are supportive at all? Fluevogs?

  14. If you're in the UK a few brands that are good for orthotics include Wolky https://www.wolkyshop.co.uk/
    there is a shop in Brighton (I ordered mine online though) cute shoes that have removable footbeds – even their sandals!

    Hotter https://www.wolkyshop.co.uk/ and Pavers https://www.pavers.co.uk/ also do shoes in different widths with different fastenings. Ecco are another brand that are good.

    Also if you have a shop called shoon in your area – they sell brands with removable footbeds

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