The Best Shoes for Physical Therapists

May 07, 2024

The Best Shoes for Physical Therapists

If you're a physical therapist, you know your day can involve a lot of standing, walking, and moving around. That's why having the right shoes is a must! 

At Kizik, we understand the unique demands of your profession, and we're here to help you find footwear that makes those long hours feel a bit lighter on your feet. Let’s dive into what makes a shoe great for physical therapists and how the right pair can transform your workday.

Why are comfortable shoes a must for physical therapists?

Physical therapists are on their feet most of the day. Comfortable shoes are a non-negotiable. 

Here's why comfy shoes should be at the top of your list:

  • Support and stability: A solid pair of shoes provides the necessary support and helps you maintain balance while performing physical activities.
  • Reduced fatigue: Comfortable shoes can lessen foot fatigue, helping you stay energetic and focused throughout your busy day.
  • Injury prevention: Good footwear helps prevent injuries by ensuring proper foot alignment and reducing strain on your legs, back, and joints.
  • Increased productivity: When you’re not distracted by discomfort, you can focus better on providing care to your patients.

What should physical therapists look for in a pair of shoes?

Picking the right shoes is key for anyone in the physical therapy field. But with so many option, what should you look for? 

Here are a few must-have features that make all the difference:


Look for shoes that offer excellent cushioning to absorb shock and keep your feet comfortable all day.

Non-slip soles

Safety first! Non-slip soles are a must to prevent slipping, especially when working in environments with slick surfaces.


Shoes that breathe keep your feet fresh, reducing the risk of moisture-related issues and will keep those toes happy all hours of the day. 

Ease of use

As physical therapists, sometimes you only have a moment to slip your shoes on and off. Hands-free options like Kizik shoes can be a game changer, making it effortless to get going without bending over.


Look for shoes that are built to last. Durable materials mean you won’t have to shop for replacements frequently, which is both cost-effective and convenient.

The best shoes for physical therapists

When you’re a physical therapist, finding the right shoe isn't just about style. It’s about combining comfort, function, and ease to keep up with your dynamic day. 

Here are some top picks we think you’ll love:

Kizik: The Prague

The Prague goes with everything and has the durability you need. Crafted from deluxe canvas with touches of genuine suede leather and equipped with cushy outsoles, the Prague is not only stylish but also incredibly comfortable. It’s perfect for those long days when you’re on your feet helping patients.

Kizik: The Irvine

Say goodbye to your old, uncomfortable shoes! The Irvine is all about grown-up looks combined with unparalleled comfort. 

Featuring extra padding in the springback heel, dual underfoot cushioning, and a stretch canvas upper that moves with you, the Irvine is ideal whether you’re at the clinic or out for a casual evening. Plus, with our HandsFree Labs® technology, slipping these on as you dash out the door is a breeze—no hands, no fuss.

Kizik: The Athens

The Athens is a forever favorite for many for a reason. It has an extra-cushy outsole for a slight lift and added support. It also sports our signature spring-back heel. Expect all-day comfort and style that keeps up with your busiest schedules.

Kizik: The Milan

Venture forward with the Milan, your ultimate destination shoe. Its sleek, retro look paired with the comfort to wear all day makes it a fantastic choice for physical therapists. Whether you’re navigating hospital corridors or exploring the city after work, the Milan supports every step.

Kizik: The Wasatch

If you love to be outdoors or you enjoy a rugged look, the Wasatch is your go-to. Comfy enough for the sidewalk and tough enough for the trail, this shoe features a capable lug sole for excellent grip and a reinforced, water-resistant upper that keeps you ready for any adventure.

Shoes to avoid: Not all footwear is fit for the clinic

As a physical therapist, you know that not just any shoe will do. While we’ve discussed what makes a shoe great for physical therapists, it’s equally important to understand which types should be avoided and why they might not be the best fit for your professional life.

High heels and unstable platforms

High heels and shoes with unstable platforms can be stylish, but they don’t offer the support or balance needed for a physical therapist's active day. These types of shoes can lead to poor alignment, increased fatigue, and a higher risk of ankle sprains or falls—definitely not what you want when assisting patients.

Flimsy flip-flops and slides

While flip-flops and slides are great for a quick jaunt to the beach or a leisurely day at home, they lack necessary support for all-day wear in a professional setting. They offer minimal arch support, which can lead to overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis, especially when you spend long hours on your feet.

Old, worn-out shoes

It might be hard to part with your favorite pair of shoes, but wearing footwear that’s past its prime can be detrimental to your foot health and overall comfort. Worn-out shoes often provide inadequate cushioning and support, which can throw off your posture and gait, leading to potential injuries and discomfort.

Shoes with toor Traction

For those working in environments where spills or slick surfaces can occur, shoes with poor traction can pose a serious risk. Avoid shoes with smooth soles that could lead you to slip and fall, jeopardizing not only your safety but also the safety of the patients under your care.

Non-breathable materials

Shoes made from non-breathable materials can trap moisture and heat, leading to uncomfortable conditions like sweaty feet and associated skin irritations or infections. Opt for shoes with natural materials or designed mesh that allow your feet to breathe for better overall foot health.

Keep your feet happy: Top tips for physical therapists

When you're constantly on the move, caring for others' well-being, it's easy to overlook your own comfort. Here are 10 indispensable tips to keep your feet in top shape. 

1. Rotate your shoes

Don’t wear the same pair every day. Rotating between different shoes can prevent excessive wear and gives your footwear a chance to air out. This will also maintain their shape and function.

2. Use custom orthotics

Consider custom orthotics if you have specific foot conditions. These can provide tailored support and cushioning, enhancing comfort and alignment.

3. Opt for graduated compression socks

These socks improve circulation and reduce swelling in your legs, which can be a big relief during long shifts on your feet.

4. Stay active

Incorporate foot and ankle exercises into your routine. Strengthening these areas can help support your arches and improve overall foot health.

5. Keep your feet dry

Moisture can lead to blisters and other skin issues. Choose moisture-wicking socks and shoes with breathable materials to keep your feet dry.

6. Check for proper fit

Always ensure your shoes fit properly, with enough room to wiggle your toes but snug enough to avoid sliding your foot inside the shoe.

7. Mind the arch support

Make sure your shoes provide adequate arch support. Good support can prevent many common foot problems associated with standing for long hours.

8. Ease of use matters

Invest in shoes that are easy to put on and take off—especially when you're in a hurry. Kizik’s HandsFree Labs® technology offers a perfect solution here.

9. Maintain good hygiene

Regularly wash and dry your feet, especially between the toes as this prevents infections like athlete's foot.

10. End the day with foot care

After a long day, give your feet some TLC. Stretching, a warm foot bath, or a gentle massage can help relax the muscles and prepare you for the next day.

A Final Word

At Kizik, we are dedicated to ensuring every step you take as a physical therapist is supported, comfortable, and safe. Remember, the right shoes are not just an accessory but a tool for better health and more effective patient care. We're here to ensure your footwear matches the demands of your vital work.

Step into comfort, step into Kizik!


The right shoe for walking and running | Harvard Health 

Tired Feet | Foot Health Facts 

Why Flip Flops Are Bad for Your Feet | Temple Health

Foot Hygiene | CDC 

Written By: Chris Fry

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