Don't Kill Your Feet: A Podiatrist Ranks Your At-Home Shoes From Best to Worst


(Image credit: @honeybelleworld)

Your shoe choice more or less determines how comfortable you’ll remain throughout the day. Regardless of how cozy your clothing selection is, if your pair of flats or sandals pinch ever so slightly, your comfort level will swiftly start to decline. In an effort to avoid such discomfort, we often tap podiatrists to shed insight on those current footwear silhouettes that won’t cause as much pain.

Today, we wanted to zero in on the best (and worst) shoes to wear around the house. We turned to Benjamin Tehrani, DPM, of Kings Point Foot & Ankle in Los Angeles and creator of Nerve Assist for expert tips on the common styles that are okay and those that could cause some harm to your overall foot health. In addition, given that many of us do spend a lot of time walking barefoot around the house, Tehrani shed light on the pros and cons on that front, too.

Without further ado, keep scrolling for a ranking of the best and worst at-home shoes. And if you’re shopping at the moment, you’ll find shoe recommendations that could be of interest as well.

Best: Supportive Sandals or Slides


(Image credit: @brittanybathgate)

"Supportive sandals are preferred. I am impressed with styles like those from Birkenstock that have the ability to remain in style while also providing the best support in the arches that I've seen to date. They have a soft foot bed that has an integrated latex foam cushion that molds to your feet the more you walk in them. The insole is leather lined so it helps to keep the feet dry and makes it durable, which is why they're typically more expensive than the typical sandal." — Tehrani

Okay in Moderation: Going Barefoot

(Consider Cotton Socks as Well)


(Image credit: @joiedejude)

"I prefer to wear a supportive sandal or slipper versus walking barefooted. Our bodies have adapted to the new-world environment of this concrete jungle, and our feet could use the support more than ever. There is absolutely nothing wrong with walking barefooted around the house but in moderation. For instance, if I am washing dishes or doing my laundry, I know I'll be spending lots of time standing in one place and putting pressure on my heels, arches, and balls of my feet. Even if you're in excellent shape, spending hours on your feet without support can lead to many foot, knee, and hip soft-tissue impairments! In those instances where I know I'm going to be on my feet for more than a half-hour, I prefer to wear sandals, such as Powersteps or Vionic, which have built-in orthotics that support your arches.

"If you're going the sock route, cotton socks help wick sweat away, for those of you whose feet sweat a lot. Cotton is also thicker and provides more comfort for your feet, especially for people who can't stand wearing sandals or slippers around the house." — Tehrani

Worst: Bendable Flip-Flops

Wear Instead: Sandals With Thicker Soles


(Image credit: @thetennillelife_)

"Pay attention to the bottom sole of the sandal or flip-flop. As a general rule of thumb, if it bends in the middle of the sole, it has very poor support and your feet will tire out quickly. Take your thumb and middle finger and grab the heel, do the same thing with your other hand on the ball of the sandal, then squeeze. If the central portion bends, it's literally doing nothing to support your arches during your walking cycle." — Tehrani

Interested in a comfortable pair of sneakers? Here you go:

Next, 29 brand-new sneakers from Nike, Adidas and more.

This post was previously published and has since been updated. 

Bobby Schuessler
Market Director

Hey, there. Bobby here. I've been working as a fashion writer in the industry for over a decade, contributing to various websites and brands such as Refinery29, Men's Health, and of course, Who What Wear. I've spent many years at Who What Wear, currently acting as the senior market editor where I source the coolest and chicest items at our favorite stores to help you, dear readers, build your version of the perfect wardrobe. While I lived in NYC and L.A. for a while, I actually now live in Boston. Sure, I've changed locations, but my fashion perspective remains the same, as I tend to reach for those classic basics with a twist (think slouchy moto jackets, trendy joggers, and the like). When I'm not writing or talking about fashion, you can often find me catching up on my favorite Bravo shows (Vanderpump Rules and The Real Houswives of New York City are my favorites) or sipping my signature cocktail—a vodka martini with a splash of cranberry and a twist.