Have you heard of orthopedic shoes but thought they were only beneficial for individuals with foot problems and only came in outdated styles? If that’s the case, you’re not alone! Many people are unaware of how far orthopedic shoes have come in recent years both in the technology they integrate and the fashion-forward styles they come in. Orthopedic shoes can have an incredible impact on your overall health and are beneficial for any individual, regardless of existing foot issues. The misconceptions surrounding orthopedic shoes could be the barrier between you gaining a number of extremely beneficial health benefits that orthopedic shoes offer. To help you understand exactly what orthopedic shoes are and how they impact the body, we’ve created a comprehensive guide that will give you all of the fundamental knowledge you need to man an informed decision about whether or not orthopedic shoes could be a beneficial addition to your life. Along the way, we’ll educate you on how shoes impact the body, what orthopedic shoes are, and the benefits of wearing orthopedic shoes.
How Shoes Impact The Body
Before we dive into the ways in which orthopedic shoes and supportive shoes can have a positive effect on your overall health, first let’s walk through how shoes impact the body and the negative consequences that can result from wearing unsupportive shoes for an extended period of time.
Do you ever think about the fact that human beings used to walk around in all different terrains and areas in the world without any shoes on at all? In today’s world, that seems almost unimaginable, but that’s because the surfaces we walk on have undergone a huge shift and there has been a surge in the available footwear options for human beings to choose from. While we used to walk on soft, natural surfaces like dirt and sand, that naturally form to fit the shape of your footprint. Now, our world is primarily comprised of hard, man-made surfaces like concrete, tile, and hardwood floors. Shoes are no longer just a way to protect your feet, they are also an expression of your unique style and aesthetic preferences. Now we are responsible for choosing footwear that serves its main function, to support and protect our feet, while also making sure that it enhances our personal style. This can be a tough challenge and in many cases, it can be much simpler to just purchase a pair of shoes that fit your style, even if they’re lacking the support your feet need. It can feel like the fashion industry doesn’t care about making sure footwear has the right supportive features for your feet and like the foot health industry doesn’t think to offer styles that are fashion-forward and modern. For many of us, this creates an impossible dynamic in which we have to choose between function and fashion.
Unfortunately, if you do choose fashion over function, there can be significant long-term and short-term consequences. Many shoes do not have the supportive infrastructure your feet need to be properly supported and aligned with your body or the design to properly fit your foot, which leads to many individuals wearing shoes that are unsupportive and ill-fitting. In the short-term, this can lead to the development of corns, nail problems, and athlete’s foot, to name a few common foot conditions. In the long-term, the consequences can be much more significant and lead to issues such as back pain, collapsed arches, and joint pain, among many others. To avoid these negative health effects, it’s vital to invest in orthopedic shoes that have the right supportive features needed to keep your feet comfortable and supported with every step. Your shoes can have an incredible impact on your body and overall health and whether that effect is negative or positive is dependent on whether you are wearing unsupportive or supportive footwear. Now that you know what’s at stake and what a significant role shoes can play in your health, we want to walk you through what orthopedic shoes are and the benefits you can gain from wearing orthopedic shoes.
What Exactly Are Orthopedic Shoes?
To know exactly how and why orthopedic shoes are beneficial for your overall health, we want to first walk you through what orthopedic shoes are and what makes orthopedic shoes different from the unsupportive shoes you’ve likely seen and worn before.
So, what are orthopedic shoes? How do you find the best shoes for arch support? The word ‘orthopedic’ is Greek in origin and is comprised of a root, ‘ortho’ that means ‘correct’ or ‘right’ and ‘pedic,’ which means ‘foot.’ When these words are put together, orthopedic roughly translates to ‘correct feet,’ because the goal of orthopedic shoes is to make sure all of the essential elements of your feet are properly supported. Orthopedic shoes are shoes that are specifically designed to help support the mechanics and structure of the foot, ankle, and leg. Many shoes are not designed with this aim in mind, which is why they lack supportive features that help to properly balance, support, and stabilize your feet with every step. You may be asking yourself, “So what features make orthopedic shoes different than other shoes and how do they support different elements of your feet?”
Every company that manufactures orthopedic shoes has different supportive features that are incorporated to provide optimal support to your feet. At Vionic, our Orthaheel Technology is the culmination of over thirty years of research development to deliver cutting-edge biomechanics technology embedded in every pair to bring you the best orthopedic shoes on the market. If you’re not quite clear on what biomechanics is, it’s a fancy way of saying the science of the way we move. Our in-house experts in foot and body movements helped design our unique biomechanical technology and Vio Motion Support that is concealed under your foot and hugs your arches like a natural footprint. Below are a few of the most vital elements that make up our orthopedic shoes that distinguish them from the unsupportive shoes you’re used to.
