Muscle and joint pain? Must be your shoes | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Michael O'Donnell, International VP of the Vionic Group
Michael O'Donnell, International VP of the Vionic Group
Michael O'Donnell, International VP of the Vionic Group
Michael O’Donnell, International VP of the Vionic Group

Think of your feet as the foundation of your body. When there’s a misalignment, usually caused by improper footwear, your entire body will feel its effects—from your feet all the way up your spine.

“Bad footwear can cause plantar fasciitis, knee pain, back pain, muscle and joint pain,” said Michael O’Donnell, International VP of the Vionic Group.
“According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, 75 percent of people have problems with their lower limbs.”
Vionic is a shoe company that pioneered and innovated in lower-limb biomechanics.

The lower limb problems often start with overpronation (flat feet) or underpronation (very high arches), both conditions easily managed by wearing the right shoes. Everyone pronates, no doubt, but the problem is when the feet pronate too much.

With overpronation, the foot rolls inward excessively so that weight is distributed unevenly. This is a more common form of misalignment, since overpronation is not exclusive. The habit develops with age, weight gain or intense exercise.
Underpronation, meanwhile, is when the foot leans to the outside, so that weight is also distributed unevenly.

The Vionic orthotics, featured in every kind of footwear the brand carries, feature deep heel cups that enhance stability, firm but flexible midsoles that help the feet bend more naturally, and arch supports that cradle and hug the feet like they were walking on soft sand with each step.

Vionic’s mission began with the work of Australian podiatrist Phillip Vasyli, who treated thousands of patients, ranging from young children to amateur and professional athletes.

Vasyli invented one of the first heat-moldable orthotics, a low-cost option to treat overpronation and underpronation. This laid the groundwork for the award-winning Orthaheel orthotic, the world’s first and only true orthotic available without a doctor’s prescription.

Sandal company

“Vionic started out as a sandal company. After 30 years of practice, Vasyli developed a generic contour or shape of a shoe that would help give people back a natural alignment, and so alleviating pain caused by misalignment. Our claims are clinically proven facts,” O’Donnell said.

In a peer-reviewed study involving 150 persons, he said, it was revealed that Vionic contoured sandals are comparable in effectiveness to Vionic’s best-selling prefabricated orthotics in the short-term treatment of heel pain.

O’Donnell said the study was conducted on people over age 50 and with heel pain. After a trial period of 12 weeks, results showed that patients wearing the Vionic contoured sandal were 68 percent more likely to report improvement, compared to those wearing flip-flops.
Results also showed that the contoured sandal provided similar relief to Vionic’s best-selling orthotic inserts in alleviating heel pain.

“One in 10 people over the course of their lifetime will experience plantar heel pain,” he said.

Fyn Black
Fyn Black

Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Roberto Lopez, a fellow of the Philippine Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society, claimed that Vionic is the only product on the market with built-in orthotics that helped his patients.

Built into all Vionic sandals, slippers, active shoes, casual flats and high heels is the Orthaheel technology that helps promote alignment from the ground up. These are engineered with a deep heel cup to enhance stability, give substantial arch support and a firm yet flexible midsole. This Orthaheel Technology is designed to provide proper alignment, which can help reduce common aches and pains.

Minna Tan Leopard
Minna Tan Leopard

Vionic’s footwear and orthotic inserts are also endorsed by noted integrative medicine expert Dr. Andrew Weil. It is recognized by the American Podiatric Medical Association (Apma).
The Apma Seal of Acceptance has been granted to most Vionic products with Orthaheel Technology, which means it is one of the few footwear brands to have demonstrated the ability to promote good foot health.


“I have seen how Vionic helps improve the body’s alignment by merely aligning the feet in the correct position. If we achieve good alignment, we can eliminate most aches and pains in our feet and back,” said registered physical therapist Dwight Guieb.

Vionic has stores at Uptown Bonifacio and Ayala Malls The 30th.