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Best Shoes for Concealed Carriers [2022 Guide]

Image of Bryan Hill, Founder of Pistol Wizard Bryan Hill /

In real gunfights, people move. How do you tell if your footwear is fit for gunfights, and what are the best shoes on the market for concealed carriers today? Let's dig in.

On this Page:

  1. What Makes Good Footwear for Concealed Carry?
  2. Best Shoes for Urban Carry
  3. Best Shoes for Rural Carry
  4. Best Shoes for Wide Feet
  5. Best Insoles / Orthotics
  6. References

What Makes Good Footwear for Concealed Carry?

You might just think, "comfort, looks, and traction", but there's more to concealed carry shoes:

  • Flexible sole for better balance.
  • Lightweight.
  • Solid, muted, colors: If you can only have 2 colors, black and any shade of brown are the most versatile. Other colors can work depending on your wardrobe.
  • Protection only in areas that need it; all other areas have ventilation.
  • Urban shoes use do not need to be as rugged as hiking shoes.
  • Some shoes/boots are made for wide feet; consider your own foot measurements.
With that in mind, let's dig into the best shoes for concealed carriers.

Best Shoes for Urban Carry

Max Comfort: ASICS Gel Venture 7

ASICS Gel Venture 7

The ASICS Gel Venture 7 is a trail running shoe that won't look too out of place with casual wear.

If comfort is the most important thing to you, try it. Just be aware, the only versatile color it comes in is black. All the other colors look out of place unless you wear athletic clothes. If you need more stylish shoes, check out the other options below.


Max Style for Men: Altama Men's Maritime Assault Mid

Did you know that Navy SEALs are issued all-black Converse Chuck Taylors? The Altama Maritime Assault is like a tactical Chuck. It has tweaks to improve performance while staying light (0.85 lb. per shoe), but looks like a classic Chuck Taylor from a distance.

Good colors are Black, Grey, and Coyote Brown.
Altama Men's Maritime Assault Mid Altama Men's Maritime Assault Mid Altama Men's Maritime Assault Mid
If ankle support just doesn't fit your wardrobe, they come in a low cut as well.
Altama Men's Maritime Assault Low Altama Men's Maritime Assault Low Altama Men's Maritime Assault Low


Unfortunately for the ladies, even the low-cuts don't fit in with most women's styles. We'll address that below.

Max Style for Women: It Depends!

The main issues with most women's flats and sandals:

  • Outsole lacks grip and durability, lending to slips and falls.
  • Heel shape lends itself to kicking off if you have to run.
  • The shoes don't fit your foot shape, making them uncomfortable.
There are many shoe brands that solve these to some degree. Here are some from Softstar:
Softstar Ballerine in Oxblood Softstar Merry Jane in Black Softstar Primal Merry Jane in Brown
I don't wear women's shoes, but Anya's Reviews has a great guide to choosing the right brands for your foot shape . Once you have that narrowed down, look for heel shapes that stay on when you run, and outsoles with good grip and durability.

For example, if you had to choose between the Groundies Bella and the Softstar Ballerine for a ballerina flat, Anya reports that the Groundies will kick off if you had to sprint, while the Softstar doesn't have that issue .


Best Shoes for Rural Carry

You can wear urban shoes in rural areas, but hiking boots may do a better job of blending performance and style.

Best Hiking Boots: Lowa Zephyr GTX

Lowa Zephyrs are incredibly tough, but lightweight (for what they are) at around 1.2 lbs per shoe. They have reinforcement in the right places and ventilation elsewhere, making them great for all seasons but summer.

Good colors are Black and Desert Tan, though you might like Coyote instead.
Lowa Zephyr GTX Mid Lowa Zephyr GTX Mid



Best Shoes for Wide Feet

Do your toes get smashed when you wear shoes? I have super-wide feet, so even "wide" size shoes make my pinky toes fall asleep!

The answer? Barefoot shoes. There are many brands, so you may want to look at Anya's guide to choosing the right brands for your foot shape . For my high-volume, fan-shaped feet, I chose Lems and Tadeevo.

Men's Dress Shoes for Wide Feet: Tadeevo Derby

I've tried Carets Oxfords, and they look great, but they don't work for my foot arch. I can't wear them for long before they start to hurt, and there's no room for an aftermarket insole to fix the issue. Tragic, really.

After some digging, I recommend Tadeevo because unlike competitors, they offer enough room for an aftermarket insole if you need it.
Tadeevo Derby in Black Tadeevo Derby in Brown

Business Casual for Wide Feet: Lems Nine2Five

If you need an office shoe that looks good and has matching performance in a fight, the Lems Nine2Five is your choice. Its outsole is much more practical than your typical dress shoe, with a great blend of flex, durability, and grip. It's just thin enough to give you good ground feel and balance, but thick enough to protect you from ground hazards (unlike most barefoot brands).

Lems Nine2Five Black Lems Nine2Five Brown



Casual for Wide Feet: Lems Chillum and Lems Drifter

If the Nine2Five is too formal for your outfit, the Lems Chillum is a laced casual shoe:
Lems Chillum White Lems Chillum Black Lems Chillum Blue Lems Chillum Spruce

And the Lems Drifter is a slip-on:
Lems Drifter Black Lems Drifter Deep Sea Lems Drifter Kelp

They come in men's and women's versions.

Rural Shoes for Wide Feet: Lems Boulder Boots

Lems Boulder Boots are just 0.56 lb per shoe, have a flexible yet durable sole, and a natural foot-shaped toe box. They're nearly perfect for light to moderate use...

The downside? They lack protection in the toe, heel, and outer edge. You'll need reflexes to protect your foot, not the boot itself.

Lems Boulder Boot Black Lems Boulder boot Brown Lems Boulder Boot Russet Lems Boulder Boot Pinecone



Best Insoles / Orthotics

If the insole of a shoe doesn't match your foot, your feet will start to hurt. If that goes on long enough, you'll have to see a foot doctor about it. But don't worry, aftermarket insoles can prevent all that.
Powerstep Pinnacle Insoles.
Where your foot hurts can tell you what to try first:

If insoles don't clear up your pain within a week, see a foot doctor immediately.

Disclaimer: I get a small commission on purchases through the price links above, at no extra cost to you.


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References

  1. Why Navy SEALs Wear Chuck Taylors in Maritime Operations (2020)
  2. Combat Boots or Sneakers? Modern Operational Footwear (2020)
  3. How Compensators Help You Shoot Faster (2017)
  4. Compensated Handguns (2017)
  5. Pistol Recoil Reduction: Ports vs. Compensator (2015)
  6. Mag-na-port Gun Recoil Reduction- review and high speed comparisons with Jerry Miculek (2013)
  7. Tuning your Pistol for Faster Double Taps with Recoil Springs (2011)
  8. GAN'S ENTERPRISE CUSTOM 2011 WORK (2011)
  9. How does a comp affect ejection (2011)
  10. Physics of a Compensator (2009)


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