According to a recent study by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 35 percent of surveyed women spend six or more hours a day on their feet, with another 31 percent logging two-to-six hours standing up. At the same time, only 10 percent of those queried said they paid more attention to their feet more than any other body part—skin, hair, and face all scored higher—so it’s no wonder that pedi-related ailments, from heel pain to nail issues, are also on the rise. While podiatric attention is needed to deal with many of these issues, relief can also start at home. “Pampering your feet promotes good foot hygiene and should be done frequently to contribute to not only your foot health, but also to your body’s overall health,” says APMA member podiatrist Dr. Marlene Reid. So after a long day of working, walking and, most likely, wearing cute-but-tight shoes, show weary feet some love by soaking them in warm water, giving them a massage, and settling them into a pair of soothing, eco-friendly slippers. (For more tips from the APMA, visit www.apma.org).
Much-loved for their comfortable and convenient footwear (they’re the ones who created the iconic Slipper Sock back in the late ‘70s), Acorn’s Spring 2009 Eco slipper collection is made with earth-friendly materials like biodegradable hemp, certified organic cotton, yak down, and CFC-free footbeds. The stylish ballet-style Dorsay boasts a soft French terry lining, padded arch support, and a skid-resistant sole made with 25 percent recycled material. We also love the open-backed Quilted Eco Scuff style, which comes in a Vegan Society-approved ivory color. $49.95; www.acorn.com.
Underlay / Layaway
Colorful, comfy, and committed to being 100 percent sustainable, Simple Shoes feature bouncy post-consumer paper pulp foot forms, felted wool tops, outsoles made with layered natural crepe and recycled inner tubes, and water-based cement and glue to hold it all together. We can’t decide between the adorable Mary Jane-style Layaway, which comes in cheerful Bubblegum pink and Angel Eyes turquoise, or the dual-colored Over-lay, with diamond-shaped top-stitching and peek-a-boo polka-dots—so we won’t. $55; www.simpleshoes.com
Exclusive to green brand Gaiam, these plush footies have a skid-resistant, weatherproof outer sole, making them ideal for when you need to run out to grab the paper or take out the trash. Sustainable organic cotton, hemp, and soft terrycloth help make them comfortable, while a CFC-free molded footbed makes them even more eco-friendly. $48; www.gaiam.com
For something a little different, try these chunky options filled with massaging flax seeds and aromatherapeutic herbs like lavender, chamomile, peppermint, and rosemary—a combination designed to soothe and revive tired feet. The slippers are covered in sustainable bamboo cotton and can be heated in the microwave or popped into the fridge for extra pampering action. Available in one size only, in either black with white leaves or white with green leaves. $25; www.uncommongoods.com
Available in small/medium or medium/large, these soft organic cotton jersey shoes come in a narrow slip-on style adorned with a bow. Choose between open- or closed-toe, and navy blue, charcoal, or raspberry red; each comes with a matching drawstring shoe bag. $38; www.hatattack.com