There is no pain quite like the stabbing foot pain that comes right after stepping on a piece of Lego. It hurts so much because you have a TON of nerve endings on the bottom of your feet. Plus, the bricks are hard and resilient, putting lots of force back into your foot when you connect with them. And, those sharp corners concentrate that force to create a supercharged dose of ouch!
Now, that's why it hurts so much when you step on LEGO. But even when you don't land on pointy bricks, going barefoot at home hurts your feet. In fact, since the rise of the pandemic, we've seen a big rise in patients with heel pain. And, while some of those patients hurt their feet by running too much? Even more of them developed problems after walking barefoot in the house. Which is why, today, I want to talk about the best shoes to wear in your house. To support your feet and prevent foot pain of any kind.
Why is walking barefoot a problem?
Remember why stepping on LEGO hurts like heck? Of course you do, I just told you a minute ago. It's all about the force of the brick rebounding into your feet.
And guess what? While less intense, your feet bare feet absorb similar forces every time you step on a hard surface. Including wood or tile floors, like the kind you likely have in your home.
Now, if you're wearing proper shoes (with arch support and real soles) that takes some of the force off your feet. But if you go barefoot? Every bit of force goes straight to your foot. Which is why, over time, you'll notice foot pain.
Going barefoot it especially hard on your arch and heels. But it also increases your risk for other problems. And those include anything from stepping on LEGO to stepping on glass. Or even picking up stray bacteria or fungus and developing a foot or nail infection.
If that sounds gross or painful to you, then we're still on the same page. But don't worry, these problems aren't inevitable. In fact, they're easy to avoid. All you have to do is find a pair of supportive slippers. And I'm here to walk you through your best options!
The Worst Slippers on the Market
When it comes to slippers, many traditional pairs won't protect your feet. As a Houston podiatrist, I hate backless slippers. They force your toes to grip so your slippers don't slide around. And that can lead to discomfort. Or even to toe deformities. If you spend enough time in those slippers, like you might right now.
Another slipper style I can't support? Thin-soled styles, like the ones you found in hotel closets. (Back when we got to do things like travel. And slip into hotel robes and shoes without worrying too much about who wore them last. But I digress.)
Why do I want you to skip these slippers? After all, they do protect your feet from dirt and debris on the ground. Which is a win, I'll admit.
Still, it's what they don't do that has me worried. Thin-soled slippers can't offer much foot support or shock absorption. So they won't do much to prevent foot or heel pain. Even if you wear them every time you're at home. Instead, choose some of my top-rated, podiatrist approved slipper choices for your home!
Best Slippers to Prevent Foot Pain
I first got into the slipper game back when Lego came up with a solution to stepping on bricks! At that time, the geniuses at Lego France worked to create a slipper that will ‘Lego-proof’ your foot.
What made them work could serve as a model for other slippers. They were super padded (and emblazoned with the Lego logo!) Plus, they were non-foot specific, so you can stumble into them in the middle of the night without even thinking. (Which was especially useful since midnight is a prime time for Lego-related injuries. Trust me, I speak from personal experience.)
But there was a down-side to that awesome development. LEGO only many 1500 of these slippers. And they gave them as gifts to users who filled out Christmas wish lists on the Lego France website. So I had to come up with a better (and cuter) slipper idea. And lucky for me, I found one. In the pages of Vogue, no less. (A fact I owe to my lovely wife and daughter.)
Sleeping Bag Shoes: The Trendy Queen of Slippers
The idea behind this new class of shoe is simple. Take our pandemic-driven desire for comfort. Add fashion editors need to reintroduce style to this world. And the sleeping bag shoe is born!
Now, why do I love this style of shoe? Well, for starters, it comes with a serious sole. Meaning it will offer plenty of arch support and lots of shock absorption.
At the same time, it's super cozy, so you'll love wearing it when you get out of bed. Or every time you come home. So you're more likely to keep your feet protected by regularly wearing them.
One final thought on sleeping bag shoes, and all well-soled slippers? While these shoes are sturdy enough to wear outdoors, please don't! I want you to make a clear separation between indoor and outdoor shoes. That way, you avoid bringing excess germs into your house. And reduce your risk for foot infections if you slip up and go barefoot.
In the meantime, I want you to keep this in mind. Don't ignore foot pain. Especially if it's more serious than the quick pain of stepping on Lego. Because, when injuries or walking barefoot makes your feet hurt, you have to act fast. So contact Houston podiatrist Dr. Andrew Schneider for an immediate appointment. Or your little ouchie could become a major problem!