I'm in search of toe-friendly shoes; it is a delicate balance of looks and function. My criteria:
- a wide toe box
- supportive, especially under my big toe
- stylish enough for work (or play)
- small enough for my size 4.5 feet
The Brand: Arcopedico
Arcopedico is a brand that came up repeatedly in my research, and I was eager to try them on for size. They meet my functional requirements, and have a nice selection of interesting shoes.
Arcopedico has 133 unique style/color combinations of women's shoes listed on Zappos.com. More than half of them are flats.
- Flats (74)
- Boots (30)
- Sneakers & Athletic Shoes (21)
- Clogs & Mules (3)
- Loafers (3)
- Sandals (2)
Sizes range from 4.5-15 (US sizing) or 35-46 (European sizing); the only width available is M/B
Prices on Zappos.com range from $67 to $235
I tried two styles of flats, Scala and L14
Scala - $145
Scala is a basic mary jane style with a wide toe box, good arch support, and an adjustable velcro strap. They are simple in appearance and would blend in fine in a professional environment. I ordered the smallest size, 35, which is described as equivalent to US 4.5-5. However, they were too big for my feet. If they came in a 34, I would have tried the smaller size. Alas, they don't.
L14 - $95
I was very intrigued by the L14. Again, they have the supportive base that Arcopedico is known for. They have removable insoles that can be replaced with a personal orthotic. They also are vegan and machine washable.
The upper portion of the shoe is actually a stretchy material called Lytech. The forgiving nature of the stretchy material is especially good for bunions and hammertoes. Although this type of fabric is a bit unorthodox, I thought it made the shoes rather funky & fun.
While there isn't a strap to adjust the fit of the shoe, there is a cord that can be tightened to make the opening of the shoe smaller. The cord is attached to the black button on the top front. I tightened the shoe a bit and wrapped the loose cord around the button to hide it from sight.
I wore the shoes around my house for a half hour. At first, they seemed to fit well enough and I really liked the way the stretchy fabric felt against my problem toe. However, they started to feel too stretchy after a short time and my feet began to slide around a bit in the shoe. As with the Scala, I concluded that the 35 was too large for me. Again, I would have tried the shoe in a size 34 if it had been available.
Arcopedico hits the mark when it comes to supportive shoes with a wider toe box. They have a variety of styles that can blend into a professional work environment. They aren't for me, since they don't come in a small enough size, but they are worth checking out.
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- Have you tried Arcopedico shoes? What did you think?
- What other brands do you recommend?