Gone are the days when all you needed to worry about when buying shoes was the price. Nowadays, there are many factors to consider and worry over before you even pull your credit card out. For instance, there’s a raging debate on which type of sole is good for you: synthetic sole, rubber sole, or leather sole? And if that wasn’t confusing enough, there’s a serious discussion about whether or not memory form shoes are good or bad for you?
The simple truth of the matter is that the conclusion of these discussions often comes down to personal preference and the type of feet you have. Today, let’s focus on whether memory foam shoes are good or bad for you.
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What Are Memory Foam Shoes?
Memory foam shoes are the kind of shoes that have memory foam insoles. The more important question, therefore, is what is memory foam? Memory foam is a type of polyurethane material that has been treated with a host of chemicals to make it quite soft, plastic, compressible, and elastic.
Plastic, in this case, stands for the material’s ability to change its shape whenever a force is applied, while elastic, in this case, refers to the material’s ability to return to its original shape once the applied force has been removed.
Therefore, memory foam shoes are the kind of shoes that have a memory foam removable insole that is not only soft but also conforms to the contours (shape) of your feet to provide you with the best possible support and comfort.
How soft the foam in your memory foam shoes is will depend on a few factors, the most important of which is the types of chemicals used during the manufacturing process. These chemicals also affect just how elastic the foam is and how durable it remains with continued use.
Are Memory Foam Shoes Good or Bad?
Yes, and no! How good the memory foam on your shoe is depends on how well it was manufactured and the kind of design quality the manufacturer uses to produce the footwear. The first thing you should note about memory foam shoes is that they are extremely comfortable, mainly due to the soft, plastic, and elastic qualities of the memory foam itself.
The moment you try on memory foam shoes, you will feel like you are walking on clouds. The foam engulfs your feet and molds itself to their contours and overall shape. For most people, this could very well be the relief they need from issues such as sore soles, aching knees, and hip and back pain. In many cases, this feeling could last for months, meaning that these people will experience less pain when they walk or stand.
Unfortunately, that initial relief that comes with the soft memory foam on their feet doesn’t last for too long for some people. This is especially true when the memory foam in question isn’t of the highest possible quality.
In these cases, the memory foam in the shoes, much like every other elastic material, loses its elasticity, meaning that it can’t regain its original shape quite as easily or as effectively as it used to. The resulting shape is often uncomfortable and detrimental to the knees, soles, and hips.
The Advantages of Wearing Memory Foam Shoes
As you can tell, there are some advantages and disadvantages that come with wearing memory foam sneakers and other footwear. Here are some of the reasons memory foam sneakers might be great for you:
- They are very comfortable: At the beginning, memory foam shoes are extremely comfortable. Since the material is not only soft but also plastic and elastic, it molds itself around your sensitive feet, ensuring that every contour is supported as you walk or run in those memory foam shoes.
- Help to reduce pressure on the balls of your feet: Whenever you walk for long distances or go running, you exert a lot of pressure on the balls of your feet. Eventually, this pressure turns to pain and other foot problems, which makes walking or running uncomfortable and even difficult in many cases. Memory foam shoes are designed to relieve this pressure by contouring themselves around the balls of your feet and taking on the impact through their plasticity, making for more comfortable shoes.
- They absorb heel shock:Just as the shoes absorb the pressure exerted on the balls of your feet, they also absorb heel shock when you walk and run. Shock absorption is important for preventing foot pain and heel pain.
- Improves stability: Many people have flat feet, and others have oddly shaped feet that don’t distribute the pressure evenly throughout the soles when they walk or run. Since memory foam is designed to contour itself around the shape of your feet while remaining true to its plastic nature, it can even out those odd shapes and improve your balance and stability as you walk. It provides good arch support.
Disadvantages of Memory Foam Shoes
As you would expect, memory foam shoes have a few disadvantages that might not appeal to everybody. Here are a few that you might need to take note of even as you consider whether or not memory foam shoes are good for you:
- They aren’t breathable: Memory foam shoes aren’t that breathable. In fact, they can get quite hot and sweaty, making them rather uncomfortable after a while.
- They can get smelly: If your shoes aren’t breathable, it means that your feet will get hot and sweaty. Since there’s nowhere for that funk to go, it will end up being absorbed into the material of the shoes, which eventually leaves you with smelly shoes.
So, are memory foam shoes good or bad? It depends on what you need. For people who suffer from conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis (extreme heel pain), knee pain, and those whose jobs entail spending long hours on their feet, such as nurses, there’s no substitute for memory foam shoes and anatomical arch support footwear and the cushioning they provide.
Since memory foam is soft and tends to contour itself around the soles of the feet, it takes away the stress that would typically be directed towards the plantar ligament. For nurses, memory foam simply helps reduce the amount of pressure on their soles, preventing foot pain in the process.
Granted, some disadvantages come with memory foam shoes, but those are minimal and negligible compared to the pain relief and other advantages that these shoes offer.