flat shoes, flats, style, footwear, resort, leisure

Walk This Way

Save your soles—and your waistline—with this season’s must-have shoe.

Flat footwear is experiencing a renaissance this season, and you’ve likely heard the litany of health-promoting effects that accompany the trend: less pain in the balls of your feet and fewer aches in your back, joints and knees. But, there’s also a more surprising reason to take it low. The fashion-forward shoes can help reduce inflammation, which in turn may help you shed some pounds. Yes, really.

“Chronic foot inflammation from wearing high heels can cause the body to release inflammatory messengers that inhibit your body’s sensitivity to insulin, compromising your ability to metabolize glucose and promoting unnecessary fat storage,” says Paul Spector, M.D., founder of Pantheon Medicine and an A.C.S.M. certified health and fitness specialist. This excess fat tissue then encourages the production of more inflammatory messengers. “It’s a vicious cycle,” says Spector. “Not only are you burning off less energy, but you’re increasing your inflammatory state so the calories you would’ve burned with the same consumption are now less because of the inflammation.” What’s more, foot inflammation can cause pain that makes it harder and less motivating to walk and exercise, also leading to weight gain. “Reducing foot inflammation is very important if you want to reduce pain and maintain a healthy weight—it can even lower stress levels and improve your overall sense of well being,” Spector adds.

Tap into the trend and health benefits by trading your stilettos for one of these chic sandals: