We get frequent questions about the various “new” shoe designs that are heavily marketed online. In response to these questions;
There are a few companies that are marketing shoes with spring loaded heels.
The premise of the shoe design logic is that it absorbs shock at the heel. While shock absorption is often a good thing at heel strike, it is not that good immediately following heel strike. The springs that are embedded in the shoe’s heel can have the effect of irritating the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel when the heel drops lower than usual as the springs compress. The moment of time between when the heel compresses and the weight transfers to the front of the foot is the critical potential problem time.
The function of the shoe may cause a sudden loading of the mid-foot resulting from this temporary negative heel height. If this happens, it can cause moderate to severe injuries of the heel cord and the ligaments that run along the bottom of the foot.
For patients who have tight calves or a tendency to experience arch pain or other foot pain, we advise consulting an orthotist or pedorthist prior to purchasing this type of shoe.