Women’s Shoes

Scroll down for women’s shoes that are wide enough for your toes, (mostly) zero drop, and flexible enough to allow your feet to move naturally.

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Running & Exercise

Interested in working out those intrinsic foot muscles? Try these! With the exception of the Luna Mono, the Leadville Trail sandals are the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to my feet. Yes, you can run in them. I used to take them to the gym with me, but they're definitely best suited for the trails. I ran the Megatransect in these. Luna also makes a covering if you need that extra bit of protection from the elements, but there is no better feeling than going all natural in a pair of Lunas.
Interested in working out those intrinsic foot muscles? Try these! With the exception of the Luna Mono, the Leadville Trail sandals are the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to my feet. Yes, you can run in them. I used to take them to the gym with me, but they’re definitely best suited for the trails. I ran the Megatransect in these. Luna also makes a covering if you need that extra bit of protection from the elements, but there is no better feeling than going all natural in a pair of Lunas.
Lems are the ultimate in minimal comfort. They're lightweight, (6.9oz), zero drop and only 8mm of outsole plus 3mm of insole - that 11mm of stuff under your feet means you're going to feel just enough ground to make your feet smile.
Lems are the ultimate in minimal comfort. They’re lightweight, (6.9oz), zero drop and only 8mm of outsole plus 3mm of insole – that 11mm of stuff under your feet means you’re going to feel just enough ground to make your feet smile.
Vibram Women's KSO
The shoe’s official name is “Vibram Women’s KSO Evo Cross Training Shoe“, but you can run in it too. It has less cushion than my Luna sandals, but if you need to strengthen your feet, this will also do the trick.

The Vivobarefoot Women's Ultra II is supposed to be a "water shoe", but I've run a 25K in these over some serious rocks. They held up relatively well. They are a decent width for toe-spreading.
The Vivobarefoot Women’s Ultra II is supposed to be a “water shoe”, but I’ve run a 25K in these over some serious rocks. They held up relatively well. They are a decent width for toe-spreading.
Narrow feet will probably feel alright in the Merrell Women's Vapor Glove 2 Barefoot Trail Running Shoe. It's a zero drop shoe with practically zero padding. I'd highly recommend trying these on in the store, especially if you have really wide feet like me.
Feet will probably feel alright in the Merrell Women’s Pace Glove 2 Trail Running Shoe. It’s a zero drop shoe with practically zero padding. I’d highly recommend trying these on in the store, especially if you have really wide feet like me.

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Casual

At 13.5mm, it's a bit more cushy than your average Merrell, but this Jungle Glove Lace Slip-On Shoe, is zero drop.
At 13.5mm, it’s a bit more cushy than your average Merrell, but this Jungle Glove Lace Slip-On Shoe, is zero drop.
Introducing the Altra Women's Intuition Everyday Fashion Sneaker. This is one of many Altra Zero-drop shoes (and it also comes in black). Altra shoes are actually a fabulous brand with the exception of stack height. In this model, your foot will sit 23mm above ground. Remember, the higher the stack height, the less flexible your shoes will be. But your toes will love these and there is minimal arch support.
Introducing the Altra Women’s Intuition Everyday Fashion Sneaker. This is one of many Altra Zero-drop shoes (and it also comes in black). Altra shoes are actually a fabulous brand with the exception of stack height. In this model, your foot will sit 23mm above ground. Remember, the higher the stack height, the less flexible your shoes will be. But your toes will love these and there is minimal arch support.
The Lems Womens Boulder Boot is good for winters. I have a pair of these. They're really comfy and combined with a nice wool or fleece sock, you're set for the winter. These are zero drop and very light weight (9.9oz).
The Lems Womens Boulder Boot is good for winters. I have a pair of these. They’re really comfy and combined with a nice wool or fleece sock, you’re set for the winter. These are zero drop and very light weight (9.9oz).
Ahnu Women's Serena Flat are just okay. Note that they do have a heel. Besides that, they're probably not a bad shoe if you're looking for something to hit the bars in.
Ahnu Women’s Serena Flat are okay. Note that they do have a heel. Besides that, they’re probably not a bad shoe if you’re looking for something to hit the bars in.
Jana Thong Sandal
I got married in these, so needless to say, I think they’re great (except for the heel). They’re cute and comfy. My toes do spill over the edge a bit, but it’s not noticeable for anyone (including me). On a side note, if you do get married in flats, be sure your dressmaker knows. I mean tell your dressmaker several times, because I thought I told mine, and they still hemmed my dress too long! I had to pin it up so I can dance/walk/etc…

