Sensible walking shoes, designed to give us additional support, are the very worst thing for our knees, and they could increase our chances of developing osteoarthritis. Instead, shoes that have flexible soles, and even flip-flop sandals, are kinder on our joints, a new study has discovered. Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago made the surprising discovery when they tested out four different types of shoe on 31 people with osteoarthritis. They found that special clogs, often worn by healthcare professionals who are on their feet all day, and special 'stability' shoes, which are designed for comfort, increased the pressure on the wearer's knees compared with the flat shoes with flexible soles, and with the flip-flops. The key seems to be the type of sole the shoe has: if it's flexible, it can reduce 'the load' on the knee joints as effectively as medical braces or shoe inserts, and higher heels may also be worse for the knee, even if they're part of a special walking shoe. (Source: Arthritis Care & Research, 2010; doi: 10.1002/acr.20165).