Can Flip Flops Heal Foot Pain? A Review of Healing Sole Shoes
Posted by Jenn F. on Friday, March 18th, 2016
Foot and ankle experts are always looking for new, conservative ways to manage heel pain and ensure successful outcomes. Surgery literally knocks patients off their feet for weeks on end, and costly technologies like laser or injection therapy are not always covered by insurance. Then there are complex therapies like taking prescription medication on a schedule or coming in for regular physical therapy sessions that require a lot of patient compliance. As an alternative solution, one Baton Rouge doctor says she has designed a flip-flop that works wonders for plantar fasciitis. Some of our patients who have read this story want to know: Can heel pain treatment be that simple?
The Healing Sole: What Is It?
Louisiana Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Meredith Warner told WIAT News that most medical devices only have a 50-60% success rate; the early clinical trials of Healing Sole with 45 patients demonstrated an impressive 80-90% success rate by comparison. “It’s a very safe treatment, which is what I like,” she explained. “You don’t need to get an injection, you don’t need surgery, we don’t need to do physical therapy now,” Warner added.
At first glance, The Healing Sole looks like any other pair of flip-flops, but it works by providing more support in the heel, where the pain is most intense. There’s compressing foam on top for added comfort as well. The bottom of the flip flop rocks to reduce joint and arch stress as patients push off. A small ramp under the big toe area helps to keep the foot in proper alignment by preventing patients from contracting the toes and overstretching the plantar fascia while walking. As with any flip flop, you don’t want to wear these 24/7. Dr. Warner advises wearing them in the evenings and on weekends. The product sells for $124 and can be found online.
What Patients Are Saying
Mother of three Elizabeth Demarest has been using The Healing Sole flip flops for two months. She has always suffered problems with her left heel and unsuccessfully tried over-the-counter shoe inserts. What she likes most about this product is its portability. “If I have to wear heels or be somewhere where I’m gonna be in heels for a long period of time, I like to tuck in the sandals and bring it with me,” she said. We haven’t had any patients in our New York City office say they’ve tried these flip flops yet, so we’d love to hear your experience with us if you’ve been using them. We have to admit, we’re skeptical that the answer to foot pain lies in a flip flop, but we’re curious to hear what more people are saying.
What We Say About Healing Sole Shoes
Podiatrists have tried for many years to create the “perfect” flip flop, sandal, or shoe for foot pain. The American Podiatric Medical Association, in fact, does recommend several different brands of shoe (like the FitFlop, for instance) for patients searching for a more comfortable option. While this will help alleviate some pain, we don’t feel it’s a true “cure” because it doesn’t strengthen the foot muscles, address inflammation, or address structural anomalies.
The trouble is that no two feet are exactly alike. It’s difficult to create an insole — save for custom orthotics — that truly offloads pressure in all the right places. Even custom orthotics may need adjusting over time to accommodate changes in the feet. Our state-of-the-art NYC gait analysis center is a great place to come for a proper foot assessment. Using computers and pressure sensors, we can see where foot pain is apt to develop before it occurs, as well as determine strategies for taking a load off tender areas. We can see how your current shoes affect the way you walk as well, which can be very illuminating for patients — particularly runners.
Our NYC sports medicine centers in Manhattan and Westchester are fully equipped to diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis using a wide range of tools. We begin with affordable and conservative management, but we are also trained to administer lasers, ultrasound, shockwave, and injection therapies. For the worst case scenarios, we also have board-certified podiatric surgeons on staff who are happy to answer all your questions at a consultation. Contact us today!
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.