Over the past two years, many of us have seen a change in our work and work-life environment due to Covid-19 restrictions. With that, we have spent a better part of our time at home barefoot, in our cozy socks, or in slippers with minimal support. For many, the cumulative time spent barefoot has caused an increase in foot pain or discomfort as they go about their day.

Wearing supportive slippers inside the house is often about more than just pure comfort. Foot specialists often recommend them over barefoot at home to prevent discomfort and injury. People who experience lower limb discomfort such as plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, lower back pain and chronic conditions such as diabetes and diabetic neuropathy benefit vastly from the simple addition of adding footwear into their day-to-day home routine.

For occasions that keep you standing for long periods of time, such as cooking and cleaning, indoor footwear can become especially important.

What Should I Look for When Shopping for Indoor Footwear?

As Pedorthists we get this question daily.  Are closed toe or open toe slippers best? Should I wear my sandals or shoes instead? Can they fit my custom foot orthoses?

With all the comfy “fuzzy” slippers on the market, trendy slides, and sandal options it is hard to know exactly what to look for when it comes to footwear inside the house. The reality is, that when you are shopping it is tempting to select the comfiest/fluffiest pair you can find although support should trump initial comfort when caring for your feet, especially those experiencing pain.

Listed below are three important factors to consider when making your next purchase for indoor footwear.

  • Support

Having proper support inside the house takes away from the plantar pressures we experience as we walk around on the hard flooring that most homes consist of now a day. The additional strain could exacerbate existing conditions and comfort or bring forth new ones.

Tip #1: If you can bend the footwear in half or ring it out like a dish cloth, this footwear is not offering enough support.

Tip #2: Look inside  the footwear and look for an elevated middle section. Ideally, you would like this to have good contact with your arch when trying them on.

  • Firm Soling

Having indoor footwear with a firm sole not only allows for additional support but it protects your feet from external factors. This is especially important for diabetic individuals. Many experience neuropathy and may step on something inside the home without realizing. This could ultimately lead to ulcers and infection due to poor vascularization and healing abilities.

  • Proper Fit/Style

Last, but not least we should not overlook proper fit and style when it comes to indoor footwear. Indoor footwear should be the proper size so that it is not a tripping hazard. For those experiencing any type of balance or coordination issues having a closed back slipper or a secure shoe is the best option.

Tip #3: You should not have to work to keep your indoor footwear on. Think: “Can I walk with ease in these? Can I climb a few stairs in these??”

If you have experienced lower limb pain in the past, indoor footwear can be a great option to prevent the pain from returning. Your local Canadian Certified Pedorthist can help you find the right indoor footwear for your feet.

Written by Chelsea Mathews, C. Ped (C)