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Business

I found this shoe at Walmart. The Women's Casual Mary Jane Slip-on Shoe is wide, and very toe friendly. It's a bit on the stiff side and just barely has enough heel to keep the shoe on your feet. That's a no-no for most occasions, but I only use it for interviews and special occasions. For about $10 at Walmart, I'd say it's a step in the right direction. It's not a bad looking shoe and is nice and squishy on the bottom, so it's quite comfortable if you're just interested in giving your feet a break.
I found this shoe at Walmart. The Women’s Casual Mary Jane Slip-on Shoe is wide, and very toe friendly. It’s a bit on the stiff side and just barely has enough heel to keep the shoe on your feet. That’s a no-no for most occasions, but I only use it for interviews and special occasions. For about $10 at Walmart, I’d say it’s a step in the right direction. It’s not a bad looking shoe and is nice and squishy on the bottom, so it’s quite comfortable if you’re just interested in giving your feet a break.
If you absolutely must wear a heel, you'll do your feet best with a thong style. Don't get shoes that have material covering your bunion or a strap over your forefoot (because most shoes that do that will cause you more pain and make your bunion problems worse). Don't get shoes or sandals that have a mini-strap for your big toe. In all instances I've found, that strap is angled poorly and will cause you more harm and make your big toe worse. Your best options are in the thong styles. Don't be ashamed of your bunion because it's not your fault and it's not your genetics either. In most instances (with exercise and the right footwear) you can heal it anyway, so don't worry too much about it. This is the Style&co. Women's Jodii Platform Wedge Thong Sandal. I don't wear heels anymore, but if I did, I would wear this maybe on my wedding anniversary.
If you absolutely must wear a heel, you’ll do your feet best with a thong style. Don’t get shoes that have material covering your bunion or a strap over your forefoot (because most shoes that do that will cause you more pain and make your bunion problems worse). Don’t get shoes or sandals that have a mini-strap for your big toe. In all instances I’ve found, that strap is angled poorly and will cause you more harm and make your big toe worse. Your best options are in the thong styles. Don’t be ashamed of your bunion because it’s not your fault and it’s not your genetics either. In most instances (with exercise and the right footwear) you can reverse much of the damage. This is the Ralph Lauren Women’s Reeta Wedge Sandal. I don’t wear heels anymore, but if I did, I would wear this maybe on my wedding anniversary.
Naot Women's Juneau Dress Sandal
Naot Women’s Juneau Dress Sandal: I generally don’t go for shoes that don’t have a heel strap, but this one seems like something you can pop on at the office and not think twice about them. You’ll see it has a nice wide base to prevent “toe spillage”.

The Lems Women's nine2five shoe is a minimal barefoot shoe. This shoe will provide the space toes need to heal from bunion surgery or bunion prevention and management. They're also a nice business style that will work well with any pantsuit.
The Lems Women’s nine2five shoe is a minimal barefoot shoe. This shoe will provide the space toes need to heal from bunion surgery or bunion prevention and management. They’re also a nice business style that will work well with any pantsuit.

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Numb Toes And Poor Circulation

Someone asked me about my sandals.  “Aren’t you always cold on days like this?  I have numb toes right now!”  It was about 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside and I was wearing split-toe socks about as thick as a regular pair of socks with my sandals.

“No”, I replied.  “My feet don’t get that cold anymore.” …And they don’t.  My toes no longer go numb since I started wearing sandals year-round from about 2014.

She seemed shocked by this news and told me her toes go numb all the time.  She was wearing a pair of pointy-toed shoes with a 2″ heel.  I told her that her shoes looked like they are too tight and the heel is too high.  She said, “but I can wiggle my toes, and wouldn’t the blood go downward into the toes because they point downward?”  I told her it doesn’t quite work like that, but I failed to give her a better explanation.  I didn’t know how to explain to someone so tied to her heels and pointy toes that her shoes are hurting her feet.  I really love this person too and I wanted to be able to help her understand, but I knew that there isn’t much I could say that would have any effect.  I want to share this story here because I want to help her and other people who might find this information.  There is much more work to be done to change the health of feet for the vast majority of shoe-wearing societies.

Shoe Forces
Figure 1

Let’s say this is an example of your shoe (see figure 1).  With every step you take, your foot will follow the direction of force (purple arrows).  The only thing keeping your toes from sliding into the front of the shoe is the top part of the shoe (the laced part in this picture).  You may not be aware of it because you’ve spent so much time in shoes like these, but without the lace portion of the shoe, your toes will slide further down and crunch up at the toe.

You don’t need to wear sandals all the time to increase circulation to your toes.  Many people are in jobs that require them to wear shoes.  But, you shouldn’t need to wear heals unless you’re a model, and if you’re a model, you’re probably not wearing them around the clock, so take them off as much as you can, and exercise your feet to prevent circulation issues.