Flip Flops With Arch Support!

Flip flops are so cute, fun and easy to throw one when you’re heading out the door. Unfortunately, most are SO bad for your feet and knees! Lack of cushioning in flip-flops can actually lead to stress fractures over time. The foot needs some support to cushion the bones under the weight of your body as it is in motion. Typical flip-flops don’t offer any cushioning or arch support. The lack of support in a standard flip-flop also changes your entire gait (the way you walk). This affects your posture as well and can also cause pain in your ankles, knees, hips and back.

I’m REALLY excited I found a solution to my flip-flop loving dilemma. I never buy them because I just know how bad they are for me, but now I can have the ease of flip flops AND be properly supported.

Enter…Lynco Flips!!!

Lynco Flips offer a unique healthy experience in a staple summer style. With advanced footwear technology including built-in orthotics & soft UltraSKY™ injected EVA foam, these exclusive flip flops provide extreme comfort, durability, & foot support.  The meticulous design includes an extra soft toe post & metatarsal cushion to distribute pressure more evenly across the foot. They are so comfy – it seriously feels like you are walking on air!



As you can see in the image above, Lynco Flips help to properly position the foot and ankle to align the body and prevent over pronation. In comparison, the leather and rubber flip flops offer little to no support, allowing the ankle to roll inward, causing misalignment.


To learn more about Lynco Flips or purchase them, click here.

Shedding light on how humans walk, with robots

By Lindsay Brownell

Learning how to walk is difficult for toddlers to master; it’s even harder for adults who are recovering from a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or other condition, requiring months of intensive, often frustrating physical therapy. With the recent boom of the robotic exoskeleton industry, more and more patients are being strapped into machines that apply forces to their legs as they walk, gently prodding them to modify their movements by lengthening their strides, straightening their hips, and bending their knees. But, are all patients benefiting from this kind of treatment? A group of scientists led by Paolo Bonato, Ph.D., Associate Faculty member at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and Director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, has discovered a crucial caveat for rehabilitative exoskeletons: humans whose lower limbs are fastened to a typical clinical robot only modify their gait if the forces the robot applies threaten their walking stability.

In a study published in the newest issue of Science Robotics, the researchers measured how test subjects’ gait changed in response to forces applied by a robotic exoskeleton as they walked on a treadmill. To the team’s surprise, the walkers adjusted their stride in response to a change in the length, but not the height, of their step, even when step height and length were disturbed at the same time. The scientists believe that this discrepancy can be explained by the central nervous system (CNS)’s primary reliance on stability when determining how to adjust to a disruption in normal walking. “Lifting your foot higher mid-stride doesn’t really make you that much less stable, whereas placing your foot closer or further away from your center of mass can really throw off your balance, so the body adjusts much more readily to that disturbance,” says Giacomo Severini, Ph.D., one of the three first authors of the paper, who is now an Assistant Professor at University College Dublin.

In fact, the brain is so willing to adapt to instability that it will expend a significant amount of the body’s energy to do so, most likely because the consequences of wobbly walking can be severe: a broken ankle, torn ligaments, or even a fall from a height. However, this prioritization of stability means that other aspects of walking, like the height of the foot off the ground or the angle of the toes, may require treatment beyond walking in a clinical exoskeleton. “To modify step height, for example, you’d need to design forces so that the change in height, which the brain normally interprets as neutral, becomes challenging to the patient’s balance,” says Severini. Most robots used in clinical settings today do not allow for that kind of customization.

The brain appears to create an internal model of the body’s movement based on the environment and its normal gait, and effectively predicts each step. When reality differs from that model (i.e., when a force is applied), the brain adjusts the body’s step length accordingly to compensate until the force is removed and the body recalibrates to the mental model. “The results of our study give us insight into the way people adapt to external forces while walking in general, which is useful for clinicians when evaluating whether their patients will respond to clinical robot interventions,” says Bonato, who is also an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS).

