Specialty Shoes – What Are They, And What Kinds Are There? - COMUNITYmade
Specialty Shoes – What Are They, And What Kinds Are There?

Specialty Shoes – What Are They, And What Kinds Are There?

by Shannon Scott March 08, 2020

There are many different types of footwear to consider when shopping for a new pair of shoes, so always be sure to consider the arch type you have and keep its intended purpose in mind, as they are all designed to fit a specific need.

Specialty shoes are a broad class of footwear that offer a huge variety of additional features that are meant to help improve a certain aspect of your life. This could be for work or for other health benefits, such as diabetes. Purchasing a specialty shoe will depend on what exactly you are looking for, in terms of performance. Let's take a look at some of the most popular specialty shoes out there!


Orthopedic Shoes

Orthopedic shoes are shoes designed specifically to accommodate or support the mechanics and structure of the foot, ankle and leg. All footwear is designed to provide protection and support for our feet, but people with certain foot problems (e.g., flat feet, bunions, hammer toes) need additional support. Orthopedic shoes offer more support and help alleviate pain, so they are meant for people who need additional care, as they provide a variety of medically beneficial features and functions that separate them from everyday footwear. These shoe features include:

  • Arch support
  • A variety of widths
  • Extra depth – to help accommodate orthotics 
  • Wide toe box – to alleviate bunions and hammer toes
  • Protective interior
  • Stretchable uppers
  • Special soles



    Diabetic Shoes

    Diabetic neuropathy affects nearly 60-70% of people suffering from diabetes. It tends to damage the nerves in the feet and legs, causing people afflicted to lose sensation in those areas. Additionally, peripheral vascular disease causes blood flow to slow down, inhibiting the healing process so that cuts and sores take a longer time to heal. This is why it is important for diabetics to protect their feet as best they can. Diabetic shoes are specially designed to protect the feet, enhance overall foot health and reduce the risk of skin breaking down. A lot of the features in orthopedic shoes can actually be seen in diabetic shoes as well:

    • Protective interior
    • Non-binding uppers
    • Stretchable uppers
    • Orthotic support
    • Extra depth design
    • Deep toe box
    • Multiple widths
    • Specialty soles




      Non-Slip Shoes

      If you've ever worked in the restaurant industry, or perhaps as a maid or nurse, then you may be familiar with the class of working shoes known as non-slip shoes. Non-slip shoes are important for the safety of many workers in various different industries. They mean just that: non-slip. Non-slip shoes offer a softer rubber sole that is slip-resistance in moisture, whereas other rubber soles are meant to be slip-resistant on dry surfaces, such as a basketball court. They also provide an open tread pattern that enhances grip by channeling moisture out from underneath your shoe. Non-slip shoe companies also understand that their customers are most likely individuals who are on their feet for long periods of time, so they make sure that their shoes also offer greater comfort and shock absorption.



      Dress Shoes

      Dress shoes are a type of specialty shoe meant to be worn at more formal occasions. Most men’s dress shoes are made out of leather and come in a wide array of colors. The typical styles of men’s dress shoes include;

      • Oxfords: Also known as Balmorals in America, these have a close lace system that allow them to be tied. Many Oxfords also have a toe cap.
      • Monk Shoes: Also known as monk straps, these shoes have no lacing. They simply feature a strap that is closed with a buckle.
      • Bluchers: Also known as Derbies, these shoes often have open lacing and are a little less formal.
      • Loafers: Sometimes called slip-ons, these are also a bit less formal and often have a tassel attached to them.

      Dress shoes for women are meant to be worn at formal occasions and often come in a variety of different materials. Women's dress shoes also have a wider variety of acceptable colors than men's dress shoes, which are usually neutral colors. Some styles of women’s dress shoes include:

      • Pumps: Pumps can have either a rounded or pointed toe. The heel for pumps is typically at least 5 cm (or 2 inches) tall. 
      • Slingbacks: Similar to pumps, slingbacks can have a rounded or pointed toe and usually have a heel. What sets them apart from pumps, however, is that they do not wrap all the way around the heel; instead, they have a strap that is pulled up over the heel to keep the shoe in place.>
      • Loafers: Loafers used to be purely masculine dress shoes, but in recent years, they have become increasingly popular as women’s dress shoes as well. Sometimes called "cloaks," feminine loafers offer a small heel.
      • Mules: Mules are shoes that simply slide onto the foot, with no back covering the heel of the foot at all. These are only considered dress shoes when they have a small heel.



      Golf Shoes

      Golf shoes are a popular specialty shoe designed for athletic footwear. People often increase their chance of injury when participating in sports if they are not wearing the proper equipment or footwear designed specifically for the sport. A lot of golfing newbies make the mistake of simply just throwing on whatever pair of shoes they have when going golfing for the first time. However, what they do not know is that golf shoes, made specifically for golfing (obviously), provide a multitude of benefits that can really enhance their performance. Those benefits include:

      • Sturdiness
      • Support and comfort
      • Breathability
      • Spikes (the spikes on specialty golf shoes decrease the chance of slipping on the grass, helping to increase the mobility of the golfer)
      • Balance




      Walking Shoes

      The importance with any athletic shoe is its design to prevent injury, so picking the best shoe for your respective activity is very important. Walking shoes are a type of shoe meant to be comfortable and prevent injuries such as blisters or calluses. They typically offer a lightweight sole and Achilles tendon protection, and are constructed to be more flexible through the ball of the foot to allow a greater range of motion. Additionally, they have better arch support and are shock-absorbent to allow for the best experience possible while on a long walk.  

      In conclusion, there are many different types of footwear to consider when shopping for a new pair of shoes, so always be sure to consider the arch type you have and keep its intended purpose in mind, as they are all designed to fit a specific need. 

      Shannon Scott
      Shannon Scott


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      Find Your Perfect Size

      We want to help make sure that your new shoes have the best fit possible.  

      We have created a separate fit for men and women to provide the ultimate foot hugging comfort.  Our sockliner and upper materials will naturally mold to your foot and stretch out after a short period of time, so do allow for this when trying our shoes on initially.


       In general, our shoes are running closer to an everyday shoe fit vs. an athletic shoe fit and can be worn with or without socks - but the socks have to be eye catching for best results.


      Any variances from this chart will be noted on each individual product page.