Spring is here, and with Spring comes all the advertisements on sandals and swimsuits on television. I saw one this month on new Skechers sandals with ‘memory foam’ inserts to help alleviate heel pain. Because I want to be in the know on all things trendy with feet, I decided to scope them out for my patients on a recent shopping trip.
I came across the brightly colored display and picked up a pair. My patients already know all about the HFAA Twist Test. Any shoe you may be considering should pass this test which, when performed on a supportive shoe, does not allow a lot of twisting across the middle of the shoe. I performed the Twist Test, and these Skechers twisted throughout the middle as I moved the sole and heel back and forth in my hand. This means they do not provide as much support as I would like for my patients and their feet.
The second test was to look at the inserts. The memory foam inserts are a really cool concept – kind of like some of those more popular mattresses on the market today. The problem with this analogy is that when we are at rest, we evenly distribute our weight throughout our entire bodies, but when we walk, the weight is obviously just on our feet. This leads to two problems: 1) the thin memory foam on these sandals will wear down exponentially fast in shoes than on a mattress and 2) the memory foam simply provides cushion, it does not address the faulty mechanics associated with heel pain.
Patients would be better served to purchase sandals that combine both the memory foam AND support with a better structured sole. While the Skechers are a neat concept, I cannot endorse them as being a good choice for my patients. At HFAA, we carry Sandalista sandals which are the perfect fit for patients with heel pain. Stop by the office or call 309.661.9975 for more information!