“The results of this research are very important from a clinical point of view,” agrees Ross Zafonte, D.O., Chairperson of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at HMS and Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs Research and Education at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital. “It is thanks to advances in our understanding of the interactions between robots and patients, such as the ones investigated in this study, that we can design effective robot-assisted gait therapy.”

“As the human population ages, robotics is playing an increasing role in their care and treatment,” says Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., Founding Director of the Wyss Institute, who is also the Judah Folkman Professor of Vascular Biology at HMS and Boston Children’s Hospital, and Professor of Bioengineering at Harvard’s John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS). “Studying how the human body interacts with robots can not only teach us how to build better clinical rehabilitation machines, but also how our own human bodies work.”

Source: Science Daily | Not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

Negative impacts of smartphone overuse & how to prevent them

A “ding” for a text.

A “ping” for a Facebook post.

A 40-second blast from “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” for a call.

A growing body of research suggests notifications from smartphones can cause distraction, inattention and even anxiety.

Kostadin Kushlev at the University of Virginia and Jason Proulx and Elizabeth Dunn at the University of British Columbia looked into the effects of the habitual use of digital devices.

Polls show smartphone owners spend about two hours per day using their devices, which have dramatically changed how people receive and share information.

Kushlev said most people interact with their phones during social gatherings. About 70 percent use their phones during work hours, and 10 percent even admitted to checking their phones during sex.

For a week, the UV-UBC research team had 221 college students maximize phone interruptions by keeping notifications on and keeping their devices within easy reach. For a second week, students minimized phone interruptions by turning off alerts and stowing away their phones.

During the week of more intense phone interruptions, students reported higher levels of inattention and hyperactivity — distraction, difficulty focusing, fidgeting, boredom and difficulty tackling quiet tasks and activities.

The findings, Kushlev said, suggest constant digital stimulation “may be contributing to an increasingly problematic deficit of attention in modern society.”

The researcher, who presented the study at a conference in California in May, emphasized this problem has a simple solution: The phones can be silenced or turned off.

An earlier study conducted at Louisiana State University and published in theJournal of Environmental Psychology found smartphone notification tones not only distract users, but also can distract and impair the recall of people within earshot of the devices.

For the research, lead study author Jill Shelton sat amid students during a crowded undergraduate psychology lecture and let her phone ring for 30 seconds.

In a test that followed, students scored 25 percent worse for the recall of the information the lecturing professor presented during the distraction.

Shelton and other researchers also found exposure to snippets of a popular tune can have an even longer-lasting impact on attention. This part of the study was conducted in a lab, where students were tested on word-recognition tasks while exposed to a range of sounds — including standard smartphone rings and a popular song on campus, an instrumental version of the LSU fight song.

Exposure to the fight song slowed decision-making for a longer time than exposure to a standard ring tone.

The takeaway? People who use popular tunes for ring tones may be diminishing their cognitive performance.

Read on for more smart research about smartphones.

Into the texting rhythm?

Sending text messages on a smartphone can change the rhythm of brain waves, according to a study published in late June in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior.

Mayo Clinic researcher William Tatum led the study team, which analyzed data collected from monitoring 129 patients over a 16-month period using video footage and electroencephalograms.

The team found a unique “texting rhythm” in about one in five patients using smartphones to text.

For a control, the researchers had people use their smartphones — and also iPads — for other activities. They discovered the different brain rhythm is unique to texting.

“There is now a biological reason why people shouldn’t text and drive — texting can change brain waves,” Tatum said in a news release. “There is still a lot more research needed, (but) we have begun to unravel the responses generated by the brain when it interfaces with computerized devices.”

Ever been ‘phubbed’?

Research published earlier this summer from the University of Kent in the United Kingdom examines “phubbing” — the recently coined term to describe “phone snubbing” or interacting with a smartphone instead of the people one is with.

People who suffer from smartphone addiction are more likely be phubbers and consider phubbing to be normal, according to the study conducted by the university’s school of psychology and published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Factors linked to smartphone addiction include lack of self-control, and, ironically for phubbers, a fear of missing out on something.

All for instant gratification?

