If you have knee pain caused by arthritis, you might want to take off the athletic shoes with stability enhancers and high-end clogs. A comparison study led by author Najia Shakoor, MD, an associate professor of internal medicine at Rush Medical College and an attending physician at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago shows the closer you are to barefoot the better off you are.
Barefoot is Best
Going barefoot has been shown to relieve the load placed on arthritic knees. However, bare feet aren’t exactly socially acceptable. A flat, flexible shoe that emulates the barefoot gait is the best option for relieving knee pain. The shoe that best fits this description is the humble flip flop.
Flip Flops for Pain Reduction?
Shakoor studied four types of shoes: clogs, walking shoes, athletic shoes and flip flops. He was searching to find out how the different types of shoes affect the gait of the walker and the amount of pain he experienced. The results were surprising. The shoes expected to give the best results – athletic shoes and clogs – were actually associated with the highest amount of load placed on the knees. The flip flop was least expected to relive pain but somehow fared the best along with flat walking shoes.
The research team is not yet ready to make recommendations for arthritis patients to switch to flip flops. The flat walking shoes fared just as well in the study and offer less tripping hazards. They believe it is the flatness of the show and the flexibility of the sole that actually reduce the stress of the knees.
Visit the full article to read more about this study and its surprising results.