Best shoes for surgery

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Full Member
Volunteer Staff
10+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2013
Reaction score
I have a wrecked back and by the end of the day my feet/back are killing me. What do you all use for footwear? I have seen the Merrell Encore Gust slip on, but am open to other recommendations.

Members don't see this ad.
I use athletic shoes, and a customized Rx orthotic inserts, as my podiatrist Rx's.

I do so for ALL rotations, I dress pretty professionally otherwise, and have never gotten flak for them as I explain it is for medical reasons from my podiatrist.

I don't say this to you as medical advice. Just, I suggest anyone with foot issues see a podiatrist. If you lose significant foot or hand function, you lose your career at this point.

People like Danskos, I've never talked to a podiatrist who liked them. They are fine for people that like them, but that is typically just people with the kind of feet it works well for.

If pain brings one to the podiatrist, than basically those are sorta excluded in that case.

Although, there are a few pairs of Danskos made to remove the insert and work with orthotics, in my experience if that works then they are great.

I started a thread in the podiatry forum about this topic. They discuss some good shoes.

Supportive athletic shoes are the best for feet, period.

I also wear the tightest OTC compression stockings one can buy, I find they help feet as well.

If it were me, I would look into PT type stretches and exercises for back, as well.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
Members don't see this ad :)
I second the Danskos. They're probably the only reason that my feet don't hurt as bad as they would at the end of the day. I only switch them out when I head to clinic because they're hideous.
Yeezy boosts.
  • Like
Reactions: 5 users
Compression socks are really the key, can't recommend enough. If you only need something for a few weeks, just get some compression socks and even second rate trainers shouldn't bother you too much.

But for long term use, I use Merrell Jungle Moc leather slip ons. Comfy, good support, durable, and cleanable.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
EDIT: This turned into a mini-didactic for shoes in medicine:

Don't go for any brand names. I bought Danskos and was disappointed partly because I thought they were crappy shoes and partly because I was told by so many they were amazing. Just go to a medium to high end shoe store and ask for good walking shoes for someone continually on their feet and try a few and find the most comfortable. I think everyone's feet are different. As an avid runner, I am the most comfortable in shoes that resemble my marathon shoes - usually have a store employee watch your gait to determine whether you role your ankles in or out and if you have an arch. Then for formal days/clinic, I wear flats to keep it balanced so I don't become reliant on the heel elevation my running shoes provide which tightens my hamstrings. In general, anything with a heel weakens/tightens your hamstrings over time because you don't engage your natural hip extensors and knee flexors to pull your forward as you walk since the heel puts your foot at any angle where it's easy to generate friction to walk.

For women or men, high heels daily are a no-no unless you're willing to take the negatives for the extra few inches it gives you. They probably increase risks of foraminal stenosis and by constantly engaging the calfs (which gives you the sexy calf look), they probably shorten the functional ROM of your plantarflexion (probably won't actually shorten the actual muscle as some sites incorrectly claim). They're OK once in a while for dates.

The "designed for doctors" branding is a hot trend with virtually no substance behind it to justify their premium pricing. The market only exists because of the high number of upper middle class millennials with Instagram accounts entering medicine and the money we have to waste after we get our intended salary.

Second the dude above who endorses compression socks. Medically they probably help prevent venous insufficiency by generating more squeezing motion with plantarflexion to allow the veins to pump blood up. That said, for me I am not genetically or medically susceptible to varicose veins/venous insufficiency but I've just notice they make me feel a little more athletic/empowered and they make my legs feel less sore after works outs (not sure if they actually help with muscle growth or lactic acid excretion). I once shelled out $40 for a pair of compressions at an expo and they didn't do much more for me than a set I got off Amazon for $7/pair. Don't estimate the difference new socks make for cushioning, blister prevention, and sweat wicking. Even if you have nice shoes, worn out socks + sweaty feet makes anyone feel miserable.
Last edited:
I wore these all through med school and residency. They're better-looking than Danskos (IMO), super-comfortable, and pretty much indestructible. You can even autoclave them if needed.

Polyurethane | shop online at BIRKENSTOCK