Your feet—and closet—will thank you.
There's no better feeling than packing away your salt-stained, seen-better-days winter boots and refreshing your closet with new spring-ready shoes. But not all spring styles are exactly foot-friendly (we're looking at you, ballet flats without sufficient arch support). Embrace the warmer weather with these shoes that boast features like a not-too-high heel, wide toe box, arch support, and a cushioned footbed for comfort with every step.
No matter which style you choose, make sure it's the correct size for your feet. "Shoes should always fit just right," says New York City–based podiatrist Jacqueline Sutera, MD, who is also a member of the Vionic Innovation Lab. "Not too tight and not loose, which can lead to toenail injury and make any preexisting bunions or hammertoes much worse."
Madewell Kiera Mule Sandal
If you choose to wear heels, Dr. Sutera recommends styles that are 2 inches or lower. "Higher heeled styles should be worn in moderation and for short periods of standing or walking," she says. We're obsessed with these buttery leather mules from Madewell right now; along with a 2-inch heel, they have wide, supportive straps with hidden elastic panels and a padded cushion.
Dr. Scholl's Imagine Wedge Loafer
Update your dark winter loafers with this springy, snake-embossed pair. The lighter "greige" hue perfectly bridges seasons, and the sneaker-inspired sole gives a casual edge to your outfits. Also good: a memory foam footbed.
BØRN Opal Mule Sandal
BØRN shoes are known for being ultra-supportive, and theses slip-on mules are no exception. What we love: arch support, a cushioned footbed, soft leather in a variety of on-trend colorways, and a chunky 2-inch heel that's easy to walk on.
Vionic Kadyn Wedge
If there's one trendy style that's podiatrist-approved, it's the wedge. "Wedges are a great way to wear heels," says Dr. Sutera. "The sturdy sole minimizes ankle sprains and transfers body weight across a large surface area, which reduces the amount of weight directed to the ball of the foot due to the elevation of the heel." This pair from Vionic boasts a supersoft suede upper, durable outsole, and substantial arch support.
Madewell x Veja Esplar Low Sneakers in Embroidered Stars
There are lots of slip-on sneakers hitting shelves this spring, but we're especially partial to these lace-up kicks from Madewell's exclusive Veja collection. Embroidered gold stars make them a little more special than your typical white sneakers, and the rubber is made from eco-friendly, sustainable materials. Note: European sizes are listed.
Naturalizer Greyson Open-Toe Bootie
Sort of a bootie, sort of a sandal, 100% comfortable. These open-toe booties from Naturalizer have a foam footbed, padded cup, and soft nuback leather upper. The cutouts say "spring," but the bootie style makes them perfect for those unusually chilly April days.
TOMS Poppy Sandal
"Lots of spring and summer shoes are open- or peep-toe," notes Dr. Sutera. "This allows the shoe to accommodate wider feet and feet with corns, hammertoes, and bunions." Take this pair from TOMS—the stacked heel and wider open toe keep feet comfy, while the strap secures your foot if you're not a fan of slip-on styles. And like all TOMS shoes, the brand's 1:1 model means a child in need also receives a pair when you make a purchase.
Pikolinos Puerto Vallarta Sandal
Not quite ready to embrace the open toe? No pedicure is necessary with these closed-toe sandals from Pikolinos, which boast a cushioned foam footbed, gel insole, and rubber outsole for superior traction.
Birkenstock Arizona Big Buckle Sandal
Arch support is "very important" in a shoe, Dr. Sutera tells us, as it helps reduce strain in the arch and heel. And when it comes to arch support, you can't do much better than Birkenstock's Arizona sandal, which has a contoured cork footbed and adjustable straps. With even bigger buckles and new rose leather, this updated version of the classic is perfect for spring.