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Top Physical Therapist Approved Shoes

Got shoes?

As a physical therapist, one of the most common questions I get asked by people of all ages with a variety of injuries is: “Do my shoes affect the injury I have or can a different kind of shoe help?” The short answer is yes. The mechanics of our feet and the support they have on a daily basis play a large role in the mechanics of our entire body. With that said I have decided to compile a list of the top footwear brands I recommend to people with a variety of injuries. I am basing these brands on what they offer the consumer such as comfort, support, price, and the target population of their shoes. Here are my top three PT approved shoes for the everyday person, athlete or weekend warrior.

  1. Asics

Whether you are training for a marathon, run for your health or are on your feet a lot there is something here for you. Their price ranges are very good ($60-$180 plus) and you certainly get what you pay for. I often tell people to seriously consider a model of Asics that run around the $140-$170 range to make sure they get that perfect combination of comfort and support. A $60 shoe may be very supportive or very comfortable but it seldom provides both options in one. The Duomax in the instep of some of their sneakers is also great as it helps support the arch of the consumer with flat feet or what we in “the business” call pronation. This is usually my go to for the average person since they are really easy to find and they offer all of the above benefits.

  1. New Balance

I like this brand for a few reasons. They are a hometown company, which is a plus, and they also have a wide variety of models that offer good support throughout the whole foot, a rather rugged tread good for outdoor terrain, and they have a fit for everyone. They are one of the few walking/running sneakers out there that offer wide sizes (the other that consistently offers wide sizes is Asics). Their price ranges is also very reasonable. They do have more expensive models but most of them run $60-$100 in my experience. If you are a serious runner they may not be for you unless you are trail running but for everyone else it is a safe bet.

  1. Saucony

Saucony needs to be on this list for many reasons. They tend to offer a lot of similar benefits that Asics do but they are generally less expensive. This is also why they are at my number three spot. Like I said with Asics, you get what you pay for. Saucony has models that offer a good combination of comfort and support but are a little less consistent about offering both across a wide array of models. This drives the price down. However, if you are looking for plenty of comfort and enough support without breaking the bank, this may be the shoe for you. Another option is adding an insert to this shoe (which you can do with any of these models although that may not be necessary for all models) to make sure you get adequate support and the comfort the shoe may be missing, or vice versa.

Bonus Brands!!!!!

For the more serious runner (training for a marathon or running for health but doing so at a very high volume) there are some higher level brands I would recommend checking out. Brooks and Hoka’s are very popular. These shoes are designed for runners and give you a wide variety of feels (a more barefoot feel versus a very cushioned and supportive feel) for any kind of runner. For example, on the Brooks website they take you through a series of questions related to your lower extremity alignment, flexibility and overall wants and needs to find the right shoe for you. These are not ideal for the person doing their own gym workouts or running smaller distances for health, but if running is your thing you should really check them out.

So there you have it. The top brands of running shoes that are physical therapist certified. These brands can help you with the mechanics that caused your injury or could cause an injury down the road, help prevent falls and give your feet the care they need to do the best job they can for you.

Back In Motion can also help you figure out the best shoe and/or insert for you. If you have an injury and you think your footwear may have something to do with it, take advantage of our 30 minute free screens and see how PT can help you. Call (207) 839-5860.

Phil Finemore

By Phil Finemore, DPT

Back in Motion Physical Therapy – South Portland, Maine

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