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Shoes are one of our favorite ways to make a statement and show off our style. However, it’s not just about fashion. As the most functional wardrobe item, you want your shoes to look good, but they also need to feel good—meaning they need to provide good support and keep your soles comfortable with every wear. After all, uncomfortable shoes aren’t just bad for your feet; they’re bad for your finances and your closet real estate as you’re much less likely to wear a pair of uncomfortable shoes.
When it comes to shoes, comfort matters to us just as much as fashion. So, we searched dozens of shoes to find the ones that are that perfect mix of style and comfort, offering our soles the arch support and cushion they deserve (and require, according to board-certified foot surgeon Dr. Brad Schaeffer).
From sneakers to sandals to booties and heels, here are our top picks for the best and most comfortable shoes, as well as expert insights from Dr. Schaeffer and wardrobe stylist Samantha Brown.
Best Overall: Hoka One One Bondi 7
The most comfortable shoe, without a doubt, is the Hoka Bondi 7—and Dr. Schaeffer agrees, as they are one of two brands he always recommends to his patients (psst: the second brand is our top choice for the running sneaker category). These shoes have 4.5 stars from over 5,000 Hoka customers with comfort, style, and quality being some of the main reasons so many love the sneaker. Some—including us—liken them to walking on clouds because they are truly that comfy and supportive. They’re a great sneaker for all-day comfort, provide ample support for those with foot or ankle injuries, and some have found that the impressive amount of support can help reverse other ailments such as back pain, too.
Construction: EVA midsole, rubber outsole, memory foam collar, open mesh | Size Range: 5-12
Best Budget: Waluzs Slip-on Sneakers
Budget-friendly and comfort don’t always go together when it comes to shoes. But, over 3,000 Amazon customers agree that these slip-on sneakers are comfortable and affordable. The slip-on sneakers are made of breathable canvas uppers with a durable nonslip rubber sole, come in some fun colors and prints (we love the olive color!), and they’re super flexible, which adds to the comfort level. Since the shoes are flat, we recommend adding insoles for extra cushion.
Construction: Canvas upper, rubber soles | Size Range: 5-11
Best Fashion Sneakers: Vionic Electra Sneaker
Thanks to the size of their sole, chunky sneakers can naturally boast a lot of comfort, but not all are created equal. If you’re looking for a stylish and comfortable chunky sneaker, our top choice is the Electra Sneaker from Vionic. The sneakers have a 2.25-inch heel with a 1-inch platform, giving you extra height and cushion, and are stylish enough to wear with your OOTD yet supportive enough to slip them on for a long walk.
Construction: Leather and textile upper, synthetic lining and sole | Size Range: 5-9.5
Best Sandals: Teva Hurricane Verge
Sandals aren’t typically the most comfortable shoe, but some of the sporty styles prove that belief wrong. Case in point: The Hurricane Verge from Teva is one of the most comfortable sandals on the market, thanks to its incredibly bouncy and supportive EVA footbed and straps that are designed to keep the foot secure. They are so comfortable that they are actually designed to be worn while hiking or walking.
Construction: Webbing from recycled plastic, mesh lining, EVA footbed, rubber outsole | Size Range: 5-14
Best Slip-Ons: Allbirds Tree Loungers
When shopping for the most comfortable slip-on sneaker, you want a pair that offers you that required support but also feels like it’s hugging your feet. These Tree Loungers from Allbirds are exactly that (and so much more). We love the simple yet stylish design, the ultra-supportive, comfortable sole, and the fact that they are made of renewable materials—eucalyptus tree fiber, to be exact—and are machine washable. Eco-friendly, comfortable, and washable? Yes, please.
Construction: Castor bean oil-based insole foam, Tencel Lyocell (eucalyptus tree fiber) upper, sugarcane-based green EVA | Size Range: 5-11
Best Running Sneakers: Brooks Ghost 14
As we previously mentioned, Dr. Schaeffer has two favorite sneaker brands and, in addition to Hoka, he is a big fan of Brooks. After rigorously researching the best and most comfortable running sneakers, we agree that Brooks is a great place for comfy shoes, but the Ghost 14 stands out the most to us. They are designed for everyday runs and especially great for road runs, providing tons of cushion, support, and an overall great fit.
Construction: DNA Loft cushioning, soft blown rubber outsole | Size Range: 5-13
Best Walking Sneakers: Allbirds Tree Runners
If you’re looking for a comfortable sneaker that you can walk forever in but also pairs well with more than athleisure, the Allbirds Tree Runners are a must-try. They are designed specifically for walking (especially in warmer weather) and everyday wear and are made of a breathable, responsibly sourced eucalyptus tree fiber upper, giving them that eco-friendly edge we love to see. They also have a built-in insole for added comfort and have thousands of reviews from customers shouting their comfort praises.
