Knee or Hip Arthritis Issues? Forget the Granny Shoes

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Researchers at Rush University Medical College measured the stress on arthritic knees and hips of different kinds of shoes – and were surprised to find that the worst shoes were the most ‘supportive’ ones, according to a team led by rheumatologist Najia Shakoor, MD.(1)

Heavy, cushy, arch-supporting “stability” shoes and clogs that have stiff soles and don’t bend exerted the most harmful force on the knees. (These were the shoes the Rush page on “Proper Footwear” was touting just a few months ago.)

The best shoes are very flat, lightweight, and flexible – the ones that most resemble going barefoot, with flip-flops best of all. These being the very ones that the Proper Footwear page had warned against for lacking cushioning and shock absorption.

Note: Flipflops do the least harm to knees, but obviously are loose, can’t be worn every place and season, and can’t be recommended for those who are liable to be tripped up. So the arthritis specialists at Rush have been designing a sneaker for people with arthritis & knee problems. They say it will let the foot bend where it wants to bend. 

According to an abstract describing their award winning shoe design pilot project, this mobility shoe “is associated with a 46% reduction in pain and 17% reduction in knee loads from baseline over 6 months.”

They predict it could have an enormous impact on footwear design and on the treatment of knee OA.
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1. See Shakoor N, et al. “Effects of Common Footwear on Joint Loading in Osteoarthritis of the Knee,” Arthritis Care & Research, Jul 2010

Source: Rush University Medical Center News Release, Mar 24, 2010

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2 thoughts on “Knee or Hip Arthritis Issues? Forget the Granny Shoes”

  1. elipoarch says:

    As always, nature knows best: the best shoe is the one that most resembles walking barefoot. How strange! We were so sure nature didn’t know how to design our feet!

  2. skikat says:

    i purchased a pair of the “shape-ups” shoes by sketchers about 5 months ago. my ankles and knees were terrible. in fact i could not even shoop for groceries. i dont wear them all of the time but when i go somewhere they are what i wear. this is the first year that i have been able to attend the state fair. i wore the shape-ups and wa;ked for 4 hours straight and only sat down pnce for about 10 minutes. also i didnt suffer to death when i got back home. you may want to give them a try also. i hope they never stop making them. u didnt even have to wear my knee braces. just thought i would relate “MY” EXPERIENCE as these shoes are made to toll you into the next step and are very attractive. skikat

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