Another day – another feet concern. Today we are going to talk about our feet’s arch nemesis – calluses. More specifically, we’ll discuss what would be the best shoes for calluses.
I think there isn’t a single person on this planet who did not struggle with these bad boys. If you are a human being who wears shoes (and I mean of course you are) then you have probably dealt with calluses at some point in your life.
And what a nasty struggle it is, am I right? Especially if you’re like me, and you occasionally fail to take care of your feet and actually wear what’s good for them.
Oftentimes, we fail to prioritize our comfort and health over what looks good and trendy. I cannot tell you how many times have I opted for a thin jacket in the middle of the winter just because it looked better for my Instagram feed.
Or how many times have I worn too narrow and uncomfortable shoes just so I could prove myself to… Well, I don’t know who, really.
I have regularly suffered the consequences but somehow failed to learn my lesson. I’m a slow learner, that’s for sure, but as I got older, I started to notice that the key to a good day and a good experience actually lies in the comfort.
Don’t get me wrong, I still make terrible choices, but when it comes to appropriate footwear – I can proudly say I finally know what to do.
For me, calluses are a thing of the past. At least for the most part. If you also wish to be calluses-free, then this is exactly the article for you!
Let’s see what causes calluses, how you can treat them when they do occur, and what footwear features to look for when you wish to avoid them completely.
What are the best shoes for calluses you may ask? Keep reading to find out!
What actually causes calluses?
Have you ever wondered how calluses occur? Who even invited them to the party? Do they not know they’re not very welcome?!
Calluses usually form on the feet as a result of dead skin cell accumulation that hardens and thickens around a certain area. Believe it or not, this occurrence is actually the body’s defense mechanism and an attempt to protect the foot against excessive pressure and friction caused by inappropriate footwear.
Basically, if you wear shoes that don’t fit you perfectly – you can bet you’re going to deal with calluses later. Because of the high pressure and rubbing abrasion, your body will protect you by forming a skin”cushion” as your own personal shock absorbent.
You might first get a blister which is a fluid-filled painful skin balloon. That balloon can be broken, and the fluid can escape, but if the area continues to be rubbed and pressured by your shoes, the affected skin can harden, resulting in calluses.
Similar to calluses, your body can also form corns, which are small, more localized areas of hardened skin, usually found over the toe joints. Corns appear if the foot is receiving a repetitive shock, and are often a symptom of a larger cause.
Women, men, and children can all, without exception, be subject to calluses. They normally occur on the ball of the foot, on the heel, and on the inside of the big toe.
There is a deep core inside some calluses called nucleation, to which any pressure can be particularly painful. This condition is typically referred to as Intractable Plantar Keratosis.
What are the features of the best shoes for calluses?
Before we move to our top 7 picks of the best shoes for calluses, we first have to see what makes these shoes so good for a foot condition like this one.
Depending on the situation, calluses, as we all know, can be very painful. But, the constant rubbing of inappropriate footwear can make the condition worse or cause the formation of blisters and calluses on some other parts of the foot.
So, it would be best to wear shoes that actually won’t make every step you take a living hell. To do so, consider these features below when purchasing.
1. The fit
One of the most important features of the best shoes for calluses (and the most obvious one) is the right fit. Shoes that fit right, are not too tight, and do not annoyingly rub you on the insides, are your best friends when it comes to avoiding or tending to calluses.
Extremely tight shoes and high heels tend to compress certain areas of the feet. This can cause your feet to be in a never-ending cycle of pain: because your feet are too compressed, you can get calluses, and they only add to the pain, pressure, and compression.
On the other hand, shoes that are too loose can cause your foot to slide and rub against the inside of the shoe, either against the outer areas or against some seam or a stitch in the shoe.
So, you’re not doing yourself any favors when you opt for a half-size bigger or half-size smaller shoe. You might not notice the difference right away, in the store, but you will soon after you start to wear them.
So, always go for the right fit for you. When in doubt, don’t be shy and ask the salesperson to help you out.
2. Wider toe box
One thing is certain: our toes need plenty of space! If you wish to avoid calluses, blisters, and corns and overall have comfortable shoes, look for those which have a wide toe box. Your toes should be able to wiggle inside, and they should not be touching the ends of your shoes.
Many foot problems in general can be avoided by opting for footwear with wider toe boxes, so make sure you don’t skip this one.
3. Supportive soles
Any high-quality footwear should always come with supportive soles.
That comfy padding at the bottom of your shoes is what will make you want to wear them all the time. The good quality soles will ensure you have a good grip on any kind of surface and provide you with good shock absorption.
Shoes with supportive soles will ensure you have all the support you need and with those ones you could kiss your calluses goodbye.
4. Added insoles
Sometimes, a good quality shoe will not meet all your needs. And in those cases, you should look for comfortable shoes with the right fit which also provide you with enough room to add your trusty orthotic insoles.
These insoles can successfully redistribute the pressure in your shoes and prevent or at least minimize rubbing and irritation.
This last one might not really be a characteristic of the best shoes for calluses, but it certainly adds up to their performance and quality.
I know, I know. You may love the sockless look since every outfit looks ten times better without socks peeking out. However, according to many podiatrists, socks are extremely important. By wearing them, you can decrease friction and therefore avoid getting calluses, blisters, or corns.
So make sure you wear your socks with your shoes. You can always purchase socks in neutral colors, like beige, brown, black, gray, or white, so you won’t have to worry about them not matching the rest of your outfit.
Best shoes for calluses: 7 amazing picks
Now that we know what are some of the most important features of the best shoes for calluses, we can actually move to our top 7 amazing picks. I’ve tried to choose something for both men and women, equally, so I’m sure you’ll find what you’re looking for.