Construction: Castor bean oil-based insole foam, ZQ merino wool heel lining, recycled plastic bottles, sugarcane-based green EVA, Tencel Lyocell upper | Size Range: 5-11
Best Booties: Clarks Memi Top
Much like Hoka and Brooks, Clarks is another brand known for comfortable shoes and their selection of booties is no exception. Our top pick for this category is the Memi Top because it has that classic design (there’s no sacrificing style for comfort here), is available in lots of great colors, has both medium and wide sizing options, and is made with a Cushion Plus footbed for long-lasting comfort.
Construction: Part-recycled foam footbed and rubber sole | Size Range: 5-12
Best Winter Boots: UGG Yose Waterproof Lace-Up Boot
Winter boots are an investment item and finding an option that is as comfortable as it is durable is a must. With that in mind, we can’t think of a better boot for this category than the UGG Yose. It’s made of waterproof leather, can withstand temperatures as low as negative 89 degrees F (a different and much-appreciated type of comfort), has a plush insole for added cushion, and will keep every part of your feet and ankles comfortable, warm, and supported in heavy rain and snow.
Construction: White Spider Rubber outsole, UGGplush wool insole, waterproof leather upper | Size Range: 5-12
Best Knee-High Boots: Steve Madden Gyrate Tall Boot
For a knee-high boot that is stylish but also super comfy, we present the Gyrate Tall Boot from Steve Madden. These beautiful boots are made of high-quality leather with a chunky synthetic sole that gives some height without losing must-needed comfort.
Construction: Leather upper, textile/synthetic lining, synthetic sole | Size Range: 6-10
Best for Work: Clarks Orinoco 2 Loafer
Loafers make for a great work shoe because they can be worn with both dressy and casual looks—but they must be comfortable if you’re going to wear them all day (and potentially commute in them). The most comfortable work shoes are these Orinoco 2 loafers, which come in light sand suede and glossy black leather. In addition to the comfortable construction, the shoe is also made with a Cushion Plus and part-recycled foam footbed, adding extra cushy comfort to the design.
Construction: Black leather upper, cleated rubber sole | Size Range: 5-11
Best Heels: TOMS Majorca Closed Toe Sandal
Heels aren’t the most ideal for a comfortable shoe, but brands such as TOMS have found ways around that notion. These heeled sandals are designed with an OrthoLite Eco X40 Hybrid insole, which provides the feet with long-lasting support and comfort (and is made from eco-friendly materials). It’s also available in some fun color and pattern options, so you can find something stylish while still being comfortable.
Construction: Suede upper, OrthoLite Eco X40 Hybrid insole, leather-wrapped heel with leather welt, zipper closure | Size Range: 5-12
Best Mules: Soludos Venetian Mule
These aren’t just the most comfortable mules, these are the best mules. The timeless design goes well with virtually anything—including warmer and colder weather outfits. The addition of Ortholite padding gives them a layer of comfort and durability that doesn’t just support the soles but also keeps the feet feeling good no matter how long you’re wearing them.
Construction: Stacked leather heel, leather or suede upper | Size Range: 5-11
Best Clogs: Crocs Classic Clog
We’d be remiss not to include one of the most popular shoe trends on this list, mostly because they are probably one of the most comfortable shoes ever. The classic Crocs Clog is incredibly lightweight—like, virtually weightless—and made of a supportive and cushioned Croslite material that keeps the feet cool and comfortable. In addition to comfort, we love the statement these make with the addition of Jibbitz charms.
Construction: 100% synthetic materials | Size Range: 4-19
Best for Travel: Rothy’s The Sneaker
If you’re traveling, you want a comfortable shoe that is great for the car, plane, or train, but also good for sightseeing and exploring. We love The Sneaker from Rothy’s because it is made for long wear and lots of walking with its flexible, lightweight design. It’s also incredibly versatile and goes well with almost anything, so you’ll get a lot of use out of it while you travel (and it might just be the only shoe you travel with). On top of that, it’s a great eco-friendly option and is machine washable so you can easily pop your sneakers into the laundry when you arrive back home and have shoes that look good as new.
Construction: Knit upper spun from plastic water bottles | Size Range: 5-13
Best for Hiking: Sketchers Trego Rocky Mountain Hiking Boot
We love these hiking shoes from Sketchers because they are designed with an Air-Cooled Memory Foam cushioned comfort insole, making them supportive, comfortable, and great for trekking through the great outdoors. Additionally, the hiking shoes are waterproof and feature all-terrain rubber traction, giving them an added layer of safety.
Construction: All-terrain rubber traction outsole; suede, synthetic, and mesh upper | Size Range: 6-11
Best Slippers: UGG Ansley Water Resistant Slipper
There is nothing more comfortable than sliding into your slippers at the end of the day … so long as those slippers are also comfy. We love these UGG slippers because they are soft and plush (as a slipper should be), but also have a durable EVA rubber sole for added comfort, support, durability, and safety.
Construction: Leather upper, UGGpure wool lining, EVA rubber sole | Size Range: 5-12
Best for Wide Feet: Owlkay Comfort Loafers
First of all, how cute are these shoes? The sporty knit Comfort Loafers from Owlkay aren't just a pretty shoe, though. They are comfortable and—even better—designed with wider feet in mind. The shoes are lightweight, durable, and made to balance out your stance, which can have a ripple effect on the whole body. They’re a go-to for people with flat feet as they can help eliminate some discomforts, and are also supportive enough for those with plantar fasciitis.
Construction: Rubber sole | Size Range: 5-11
Best Wedges: Dr. Scholl’s Scout Sandal
Out of all the heel styles, wedges tend to be the most comfortable, thanks to that little bit of platform. But, the most comfortable pair of wedges is the Scout Sandal from Dr. Scholl’s. These leather sandals have a contoured and supportive footbed with wide straps that wrap around the foot and are designed to keep soles safe and secure.
Construction: Leather upper, synthetic lining, rubber sole | Size Range: 6-11
Best Slides: BRONAX Cloud Slippers
There is a reason why these are Instagram’s favorite slide sandals. The entire shoe is made of EVA material, so it’s essentially a sandal made entirely out of the Hoka soles. Its cloud-like design gives the soles some extra bounce, support, and comfort with each stride. Plus, it comes in lots of fun colors and is a fantastic budget-friendly option, too.
Construction: EVA sole | Size Range: 4-14.5
What to Look for When Buying Comfortable Shoes
Whether comfort is top of mind or not, styling capabilities are important to consider, says wardrobe stylist Samantha Brown. “Consider the ease in which you can style them [with] the rest of your wardrobe,” she explains. Being more mindful about how much wear you’ll get from them (and how to style them) will help prevent a shoe graveyard “where purchased shoes can be underutilized."
Some comfortable shoes can come with a bigger price tag. For that reason, Brown says to consider the cost-per-wear. “If you’re investing a bit more but will wear them frequently, it’s worth spending more money for something comfortable and of good quality,” she says.
Sole and Heel
“When you’re shopping for a shoe, it’s important to look for a stable sole with a great heel counter,” Dr. Schaeffer says. “The reason for this is due to our ‘gait style’ (the way we walk), which goes from heel-strike to toe-off.” He also adds that the gait cycle “needs the support from our shoes and insoles to avoid developing any foot pain.”
With comfort, of course, you also want support. “Unsupportive shoes can come in all shapes and sizes,” says Dr. Schaeffer, adding that these typically include heels, pointy shoes, ballet flats, and flip-flops. “These types of shoes are often flimsy and do not offer structured support, which often leads to a variety of foot-related issues and injuries.”
What is the most comfortable type of shoe?
“The most comfortable type of shoe is one that has appropriate support and comfort,” says Dr. Schaeffer, adding that there are many different types of shoes that provide this perfect mix of support and comfort. “It truly depends on your foot type and any underlying issues that you may have. I always tell my patients to get something with a wide toe box, so your toes are not squished together.” He also notes how shoes with arch support are also important because they “help with any heel pain and something that has a good cushion can make your feet feel good.”
What is the best type of shoe for daily use?
“My go-to shoe brands that I use and recommend to my patients are Brooks and Hoka,” says Dr. Schaeffer, adding that these brands and their designs “help the way we not only walk but run.” And, if you are someone who needs extra support from an insole, Brooks and Hoka shoes are also great because “they have enough room to support an insole and not make the shoe feel too tight.”
How can you make a shoe more comfortable?
The best way to make a shoe more comfortable and optimize shoe comfort, in general, is to invest in a pair of insoles. “Dr. Scholl’s has a variety of insoles that improve cushioning, energy return, support, and even shoe fit,” Dr. Schaeffer explains. “For everyday use, I recommend Dr. Scholl’s Float-On-Air Insoles, which are lighter than traditional insoles [and] provide relief from tired, achy feet.”
Why Trust Byrdie
Contributing writer Jessie Quinn has a bachelor’s degree in fashion journalism. From working in the fashion closet and interviewing designers at NYLON to now writing about the best style trends for various publications, Jessie researches and sources the best fashion finds. Jessie considers herself an active person and, therefore, spends a lot of time on her feet. Not to mention: She lives in a major city which requires more walking than average. With that said, comfort is the number one thing Jessie considers when shopping for her personal shoe collection. For this story, she used her experience with comfortable shoes and active feet, plus her years of product research skills, to narrow down the best and most comfortable shoes out there. She considered everything from arch support to quality to curate this list of comfy shoes.