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Will wearing flip-flops help my osteoarthritis?

Flip-flops and sneakers with flexible soles may help ease the symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA). A study found that wearing flip-flops that are flat, flexible and lightweight appeared to put the least amount of pressure on the knees when compared to clogs or walking shoes. Walking in flip flops appeared to be similar to walking with bare feet.

The finding is important because pressure or loading on the knee joint is a key factor in the development of osteoarthritis. But walking in flip flops may not be ideal for the elderly who may be more likely to fall wearing flip flops because of their loose-fitting design. People over the age of 65 should consult a doctor to determine the type of shoe that best suits their needs.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Surprisingly, wearing flip-flops might actually help your knee osteoarthritis (OA). One study found that flip-flops put about the same amount of stress on your knees as walking barefoot does. By wearing flip-flops, you minimize the stress on your knees from walking, which helps reduce pain from knee OA.

Your knees may be happier when you wear flip-flops, but they're not always appropriate from a safety standpoint. So no running up hills in winter with your flip-flops on, okay? Wear flip-flops only when it's safe to do so, walking on a flat surface on a warm day, for instance. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.