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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Foot Orthotics: Best for Water Sports with Shoe Recommendations

     Water shoes and sandals have become very popular and important as the summer months, hot weather, and beach or pool activities have arrived. For those of you that wear orthotic devices for foot and leg problems, the thought of going without this protection while around water can bring great concern. First of all, I tend to prefer water shoes over sandals for better protection and stability for my patients. But, with proper water resistant orthotic devices (only the plastic part of the device), water sandals with an enclosed heel to hold the orthosis can be very stable. See the photo of an orthotic device without any material that water would effect with the Merrell water shoe it was designed to fit. If you have a good fitting orthotic device, any orthotic lab could make these off the original cast.

     Common water shoes that I recommend are (in no particular order):
  • Ahnu Muir--Men
  • Teva Sunkosi 2--Men
  • Salomon Techamphibian 2--Men and Women
  • Merrell Water ProSable--Women
     Common water sandals that work well with orthotic devices (in no particular order):
  • Teva Dozer--Men and Women
  • Teva Cardenas Fisherman
  • Keen Mystic--Women
  • Keen Commuter Rockaway--Men
  • Merrell Chameleon 3Maze--Men


  1. I found your post really interesting and it has really improved my knowledge on the matter.

  2. gladtocook@yahoo.comMay 22, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    I am a female with osteoarthritis and I would like to enroll in aquacise classes near my home. My problem is that my right leg is 1 3/8" shorter than my left leg and I would like to know if there is a company that can make custom water shoes for my needs. Please let me know if you know of someone that can help me with this request. Thank you so much!

  3. Here is a link that I hope will help. Rich
    We should only be limited by our imagination here.

  4. Hi Dr Blake, I had a couple of appointments with you over 15 years ago and the orthotic you prescribed was very helpful -- years later I had different insurance (Kaiser) and ended up needing to fuse my big toes first MTP. Now with very wide feet finding shoes is tough.

    I need to purchase water shoes and none of the ones you have listed are both still available and available in wide widths. Is there anything you would recommend? I also tend to overpronate. I'd be grateful for any suggestions! -Rudi

    1. Rudi, I am glad the orthotics have helped. I looked around and here is a link that may help. Rich

  5. Does one have to be specific about if the molded footbed of the water shoe has a built in arch of some kind? Are plastic orthodics made off the same cast typically as expensive as those with the additional leather material? It would be awesome (although I know it's a pain in the rear to keep current) if you could update your links with available brands styles as many of these are no longer available. For others, from time to time, check sites like Sierra Trading Post, Sportsman's guide, 6 p.m. for deep discounts on limited sizes styles of these hiker-style amphibious shoes. I'm currently on the hunt for some to take to Asia that will accommodate my orthodics. Are traditional orthodics water "resistant"? Like...if I don't swim in them or wade in them, would they hold up if I stepped in a puddle, or with exposure to constant sweat and humidity? I've only had my new orthodics for two weeks...and dang are they expensive!

  6. The insoles for plantar fasciitis are marketed as a simple solution to eliminate most of the discomfort, associated with plantar fasciitis. They do achieve that, but there is a side effect - your feet will hurt more, when you are not wearing the insoles, and the original problem still remains in place. I find this website for Best Insoles for Flat Feet you can visit this site.

  7. what would be the best insoles you suggest for flat feet?

    1. Hey Richard, I love the brand Sole for flat feet. You can heat mold them if you need to, but I try to get patients to try as is, at least first. Rich

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.