5 Best Shoes for Physical Therapists

A physical therapist’s footwear should match the demands of the job. Some of these demands include prolonged walking and standing, lifting patients, maneuvering equipment, and more.

Athletic shoes and walking shoes are two categories of shoes that provide forward propulsion, lateral movement, and stability, all qualities required of physical therapy. Below are five examples of shoes that are highly-recommended within the physical therapy community.

1. Adidas Ultraboost 19

The Adidas Ultraboost 19 Running Shoe is designed to be lightweight while withstanding the impact of running. Therefore, this is one of the most comfortable running shoes on the market.

It stands out for its flexible Primeknit upper and 3D heel frame, which is where the “boost” in “Ultraboost” comes from. While this shoe was intended for runners, physical therapists can also benefit from this comfortable, energizing sneaker.

Pros:

  • Lightweight with “second-skin” fit
  • Extra padding in heel

Cons:

  • Less durability due to lightweight materials
  • Inconvenient, lace-up closure
adidas Men's Ultraboost 19 Running Shoe, Black/White, 13 M US
  • Responsive running shoes with an adaptive upper
  • Regular fit; Lace closure; Arch type: Normal
  • adidas Primeknit 360 upper offers an engineered fit that expands and supports as you move through each stride; Dual-density Boost...
  • Weight: 11 ounces (size 9); Midsole drop: 10 mm (heel: 29 mm, forefoot: 19 mm); Natural feel like a second skin
  • Lightweight 3D heel frame for personalized fit; Stabilizing Torsion Spring

2. Skechers Performance Men’s Go Walk 4 Incredible Walking Shoe

The slip-on, solid color design of the Skechers Performance Men’s Go Walk 4 makes it very popular as a casual work shoe. This shoe offers a memory foam footbed with a durable rubber sole, so the wearer can walk for miles in comfort.

There are no laces, which means busy physical therapists don’t have to waste precious time retying their shoes throughout the day.

Pros:

  • Available in a variety of colors
  • Breathable fabric upper
  • Bamboo-lined footbed for odor control

Cons:

  • Tapered design can be uncomfortable for wide feet
  • Soles are reported to be extremely “squeaky”
Sale
Skechers Performance Men's Go Walk 4 Incredible Walking Shoe, Black, 10 M US
  • Radically lightweight ; Tapering midfoot design for improved arch support ; Side S logo
  • Bamboo lined footbed for anti bacterial odor control
  • Tapering midfoot design for improved arch support

3. TIOSEBON Women’s Athletic Walking Shoes

These slip-on TIOSEBON walking shoes have an extremely flexible mesh upper, which guarantees a comfortable, blister-free fit. This shoe is also designed to encourage correct posture while walking, which can help minimize job-related impact on a physical therapist’s body.

The mesh upper provides breathability and the rubber sole provides stability. Combined, they work together to form a walking shoe that is convenient, functional, and comfortable.

Pros:

  • Sock-like fit
  • Available in 33 colors
  • Lace-free design

Cons:

  • Fabric upper is not very durable
TIOSEBON Women's Athletic Walking Shoes Casual Mesh-Comfortable Work Sneakers 8.5 US Black
  • Your feet can breathe easy in the latest iteration of fabric upper
  • High elastic MD outsole,slip resistant,easy to manage any area
  • 0.5 size up for Customer's with very wide feet
  • Perfect accord with human body engineering, green, healthy concept design. Selection of good material, breathable, lightweight,...
  • Please confirm the size chart, CM is foot length.Size is the standard sports shoes size. US size 5=CN size 35=22.5cm,US size 6=CN...

4. New Balance Hook and Loop 577 Shoe

The New Balance Hook and Loop 577 shoe is the reliable workhorse of walking shoes. With a perforated leather upper, it is both sturdy and breathable.

The heel and midsole feature New Balance’s “Abzorb” technology, which is designed for superior shock absorption and energy displacement. The velcro tab closures and extra-padded collar provide stability to the ankles and feet, making this a great shoe to counter the demands of physical therapy.

Pros:

  • Made with heavy-duty materials; extra durable
  • Available in narrow, medium, and wide fits
  • Superior traction and cushioning

Cons:

  • Straps are shorter than similar brands
Sale
New Balance Women's WW577 Hook and Loop Walking Shoe, White, 9 2E US
  • Leather walking shoe featuring hook-and-loop straps and padded tongue and collar
  • ABZORB shock-absorbing cushioning
  • Walking Strike Path outsole flex groove
  • Medicare/HSPCS Code = PDAC A5500 Diabetic Shoes
  • PU midsole

5. Dr. Scholl’s Men’s Brisk Lightweight Dual-strap Sneaker

As promised by its name, the Dr. Scholl’s Men’s Brisk Lightweight Dual-strap sneaker delivers a lightweight walking shoe that is comfortable yet tough enough to take on a demanding work day.

It is noted for its upper that is a blend of mesh and man-made leather, resulting in a sturdy but breathable shoe. The cooling Air-Pillow Gel insoles can soothe tired feet, and its velcro-strap closure is both convenient and practical.

Pros:

  • Slip-resistant
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Padded footbed

Cons:

  • Gel insole isn’t durable
  • Only available in black and white
Dr. Scholl's - Men's Brisk Light Weight Dual Strap Sneaker, Wide Width (10.5 Wide, Black)
  • Mesh and faux leather
  • Dual strap closures
  • Air-Pillo gel insoles
  • Thick rubber outsoles

Buyer’s Guide for Physical Therapists

There’s no such thing as one perfect shoe for every physical therapist. There is only the perfect shoe for you.

If you’re a physical therapist looking for your next work shoe, here are a few things to think about before you make your purchase.

Closed Toes

A physical therapist’s work environment includes such hazards like shuffling feet, dropped weights, and patients with limited mobility. Whether you’re opting for a loafer, a sneaker, or a clog, your work shoes should keep the toes safely enclosed.

Comfort and Fit

One can’t exist without the other. The secret to finding the most comfortable shoe is to nail down the fit.

Removable insoles allow the wearer to customize their shoes based on their own arch support needs.

A tapered fit (narrowing towards the toe) will give extra support to someone with narrow feet. Someone with wide feet will benefit more from a roomy toe box.

Durability

Because physical therapists work so much on their feet, their shoes need to be built to last. A thick, rubber outsole can withstand wear-and-tear while also protecting the feet.

If considering sneakers, remember that running shoes are designed to be feather-light, so they will not have the same durability as a general cross-training shoe.

Appearance and Style

Some workplaces require a dress code, so that might limit the style of shoe that you buy. Solid, neutral colors like black, white, and brown are the most professional options.

A slip-on shoe is sleeker and more convenient than a sneaker with shoelaces.

Physical therapy can be draining, so you need a shoe that will keep you energized throughout the day. A shoe like the Skechers Performance Men’s Go Walk 4 is sturdy and comfortable, and it is an excellent example of a good physical therapist’s shoe.

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