Amazon’s ByRiver Acupressure Shoes Help Alleviate Plantar Fasciitis

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The cleverly designed shoes are inspired by the traditional Chinese practice of acupressure. It’s similar to acupuncture in that it stimulates specific nerve points of the body so the brain will release “neural hormones that naturally relieve pain.” Unlike acupuncture, acupressure uses pressure in the place of sterilized needles. 

The shoes feature labeled buttons made to trigger 41 acupressure points on the bottom of the foot. The goal is to wear the shoes for 15-minute intervals throughout the day to experience benefits. Full disclosure: The acupressure sensation can be quite uncomfortable, even painful, for first-time users, but Amazon shoppers say the shoes are worth it for the eventual relief. They also suggest wearing socks to lessen the sensations. 

“I have the absolute worst plantar fasciitis to the point that I cannot receive a full injection of cortisone because my tendon is so close to rupturing,” writes one reviewer. “This has been ongoing now for five-plus months. I started wearing these slippers during my morning routine and the difference is STAGGERING! I am able to walk flat-footed and put my weight on my foot without a supplemental plantar strap!” 

Another customer says: “These slides did more for my plantar fasciitis in six days than army doctors did for it in 20 years. Wear them while sitting down and stand periodically. I went from pain to gain in just four days and I don’t need 50 warm-up steps in the morning anymore.”

While the Amazon reviews are overwhelmingly positive, we asked New York-based pediatric surgeon Dr. Hillary Brenner her thoughts on the funny-looking slides. She admits it’s hard to say without reviewing a formal study over a long period of time, but says these shoes might be a decent substitute for traditional massaging techniques, such as rolling your foot over a tennis ball or a frozen water bottle. She doesn’t, however, recommend wearing them longer than 20 minutes at a time and she says to only wear them while indoors. 

In addition to alleviating plantar fasciitis-related pain, Amazon customers say these shoes have helped alleviate discomfort from sciatica, neuropathy, and arthritis.   

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