Slippers to cure your ills: Which ones are a good fit?

Slip into something comfy to cure your ills: From bad knees to poor circulation, there’s a pair of slippers claiming to help. So which are a good fit?

As the cold nights draw in, slippers are essential — and now they claim to come with added health benefits, from easing lower back pain to moisturising dry skin. 

Mandy Francis asked experts to put some of the latest options through their paces. We then rated them. 

Heel, knee and back pain 

Vionic Relax Slipper


Claim: These have a ‘moulded, orthotic footbed’ and are designed to reduce over-pronation (where the foot rolls inwards) and absorb shock, says the maker.

Expert verdict: ‘Wearing structured footwear around the house supports the arches of the feet, which helps to reduce painful strain injuries such as plantar fasciitis [pain caused by damage to tissue along the bottom of the feet],’ says Gemma Hodgson, a podiatrist at The Foot Lab in Glossop, Derbyshire.

‘Look for a slipper like this, with a footbed that cups the heel, provides arch support and cushions the toes. This will reduce the risk of heel pain and strain on your ankles, knees, hips and back.

‘The only drawback is there’s nothing behind the heel to keep this slipper on, so the toes work harder to grip, which can put stress on the tendons and joints in the foot.’


Vionic Relax Slipper


Snugtoes Funmi Plush Heated Slippers


Claim: These fleece-lined slippers come with gel pouches which you heat in a microwave or hot water and put into pockets in the top. The maker says this ‘additional warmth seeps into the foot’ and that the slippers are ‘recommended for Raynaud’s sufferers’.

Expert verdict: ‘Raynaud’s is a disorder that affects small blood vessels in the extremities — when people with Raynaud’s are cold or stressed, it can cause the blood vessels in their fingers and toes to spasm, changing the colour of the skin and making them feel numb, throb or painful,’ says Gemma Hodgson.

‘Slippers with a cosy lining like these are ideal for keeping feet warm and Raynaud’s at bay. But you should always warm cold feet slowly. Doing so quickly can cause chilblains, so I would be cautious about using the heat packs here. Layering up with thick socks is a safer option.’


Snugtoes Funmi Plush Heated Slippers

Dry skin

Meme Moisturising Slippers


Claim: These single-use cotton slippers are lined with a serum containing aloe vera, almond oil and mango butter, to relieve dry feet such as those ‘weakened by cancer treatments’ or with ‘sensitive or atopic skin’.

Expert verdict: ‘Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy, and other conditions, can leave skin fragile and dry, particularly on the feet, as they support the body’s weight when you walk,’ says Gemma Hodgson.

‘The serum here may be formulated for very sensitive skin but if you are having cancer treatment, seek medical advice on any product you want to apply to your skin, as not all ingredients may be suitable.

‘Applying a foot cream containing a moisturising compound such as urea daily before bed works well for most people. These slippers are pricey and perhaps not necessary — but a pampering treat.’


Meme Moisturising Slippers


Byriver Reflexology Slippers


Claim: ‘Therapeutic acupressure slipper with 39 acupressure “buttons” [hard, raised nodules set into the footbed]. Wear with socks for ten to 20 minutes at a time to relieve foot pain due to plantar fasciitis, lower back pain and arthritis.’

Expert verdict: ‘There is some evidence that reflexology — an alternative therapy that involves massaging pressure points on the feet which are said to correspond to different areas of the body — may help to reduce pain,’ says Gemma Hodgson.

‘But I can’t see how these slippers will improve back pain, plantar fasciitis and arthritis — three very different conditions. They lack the structured support and cushioning needed for good posture and foot health, and the substantial nodules on the footbed mean wearing these for a prolonged time could actually cause, rather than ease, foot pain.’


Byriver Reflexology Slippers

Poor circulation

Rapid Relief premium reusable cold slippers


Claim: ‘Intended to reduce swelling and relieve foot discomfort associated with numerous health conditions, they can also be used to soothe soreness after a long day of standing or wearing uncomfortable footwear.’

