While we've all been spending more time than usual in our homes this summer, we've likely changed many of our habits to adapt to a "new normal" — including the way we dress. Earlier this month, searches for bottoms with an "elastic waist" were at an all-time high, meaning the denim shorts and jeans in our closets are merely placeholders for the time being. The same can be said for the shoes we once wore on a daily basis but now sit idly alongside their denim counterparts.
According to a recent survey on joint pain by GSK Voltaren, the switch from wearing supportive shoes before the pandemic to simply going barefoot when walking around the house has been detrimental for joint pain sufferers. Out of the 1,000 individuals surveyed, nearly a third of those that suffer from joint pain were now found to be walking barefoot in a way that places more pressure on their toes.
Podiatrists have also seen an uptick in foot concerns from patients since stay-at-home orders began, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. More specifically, one podiatrist from Summit Medical Group noted concerns over heel and arch pain, as well as injuries from walking around barefoot.
While slippers can be a comfortable means of walking around the house, they may not be suitable to wear outside of the home. Finding a pair of shoes that you can wear from the bedroom to the backyard — whether you're working from home or just lounging around — doesn't have to be an impossible feat.
This sock-shoe hybrid from FITKICKS is designed to combine the comfortable feel of a sock with the sturdy hold of a shoe, and it might just relieve some of the pain and pressure that comes along with walking barefoot.
They're perfect for the "office" commute
The form-fitting shoes are crafted with a spandex-blend material that stretches to conform to the foot while balancing it with a rubber sole and toe guard for support.
"This shoe appears to be comfortable and protective, without providing too much support, which can be a good thing sometimes," board-certified podiatrist Ernest L. Isaacson told Shop TODAY. "In these very unusual times, it’s comforting to have an unusual shoe and this may work well for those who are commuting from the bedroom to the study."
Since the shoe is thin and breathable, it can easily be worn around the house as a replacement for socks or slippers. The durable bottom also makes them a great option for quickly stepping outside or even running errands.
They're lightweight enough to wear around the house
Dr. Tracey Vlahovic, clinical professor of podiatry at Temple University in Philadelphia, told Shop TODAY that these socks with a shoe-based design are a lightweight option that can be comfortable for certain activities — and they're even a part of her travel wardrobe.
"I actually own a pair of these and use them for when I am on an airplane or in a hotel room," she said.
Though Vlahovic says they're great for travel and lounging, she feels they might not provide as much arch support as necessary for a walk around the block or other extensive outdoor activities. Though if you prefer to exercise indoors, these will likely hold up for a yoga session or light workout.
Reviewers love them
Amazon customers are raving over the multipurpose minimalist shoe, which has amassed more than 1,400 reviews from verified shoppers.
One purchaser called the shoe a great option for a "no-shoe" feeling.
"It's like wearing a pair of comfy socks with a thin sole as a light cushion," the reviewer wrote. "Easy to slide on and off, you have to slide it on with your hands, which is easy to do."
Another reviewer found the shoe held up at the beach, whether they were walking in the sand or in the water.
"I have issues with flip-flops and always getting blisters, these have made it so I don't have that problem anymore," they wrote. "They are comfortable and lightweight. They also work well in the water."
While the shoes feature an inner cushion, podiatrist Dr. Emily Splichal told Shop TODAY that the purpose of these shoes is not to provide support. "But perhaps we don't need support when we are working and relaxing at home," she said.
If you're looking to take a step up from socks or walking around with bare feet, these functional shoes might be worth adding to your summer wardrobe.
For more stories like this, check out:
- Why I traded my $200 sunglasses for this $15 pair with rave reviews
- These $23 tummy-control shorts are helping me feel confident this summer
- Linen is the popular summer staple you need — we found the best styles right now