Thanks to Fighting Fifty, the lifestyle website for those of us lucky enough to be embracing this fabulous decade, I was given the opportunity to road test these extremely colourful, and comfortable trainers from Vionic.
|My Venture Walker Vionic Trainers – £85 from QVC|
Now I’ve turned 50 (well, 51 actually) I’m finding that exercise is more important. When I was younger, it was relatively easy to keep the weight off but nowadays I seem to be developing a cross between a mum and a menopausal tum. Yes, I’m “mumpausal”- an entirely new syndrome for us older mums to wrestle with! So one of my birthday resolutions was to get off my butt and start moving.
I have to confess being unaware of the Vionic brand but had a major “a-ha” moment when I discovered that Vionic is endorsed by the much respected American doctor and best-selling author on holistic health, Dr Andrew Weil MD. Even more impressive is the fact that Dr Weil donates all of his after-tax profits from the royalties on sales of Vionic orthotic shoes to his not-for-profit foundation – “The Weil Foundation” which is dedicated to supporting integrative medicine through training, education and research.
Vionic shoes were developed by Phillip Vasyli, a renowned Australian podiatrist and founder of Orthaheel Technology. This leading orthotic technology is based on more than 30 years of podiatric success and Vionic sandals, shoes and slippers are bio-mechanically engineered to hug your arches, which supports natural alignment.
This means that the shoes help combat heel pain, ball of foot pain, shin pain, knee pain and, of greatest interest to me, back pain.
Mr Vasyli’s theory is that constantly walking on flat surfaces such as pavements and wearing footwear which does not support our feet, leads the feet to roll inwards (over-pronation) when we walk, which in turn leads to these different types of pain. Vionic shoes have an orthotic footbed which help lift your arches and stop this chain reaction of pain from developing.
I was sent the Venture Walker which has a lightweight, durable mesh and man-made overlay to give breathability and comfort. The shoes have a removable covered EVA footbed and the bio-mechanic, orthotic footbed (FMT Orthaheel Technology) mentioned above that naturally aligns your feet and reduces over-pronation (the rolling inwards). The EVA midsole absorbs shock to help reduce the impact on your knees and ankles.
I have to say that I found the shoes incredibly light and comfortable to wear with no noticeable negative effect on my legs or back. I mention this because when I started to wear my Fitflops (readers of this blog will be familiar with my love of them), I definitely noticed some mild muscle tenderness and tightness for the first couple of times I wore them.
You can definitely feel the orthotic device in the shoes cushioning the arch of the foot and, having walked several miles in these now, I would be quite confident wearing them on long walks or going sight-seeing in them. I’ve been wearing them on the school run and I am much better at keeping up with Caitlin, and particularly Ieuan, who goes everywhere at an easy canter, now my feet are properly supported. I’m not promising but I may even break into a jog occasionally.
Vionic shoes are now available in the UK at www.qvcuk.com and there are a great variety of styles and colours to choose from. If you do suffer from foot-related pain and you have a holiday coming up or you are looking for better support from your work-out footwear, I’d suggest you take a look at the range.
Incidentally, if you are, like me, “fighting fifty”, check out the Fighty Fifty website at www.fightingfifty.co.uk.. You can also tweet them at @fighting_fifty or talk to them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/FightingFifty.