Saturday, June 18, 2022

Slippers and shedworking: Working from home footwear - Part 2

Following yesterday's post, here's Part 2 of our look into slippers and their effect on your feet by Christophe Champs (pictured above) from the PODO Clinic and Workshop.

Unstable all the way up

Slippers aren’t just bad for your feet – the impact can also be felt around the ankle and upwards to your knees, hip, back and even your neck.

Your ankles are the most challenged and challenging joints of your body because they connect two small horizontal feet with a tall and vertical body. Any time one of your ankles is unstable, every joint above is impacted.

Overlooking your ankle stability is like neglecting the first impression you’ll make when entering a room. Both will leave you with no second chance and things could go wrong. An unstable ankle drags knees and hips down, inwards or outwards depending on your body type.

Orthotics and slippers

In my opinion, orthotics are great for most people’s feet, but they are not enough for your ankle health without proper shoes and pretty close to useless in a pair of slippers.

Orthotics and shoes work together. They are designed to be inside the shoe, and this is one of the key reasons you should never try orthotics or insoles directly on the floor (i.e., not in the shoe) with the foot on top. The firmness of the shoe sole and the action of the laces or Velcro are both part of the foot support that provides you with a better alignment, balance, and overall posture.

A pair of slippers with no heel or ankle support does not strap your foot and so the orthotics are not wrapped around your heels and arches. Therefore, if you tried to wear your orthotics in your slippers, you would miss out on this snug and pleasant feeling that reinforces the action of the orthotics and optimises their results. And of course, if the slipper has no back, the orthotics will simply fall out!


Start by wearing supportive and lace-up shoes in the house. These should support, protect and cushion the foot. They should stay on the foot as you walk: no toe curling. Remember, shoes are like glasses, they help only if you wear them and only if they fit you well. To address your asymmetry, which is common in most people, within your symmetrical shoes, contact your local podiatrist to have your biomechanics checked and find out if you can benefit from custom orthotics.  Save walking barefoot for sandy beaches or your fresh mowed lawn, and slippers for putting your feet up in front of the TV.


In short, slippers are not great if you spend most of your day standing or walking. For general, in-house use, choose proper footwear that will support your ankles and take the strain off your joints. Whatever indoor shoes you choose, ensure your posture is correct by seeking professional advice. A lot of emphasis is put on correcting our sitting position at a desk, and we tend to think we’re okay if we have a standing desk, but this isn’t the case. Just as much attention should be paid to your standing position, especially if you are standing for long hours at your desk (or anywhere else).

Basically, you need to put as much thought into your footwear as you do for every other item that is important to your home working hours.


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