- Substantial arch support that hugs the natural curves of your footprint
- A heel seat that stabilizes and positions your foot with every step
- A contoured orthotic footbed that delivers addictive support and fosters your natural alignment from the ground up
- Ball-of-foot cushioning that gives you all-day comfort
- A deep heel cup to foster essential stability
- A firm yet flexible midsole to optimize your balance
Now that you know what orthopedic shoes are and the orthopedic (and Vionic) difference, we will walk you through the incredibly positive impact that orthopedic shoes can have on your health.
The Orthopedic Difference: The Benefits You’ll Gain
Orthopedic shoes give your feet an optimal environment in which to function, which is why they can impart a number of significant health benefits. By making the switch to supportive footwear, you can start experiencing the benefits of orthopedic shoes. At Vionic, we believe everyone deserves to look and feel their best with every step and orthopedic shoes help make that a reality. Below are a handful of the top health benefits you can gain from wearing supportive orthopedic shoes.
- Better Blood Flow: Did you know that the shoes you wear can play a role in the circulation to your lower extremities? Orthopedic shoes help to promote your natural alignment, give your feet great arch support, and boost your comfort, all of which can help encourage blood flow in your feet. Orthopedic shoes are also designed to allow your feet the room they need to function at their best, which prevents your feet from being constricted and prohibiting blood flow. Whether you’re tired of ending your day with swollen feet or you are suffering from a health condition, such as diabetes, this can be a substantial health benefit for you.
- Reduced Foot Pain: So many of us struggle with foot pain and we know that if you are experiencing pain or discomfort with every step that you will be wanting relief and comfort as soon as possible. Foot pain can be caused by wearing unsupportive or ill-fitting footwear and these factors can also exacerbate pain and discomfort caused by existing foot conditions, such as plantar fasciitis. Orthopedic shoes can help to reduce foot and heel pain by making sure all of the vital elements of your feet have the support and cushioning they need to be truly comfortable.
- Increased Comfort: When you’re looking for a benefit of shoes, comfort is key. Comfort can make the difference between wanting to get our and do the activities you love and being forced to stay inside because your feet will be sore and aching later (or during). We know comfort is of the utmost importance and orthopedic shoes can help make your feet feel unparalleled comfort because they are designed to help keep your feet comfortable and supported with every step.
- Foot Problem Correction: Did you know that some individuals’ feet are more prone to roll inwards or outwards depending on their arch height? If not, we’ll fill you in. For people with low arches, their feet are more flexible and sit low to the ground, which makes them prone to rolling inward and over-pronating. Why is arch support important? For people who have high arches that sit higher off the ground, excessive pressure tends to be displaced on the rearfoot and forefoot and the more rigid foot structure makes them more prone to supination, which is when the foot rolls outward. Orthopedic shoes have substantial arch support and a heel cup that helps to stabilize the foot and prevent over-pronation or supination from occurring.
- Increased Mobility: For individuals with chronic foot pain and issues, such as flat feet, plantar fasciitis, hammertoe, and bunions, orthopedic shoes can make a tremendous difference in your mobility. When you have an existing foot condition or pain and wear unsupportive shoes, your feet can be left in even greater pain and your foot condition can worsen. Over time, this can inhibit your mobility and keep you from getting out and doing the things you love. Orthopedic shoes can disrupt this dynamic by providing your feet a comfortable, cushioned, and supportive environment to function in, which can help to give you your mobility back and allow you to go back to doing activities you love.
- Reduce Back, Knee, and Joint Pain: When your feet are not properly supported, it can cause a cascade of consequences that can leave you to back, knee, and joint pain. When your feet don’t have the support they need, they will attempt to contour to the ground, which causes pain and strain that affects your entire body and disrupts your body’s natural alignment. The best orthopedic shoes for back pain, knee pain, and joint pain keep your body naturally aligned and provide support to all of the vital elements of your feet so you aren’t left with back, knee, and joint pain after a long day on your feet.
Now that you’re an expert on the impact orthopedic shoes can have on your health, we know you’ll want to find a pair to incorporate into your routine. If you are looking for stylish orthopedic shoes for any occasion, from boots and active sneakers to orthotic sandals and slippers, take a look at our range of styles to find your perfect match. Our mission is to create footwear that hugs your arches like a natural footprint and gives you all of the incredible health benefits that we discussed above. Our science-backed innovative shoes combine high-quality materials, fashion-forward style, and pioneering biomechanics technology so that you never have to choose between function and fashion again; you can have both!