Don't go barefoot: These slippers were designed by a podiatrist for all-day comfort

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These slippers are designed to look and feel spa-like. (Photo: Zappos)
These slippers are designed to look and feel spa-like. (Photo: Zappos)

If you’re a firm believer of not wearing shoes at home, you might want to consider changing your tune—and investing in a smart, supportive pair of at-home footwear like Vionic Gemma slippers.

While it’s tempting to spend all day completely barefoot, it might have lasting effects on your feet. For starters, if the floors of your house are mostly tile or hardwood, you’re slowly deteriorating your foot’s natural cushion by walking on them without any barrier.

“When walking barefoot on hardwood, cement, stone, or ceramic tile, there is really nothing to absorb the shock between you and the ground,” renowned NYC-based podiatrist Dr. Jacqueline Sutera advises. “Over time, this behavior can deteriorate your fat pad, which serves as the foot’s natural cushion. Without this fat, you are literally walking or running on skin and bone.”

Sutera warns that once that fat pad is gone, it’s gone for good. Additionally, while it can happen to anyone, women are more likely to develop it throughout their lives.

Orthotic Gemma Slippers


Cozy and supportive — the ultimate combo. (Photo: Zappos)
Cozy and supportive — the ultimate combo. (Photo: Zappos)

“Women should be especially cognizant of fat pad atrophy, as they’re more likely to develop it due to hormone changes, especially from pregnancy, weight gain, or aging,” she shares. 

Sutera is a member of the Innovation Lab at Vionic, a company that also happens to have been founded by another respected podiatrist, Phillip Vasyli. Vasyli was so passionate about making orthotic care easily available to the public that he developed the “only true orthotic available without a doctor's prescription,” according to the company.

This innovation laid the groundwork for Vasyli to eventually develop a line of shoes that integrated the orthotic. All Vionic shoes—including the Gemma slipper—use the Orthaheel orthotic.

Vionic Gemma Slippers. (Photo: Zappos)
Vionic Gemma Slippers. (Photo: Zappos)

If you have to be barefoot, try to stay on carpets or cork flooring. On harder surfaces, Sutera advises wearing comfortable and supportive shoes. She specifically points to Vionic’s padded slippers as a great option to wear indoors — and she’s not the only one.

Over 1,200 reviewers rave about the Vionic Gemma slippers. The plush spa-like slippers are covered entirely in antimicrobial and odor-repellant terrycloth, plus the flexible exterior is designed to make feet feel cozy. The magic lies in the sole: the flexible midsole helps absorb shock and relieve stress from the feet and ankles, while the outsole has a wave-patterned tread, which provides traction as you walk.

“My feet used to hurt barefoot or in my other slippers on our hard floors, walking around doing chores on my days off,” one happy reviewer shared. “I put these on and after getting used to them, I notice a huge difference in how I feel. I don't have the pain I used to.”

Vionic Gemma slipper. (Photo: Zappos)
Vionic Gemma slipper. (Photo: Zappos)

Another thrilled shopper called the Gemma “heaven in a slipper.”

“I have been searching for a slipper that provided sufficient arch support and comfort out of the box,” she shared. “This is a winner on both counts. Keeps my feet toasty, and is the best slipper I have ever worn.”

The supportive slippers are available in five colors and prints, ranging from black and tan to blush pink and leopard. Sutera advises thinking of the time spent at home in your slippers as active recovery for your feet.

“Make foot-loving choices!" she advises.

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