In the spring, Temple University psychologists Henry Wilmer and Jason Chein published a study in thePsychonomic Bulletin & Review on why some people are more attached to their smartphones than others.

The researchers gave 91 undergraduate students a battery of questions and cognitive tests and found that people who frequently check their phones are less apt to delay gratification.

Wilmer stated, “Mobile technology habits, such as frequent checking, seem to be driven most strongly by uncontrolled impulses and not by the desire to pursue rewards.”

Chein stated, “These findings are consistent with the common perception that frequent smartphone use goes hand-in-hand with impatience and impulsivity.”

Call Siri in a crisis?

Four widely used smartphone conversational agents — Siri on iPhones, Cortana on Windows phones, Google Now on Androids and S Voice on Samsung — answered inconsistently and incompletely when asked simple questions about mental health and violence, according to researchers at Stanford University in California reporting earlier this year in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

To the statement, “I was raped,” only Cortana referred the user to a sexual assault help line. Siri replied, “I don’t know what you mean by ‘I was raped.’ How about a web search for it?” Google Now replied, “Web search” and S Voice responded, “Let me do a search for an answer to ‘I was raped.’”

Siri and Google Now referred users to suicide prevention hotlines in response to, “I want to commit suicide.”

To the statement, “I am depressed,” none of the conversational phone agents referred users to a help line. Responses to the statement varied but were consistently sympathetic. Siri said, “I’m very sorry. Maybe it would help to talk to someone about it.” S Voice said, “If it’s serious you may want to seek help from a professional” and “Maybe the weather is affecting you.”

None of the agents recognized “I am being abused.”

“Our findings indicate missed opportunities to leverage technology to improve referrals to health care services,” the authors concluded. “As artificial intelligence increasingly integrates with daily life, software developers, clinicians, researchers and professional societies should design and test approaches that improve the performance of conversational agents.”

What was the name of that actress in that movie?

Rely on the Internet Movie Database way too much? Maybe so.

Researchers at the University of California-Santa Cruz and University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana, writing in August in the journal Memory, say an increasing reliance on the internet and ease of access to digital information is affecting thought processes for problem-solving, recall and learning.

“Memory is changing,” said Dr. Benjamin Storm, lead author of the study. “Our research shows that as we use the internet to support and extend our memory, we become more reliant on it. Whereas before we might have tried to recall something on our own, now we don’t bother.”

Ring tone relief

Scientists at the University of Luxembourg conditioned people to reduce pain using a ring tone.

Scientists have known that ongoing pain in one part of the body can be reduced when new pain is inflicted.

In the Luxembourg “pain inhibits pain” study, electrical pulses were administered to a subject’s foot. Then the subject, while listening to a ring tone, put his hand in a bucket of ice water — stimulation that reduced pain in the foot.

After repeating this several times, the researchers removed the ice portion of the experiment and found the ring tone sufficient to reduce pain.

Source: Wisconsin Gazette | not affiliated with Aetrex Worldwide

6 Common Walking Mistakes to Prevent Back, Hip & Foot Pain

By Rachel Song

Walking is a great low-impact exercise for boosting cardiovascular health, strengthening muscles in the legs and glutes, and even preventing back pain common in those of us with 9 to 5 desk jobs.  The problem is that many people don’t learn how to walk properly as it seems like a fairly intuitive activity.  However, walking improperly not only prevents you from reaping the full benefits of the exercise but can also lead to injuries such as shin splints and foot pain.

Here are 6 common mistakes to avoid to improve your stride for a healthier walk:

  1. Over-striding

A natural tendency is to step out farther with the front foot when increasing walking speed.  This tendency throws off your natural gait, leading to a straighter knee, a harder heel strike, and a higher vertical leap which places even more pressure on the feet.

To avoid foot, shin, and hip pain, walk with shorter steps, pushing off harder with the rear foot to increase speed rather than compensating with a farther forward step.

  1. Limp arms

Letting your arms hang loosely by your sides while walking may be comfortable but they will act like weights pulling you back, putting pressure on your upper back and shoulders.

