Wearing shoes is not necessarily a sign of weakness or weakness of the body, and not every woman in the world is suffering from arthritis, says a study published in the journal PLOS ONE.
Instead, the study found that women who wore shoes showed greater improvement in their walking and mobility than women who did not.
“This is not to say that women are weak or that they are unathletic, but that they’re more aware of their shoes’ effect on their health,” said lead researcher Laura S. Ochsner, an associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
“It may be that people wearing shoes that are designed to support the feet or hips have a lower risk of osteoarthritis than women in general, who may be more inclined to wear shoes with a narrow profile and a wider toe box.”
The study looked at more than 6,500 women aged 25 to 65 and found that among women who had knee or hip replacements, those who wore ankle or ankle-friendly shoes showed the greatest improvement.
In addition, the women who also wore supportive shoes had a higher risk of fracture and arthritis in the knees and hips.
The researchers, who surveyed about 6,400 women, said that the women wearing ankle or lower-profile shoes were less likely to have osteoarthropathy than those wearing ankle- or lower profile shoes.
The women who wear supportive shoes also showed a lower incidence of arthritis than those who did none of the above.
OChsner also found that the best predictor of an improvement in mobility was the shoes, and the best predictor of an increase in walking distance was the socks worn, but both were not necessary.
Oochsner and her colleagues conducted a more detailed analysis of the data from 6,200 women aged 65 and older and found no association between the type of shoe and the improvement in walking, but women who bought supportive shoes were more likely to be overweight and had lower body mass index (BMI), which is considered to be an indicator of risk for developing osteoarsis.
They also noted that those who wear shoes that fit more comfortably may benefit more from the support of a supportive boot.
“I’m not saying that they aren’t going to be wearing socks in the morning,” Ochsen said.
“But it’s not a bad thing if they wear supportive booties, and that’s where it comes down to the individual.”
Ochserns study was published in PLOS One.
The research was funded by the National Institutes of Health and was supported by the Footwear Research and Education Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the American Society for Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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