Without further ado, let’s jump into our list!
1. Vionic Walker – Women’s Shoes
At the first spot, we have these Vionic Walker Women’s Shoes which were podiatrist-designed with orthopedic features for enhanced comfort during long and active walks or gym sessions.
The upper of these shoes is made out of 100% polyester mesh lining and full-grain leather which ensures both exceptional breathability and water resistance. The comfort and secure fit of these shoes are guaranteed due to the padded collars and the action lacing system.
These shoes feature an EVA midsole design typical for Vionic Walker and have a 5-degree built-in elevation for an enhanced transition from heel to toe during walking. They also have removable, biomechanical orthotic insoles with a heel cup and arch support for added pronation control and stability.
With durable rubber outsoles, these shoes will provide you with amazing traction and optimal footing. They are, in fact, not only considered to be the best shoes for calluses but also a great option to relieve heel, knee, arch, and back pain.
2. Apis 728E – Men’s Stretchable Shoe
(Source: Healthy feet store)
The second in line of the best shoes for calluses are these Apis 728E ones. These shoes were made to accommodate anyone’s foot condition while providing superior comfort and fit.
Their upper is made out of extra soft genuine napa leather with stretchable lycra vamps and a bunion flex area. These shoes feature stretchy and expandable lycra-padded collars which offer a lot of flexibility for swollen ankles.
Additionally, these orthopedic stretch shoes for men from Apis accommodate a severe high instep, pronation, flat feet, bunions, and hammertoes. Featuring durable HD EVA outsoles, they ensure easy modification and a secure grip.
These shoes are a bit pricey, but totally worth it.
3. Drew Rose – Women’s Mary Jane
These Drew Rose shoes are described as the best gift you can give to your feet. They are made out of full-grain leather upper and feature stretchable fabric which extends along the vamp and the toe box. This feature, along with the adjustable strap across the instep, allows a gentle and perfect fit for any foot.
Extra support is provided by a tempered steel shank and an extended medial heel stabilizer in these women’s orthopedic shoes. But do note that this doesn’t qualify them as steel-toe shoes.
These shoes are not only considered to be the best shoes for calluses, but they are also great as diabetic shoes because of their dual removable insoles and various width options. They feature Plus Fitting System which allows double depth for custom orthotics or arch support insoles.
4. Dunham Captain – Men’s Boat Shoe
These Dunham Captain Boat Shoes are great for those men who love to combine classic style with comfort and health. Can we say they are the best of both worlds? I believe we can!
These shoes are made out of waterproof leather upper with breathable mesh sidewalls which ensure the water and unwanted moisture stay out, keeping the feet dry and odor-free. They feature removable inserts to accommodate custom orthotics or arch support insoles.
Incorporated into the midsole is a fiberglass stability shank that provides arch support and improves foot function. Near the midsole is a piece of graphite combined with a medial and lateral post which are responsible for the stability, motion control, and the reduction of over-pronation.
5. Drew Savannah – Women’s Clog
(Source: Healthy feet store)
Nope. These are not your typical clogs. These Drew Savannah ones feature so many great features you simply cannot resist buying them.
They feature two removable footbeds that can be adjusted for additional depth and your own personal custom orthotics and wide outsoles for extra stability.
With the Drilex top cover and Drilex lining, the polyurethane footbed ensures moisture reduction, making these clogs exceptionally breathable. These clogs also feature an AEGIS microbe shield which copes with bacteria that cause the nasty odor.
Another thing interesting about these clogs is that they are HCPCS Code A5500 approved, meaning they are a great footwear option for those with diabetic needs.
6. Drew Lightning II V – Men’s Athletic Walking Shoe
These men’s athletic walking shoes combine both therapeutic benefits with comfort and style. They feature a double depth Plus Fitting System with two removable insoles and two adjustable Velcro straps.
Made out of leather and mesh upper, these shoes are durable and breathable. And since they are lined with soft fabric and their tongues and collars are both padded with foam, they are also comfortable.
These Drew Lighting II V shoes feature Drilex insoles, which are there to wick away moisture and keep the feet cool and dry. With EVA midsoles and durable rubber outsoles with rocker bottoms, balance, support, and stability are guaranteed.
These shoes are not only the best shoes for calluses but also for other foot conditions such as high arch, flat feet, bunions, arthritis, and others.
7. Vionic Amber – Women’s Sandals
Last but certainly not least, something for the summer. We’ve started the list and now will end it with the Vionic brand.
These Vionic Amber sandals feature unique animal-like print uppers and four hook-and-loop adjustable straps. They were designed with health in mind; they feature a biomechanical Tri-planar Motion Control footbed, a deep heel cup, and exceptional arch support. What more could you ask for?
These features are great in offering exceptional shock absorption and keeping the feet fatigue-free.
Approved and recommended by APMA, these sandals could be your new summer love.
How to treat calluses?
Now, let’s see what’s the easiest and most effective way of treating calluses. It’s good to have high-quality shoes and make sure calluses never occur, but you also have to know how to tend to them when they do come along.
You can easily treat them at home, as you probably already know. You can soak the affected area in warm water and use a pumice stone to gently rub the dead skin off. You can also do this once you get out of the shower.
Another thing you can do is apply an appropriate moisturizer with ingredients that will help you remove the dead skin. Those ingredients are salicylic acid, ammonium lactate, or urea, and they will help in softening the hard skin.
Also, make sure your toenails are neatly trimmed. If your toenails are too long, they can squish your toes inside the shoes and lead to rubbing. This can also result in ingrown nails, which is something I’m sure you don’t want to deal with.
All in all, make sure you’re wearing shoes that fit you properly. Remember – you can never go wrong with the right fit!