After I Injured My Foot, These Sneakers Offered the Support and Protection I Needed—and They’re Actually Cute
My podiatrist even liked them.
In my experience, the cutest shoes and the most comfortable shoes live in separate worlds—or separate aisles of the shoe store, at least. Sure, some shoes bridge the gap, but for the most part, truly supportive shoes lack the appearance I want from my everyday kicks.
After injuring my foot during quarantine, though, I quickly realized that I was going to have to find a pair of shoes that offered the support and protection my healing foot needed while still looking nice enough to wear everywhere. (I had a similar foot injury in high school, and during the recovery process I learned that supportive shoes are useless if they’re so unappealing to the eye that I won’t actually wear them.)
This time around, I was determined to find a pair of shoes that my podiatrist would sign off on and that I would actually wear while running errands or taking a stroll around the block. My search proved successful: I found the Penny sneakers from Two24. These sneakers, made with hand-finished, full grain leathers and nubuck, have the sporty look that’s popular now, but they hide an incredible secret: Their foam footbed and Vibram outsole.
To buy: $198; two24.ariat.com.
Unlike some sneakers that feel flexible and flimsy, these are incredibly sturdy, thanks to the thick, firm sole. Even better, the foam footbed keeps my feet comfortable, and the stiff leather uppers (which will soften over time, as leather does) helps me feel secure and balanced as my foot continues to heal.
Another great reason to love these sneakers? They come from the same minds as Ariat, a beloved brand that sells reliable equestrian gear, work boots, and other sturdy, durable goods. (Fans of the farm or western look probably already know and love their cowboy boots.) Ariat sells durable, supportive shoes that work hard, so it’s no surprise that its new line of Two24 sneakers are a step above the rest.
The Penny sneakers are available in several different colors. I opted for the white ones, and while they have forced me to learn how to clean white sneakers, I’ve been really happy with how the leather has held up, even on the notoriously filthy streets of Manhattan.
You don’t have to take just my word for it: When I took these shoes to my podiatrist for her sign-off, she bent the sole back and forth a bit to test the supportiveness and sturdiness and said they seemed great. (She even asked me where I got them.) Continued lockdown means that I can’t wear my sneakers everywhere I would normally—to museums, to brunch, out to dinner—but once it’s safe to do so, I’ll be wearing my Penny sneakers everywhere.