Why Foot Health is Important to Consider Even While at Home
By Amira Daugherty
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in more ways than we could have imagined. One major change has been a sharp increase of employees working from home. For many of us, slippers have become a part of the unofficial work uniform. This change can be a real positive for your overall foot health! We spend more time on our feet at home than we realize- this is the perfect time to use your slippers or house shoes to give your feet extra support. Now that we are spending more time in our fuzzy slippers, it is important for us to take a closer look at the support they offer our feet, and how it affects our overall health.
BENEFITS OF SUPPORTIVE SLIPPERS
There are several surprising benefits to wearing supportive, higher quality slippers:
- Increased stability
Supportive slippers can help decrease the risks of slips and falls, preventing injuries around the home. In addition, they can provide good arch support built in that will help to keep your feet comfortable, alleviate strain on parts of your foot that may be absorbing more impact, and improve your overall balance.
- Reduced foot strain and pain
Foot pain and discomfort that can limit our mobility. Wearing slippers with supportive infrastructure can help to reduce pain and discomfort in your feet and decrease the strain that is being placed on your legs.
- Encourage blood circulation and stop swollen feet from poor blood circulation
Individuals that suffer from swollen feet due to medical conditions like diabetes or just a poor blood circulation to their lower extremities will benefit from support slippers. Wearing supportive slippers can help to encourage blood flow to your feet, which can reduce the amount of swelling they experience. Slippers designed to fit your foot perfectly and support its most vital structural elements promote healthy function of the foot.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A SUPPORTIVE SLIPPER
Now that you know why you should prioritize supportive slippers, let’s look at what to look for:
- A deep heel cup
A heel cup is a design in the insoles to help support and cushion the heel as well as cradle the foot for a natural, anatomical foot positioning. Some of the benefits include:
- Substantial arch support
Arch supports is the contoured design of the insoles to support the arch and diminish or eliminate pain. Good arch support prevents overpronation, reduces foot fatigue, alleviates, or prevents plantar fasciitis, and increases stride length. They hug your natural footprint and keep the pressure evenly distributed across your foot,
- A firm yet flexible midsole
The midsole is the cushioned material sandwiched between the upper and the outsole. The midsole provides cushioning and rebound and helps protect the foot from feeling hard or sharp objects. Focusing on a quality midsole will help you to optimize your balance.
Podiatrists on Benefits of Supportive Slippers
Below are quotes and tips from medical professionals on supportive slippers:
“Good arch support cradles the arch and can prevent tendonitis and heel pain, which are some of the most common symptoms of collapsing arches, good slippers should have soft, insulating, and comforting uppers so that a person can comfortably slip into them without worrying about the width or height of their foot.”
- Velimir Petkov, DPM, a podiatrist at Premier Podiatry in Clifton, New Jersey
“Wearing supportive slippers at home is also a great way to help prevent and alleviate back, knee, and hip pain because feet are the foundation of the body, wearing slippers and limiting the time spent barefoot can also help prevent and slow down the ‘fat pad atrophy’ of the bottoms of your feet. Once this happens, later in life, you’re basically walking around on skin and bones. Ouch. It happens slowly and over time but making good shoe choices daily can prevent and slow this down.”
- Jacqueline Sutera, DPM, a podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab member
These podiatrists agree that in order to select maintain your supportive slippers, you should:
- Cushioned does not always mean supportive
Though people generally enjoy super soft and fuzzy slippers, they do not offer much support for your feet. If you are going to buy fuzzy slippers, try to look for slippers with a contoured insole or footbed.
- Built in arch support
Most slippers do not offer removeable inserts to accommodate a prescribed orthotic. Try looking for slippers with built in arch support. There are many brands of slippers that offer sturdy arch support. You can even use a pair of clogs or sandals with sturdy arch support in place of slippers.
- Replace regularly
Just because you are not wearing your slippers, clogs, or sandals outside does not mean they will last forever. Your house shoes go through normal wear and tear and should be replaced at least once a year with a maximum replacement period of once every two years.
Your time working from home can be a great opportunity to prioritize you! One easy way to prioritize your wellbeing is to make small changes like switching to more supportive slippers. We have a wide selection of stylish, supportive slippers to help you get started: let’s get started on the path to better health!