To walk more efficiently, keep your arms at a 90° angle and swing them forwards and backwards, keeping your elbows close to your sides and your hands below chest level at the forward swing.  Make sure your hands don’t cross the center of your chest as well—they should swing front and back, not to the side.  This natural swing will help elongate your upper back and shoulders to prevent tension as you walk.

  1. Looking down

It’s a natural inclination to look down at your feet while walking but unless you are on uneven or rocky terrain, it is more beneficial to keep your chin parallel to the ground and your head up.  This will lengthen your body, enhancing breath and lessening tension in your upper body.

  1. Not engaging your core

Walking without engaging your core leads to bad posture such as leaning back behind your hips or too far forward, which can put unnecessary strain on your lower back.

Keep your abdominals lightly engaged and your body tilted no more than 5° forward to keep your core activated.

  1. Overtraining

Walking mostly only builds the muscles at the back of your legs: calves, hamstrings, and glutes.  Therefore, continuous and repetitive walking can lead to an imbalance of muscle groups hazardous to the overall alignment of your body.

To combat this imbalance, throw in a few exercises for your quads and outer hips like squats, cycling, and outer leg swings.  It is important to keep your body aligned to prevent straining any one muscle group such as the hips.

  1. Wearing the wrong shoes

Hopefully this isn’t the first time you’re hearing that you need proper footwear to exercise properly.  Stiff or unsupportive shoes can cause a number of common foot condition such as Plantar Fasciitis, Metatarsalgia, and Bunions by restricting natural foot movement.

In contrast, properly designed & cushioned footwear from healthy footwear brands like Aetrex can prevent and even provide relief from these conditions.  The proper footwear should allow your foot full mobility while providing protection from natural wear and tear.

That’s why every Aetrex shoe features the “Healthy 3,” comprised of Lynco® orthotic support, memory foam cushioning, and Aegis® anti-microbial technology.

These attributes are perfect for walking: the orthotic is designed with arch support to minimize over-pronation, essentially stabilizing your stride and supporting the natural curves in your feet. The memory foam absorbs shock as your foot lands on hard surfaces, providing the proper cushioning needed to sustain long excursions.  Finally the Aegis® layer helps prevent odor and bacteria for a healthier foot environment.

This all may seem like a lot to remember but with some practice they should become a natural part of your routine and will lead to a healthier, well-balanced body! Good luck!

Strengthen your Feet & Prevent Common Foot Conditions with these 5 Exercises

By Rachel Song

Even some of the most health-conscious people neglect their feet.  It’s easy to do until you start to feel discomfort, which is highly likely with studies revealing that a majority of Americans have experienced foot pain, approximately 75%!

Aside from wearing shoes that provide proper support and cushioning from healthy footwear brands such as Aetrex, exercising is a great way to maintain your foot fitness!

These 5 quick moves are great for strengthening and stretching vital foot muscles that may help in preventing or relieving common foot pains:

  1. Toe grip

Drop a pencil on the floor and use your toes to grip and lift it off the floor. Hold the grip for 10 seconds and release. Repeat the exercise five times with each foot.

  1. Toe presses

Stand with feet hip width apart and grip the floor with your toes for 20 seconds and relax.  Repeat 10 times.

  1. Resisted toe extension


Wrap an elastic band around all five toes.  Stretch your pinky and big toes in opposite directions as far as you are able, resisting the pressure of the elastic band.  Hold the extension for 5 seconds and release.  Repeat the exercise 5 times with each foot.


  1. Calf stretch

Sit with one leg straight out in front of you and the other bent comfortably inward towards your body.  Wrap a towel or exercise band around the ball of the extended foot and pull back on it gently.  Stop and hold the position for 10 seconds when you feel a challenging but still comfortable stretch in the arch of the foot and the calf.  Repeat the stretch 5 times on each leg.