Expert verdict: ‘Applying a cold compress to the feet can have an anti-inflammatory effect and help to reduce swelling and pain from injuries and conditions such as Morton’s neuroma, a persistent pain in the ball of your foot,’ says Gemma Hodgson.

‘A warm compress can help to increase blood flow and relax muscle fibres, so easing arthritis pain, stiff and sore muscles.

‘But both treatments should only be used with medical advice, as they can be harmful for people with conditions including poor circulation and diabetes. You can easily damage the skin if your pain sensations or healing systems are impaired.’


Rapid Relief premium reusable cold slippers

Post Exercise

Ooahh Sport Slide Sandal


Claim: These are made with a foam ‘that absorbs 37 per cent more impact than traditional foam’, have a curved sole and a footbed that ‘cradles and supports arches’.

Expert verdict: ‘The moulded foam footbed will support the structures of the foot, helping it to move in an optimal position,’ says Sam Singh, consultant orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon at the London Bridge Hospital and the Lister Hospital, Chelsea.

‘The curved sole will support your gait and take some pressure off the ankle joint; and the open structure will allow air to circulate around the feet and help keep them cool and dry after exercise, reducing the risk of any infections.

‘But I’m not sure they will make recovery time faster. A foot massage by hand or by rolling a tennis ball or frozen bottle of water along the soles of your feet can help to ease soreness.’

Ooahh Sport Slide Sandal

Muscle Tone

Vgeby Half Palm Slimming Slippers


Claim: Made from special foam, these are ‘half slippers’ that sit under the ball and arch of the foot, leaving the heel hanging free. A thick strap and silicone toe dividers hold them in place. Exercising in these helps to ‘strengthen muscles in the lower extremities and toes, to beautify and shape the graceful curves of the body’, the maker says.

Expert verdict: ‘Walking and regular exercise is a great way to keep your feet and legs strong and flexible — but you need to wear supportive shoes for stability and to avoid injury,’ says surgeon Mr Singh. 

‘These look like a child’s plastic toy and in my view would be unsafe to wear. With significant height under the toes and arch, and no support under the heels, you could easily overstretch or tear a calf muscle or damage the tendons in the soles of your feet. I wouldn’t recommend these.’


Foot Odour 

Rockdove Men’s Silvadur Anti-Odour Slipper


Claims: ‘Made from anti-odour fabric that releases silver ions to eliminate odour-causing bacteria.’

Expert verdit: ‘Our feet excrete around half a pint of sweat a day — which, when they are covered up with closed-toe shoes and socks, can provide a breeding ground for bacteria that then create the undesirable foot odour,’ says Gemma Hodgson.

‘The silver in the lining here has antibacterial properties. Silver ions are thought to interfere with bacteria’s ability to multiply and survive, which may help to reduce the build-up that makes slippers smell and reduce the risk of infections developing, too.

‘However, keeping feet and socks clean and giving your slippers a regular machine-washing will be just as effective for keeping foot odour at bay. The memory foam insoles here, although comfortable, won’t offer the more substantial arch support you’ll get from insoles of thicker foam [called EVA] in other slippers.’ 


Rockdove Men’s Silvadur Anti-Odour Slipper

Claim: Extra-wide, adjustable slippers with removable insoles for a deep fitting which, according to information on the maker’s website, is suitable for some cases of bunions, hammer toes and swollen feet.

Expert verdict: ‘It can be difficult to find footwear to accommodate toe deformities or swollen feet, which can be genetic or caused by diseases such as arthritis, or even by bad footwear,’ says Mr Singh. 

‘People with toe deformities should look for full slippers such as these that cover the heel, toes and arch of the foot and have a roomy toe box, soft fabric and no internal seams.

‘The slippers must be wide enough to be comfortable around the forefoot, with arch support to improve foot posture. This will ease any discomfort and may prevent any problems getting worse.’


Inverness Slippers

Source: Read Full Article