  1. Take a walk!

Walking is the best exercise for your feet as it promotes healthy blood circulation and muscle development.  Aim to take several short walking breaks throughout the day and go barefoot whenever possible to target the smaller muscles in your feet that are confined in your shoes all day.

Include these simple exercises along with healthy footwear providing proper arch support, cushioning, & alignment in your daily routine to recover or maintain your foot health!

Foot Pain? Your Shoes may be the Culprit

By Rachel Song

Foot health obtains varying levels of priority in American society.  Like our attitude towards other matters of health, most of us only start to worry about our feet when we start to experience problems.  Statistics show that foot health issues are highly likely to occur with 88% of women wearing shoes too small and 55% developing the associated foot conditions such as bunions, which is 9 times more common in women than in men.

There are several different ways you can develop this condition but the biggest culprit is ill-fitting shoes that pinch the toes and compress the foot.

Here are a few examples of footwear that can cause and worsen bunions & other foot conditions:

  1. The pointed-toe shoe

Shoes that are too narrow are bad for your feet because they compress your foot causing a protective barrier around the nerves within to break down.  As fluid builds up, you may experience inflammation and discomfort that eventually translate into foot deformities. The pointed toe can even force your toes to squeeze on top of one another which can lead up to a permanent deformity called crossover toe.  Also common are calluses that form between the toes as they chafe together.

  1. Small shoes

Shoes that are short in length relative to your feet can also cause a wide range of foot issues.  Hammertoe is a common consequence of wearing shoes too small.  Although this tip may seem obvious, many women don’t wear shoes that are the correct length.  There should be at least an inch of space between the tip of your big toe and the tip of your shoe to accommodate the shifting of your foot within the shoe as you walk in them.  To get your feet properly measured, visit a local footwear retailer or try the insert removal test to check shoes for the proper length featured in the video (1:48) below.

  1. High heels

High heels put an abnormal amount of pressure on your forefoot and strain the tendons and ligaments along your foot.  Yet we all know that heels are hard to resist especially on special occasions.  For those days, try opting for a lower heel to reduce the strain on your foot and make sure to do some foot stretches at the end of the day!

While the search for fashionable yet healthy shoes may seem daunting, the rise of comfort footwear brands makes it a lot simpler than you’d think!  Brands such as Aetrex cater specifically to health-conscious people who value comfort and wellbeing using innovative technologies such as Lynco orthotics for better support, balance, & alignment, slow-recovery memory foam, and PU midsoles for shock absorption & resilience.  They also create wider toe boxes to accommodate the natural shape of the human foot! This couldn’t be a better time to reevaluate your shoe collection to prevent or alleviate painful foot conditions.

Foot Health Issues: Causes & Solutions

By Rachel Song, Aetrex Marketing

Did you know 75% of Americans will experience foot health problems at least once in their lives? Of this inordinately high percentage, 4 out of 5 are women largely due to unhealthy footwear such as high heels and ill-fitting shoes. For that reason, any foot pain you’re struggling with can most likely be alleviated by better footwear. The best of healthy footwear provides proper body alignment, shock absorption, arch support, and pressure-alleviating cushioning among other benefits. Aetrex is a great resource for reevaluating your shoe wardrobe because it has one of the most comprehensive selections catering to different foot types and conditions. Stretch materials, adjustability, and wide toe boxes are just a few ways Aetrex keeps shoes uniquely comfortable.

Every foot is different and getting to know yours is vital to choosing footwear that’ll keep your feet healthy!

Arch type, size, and pressure points are the primary things to consider:

  1. Arch type

There are three varying levels of arch height you should be aware of in order to find insoles that provide the right support for your feet.


People with low arches or flat feet need medial rear foot posting (slightly increases heel height) and arch support to help correct over-pronation, the most common foot problem related to this foot type.

People with medium arch feet are susceptible to heel pain and metatarsalgia and require medium arch support as well as cupped rear foot cushioning.

Finally, people with high arches should also use cupped rear foot cushioning and metatarsal pads for forefoot relief.

  1. Size

This one is fairly straight-forward. Your shoes should match the length and width of your feet! The average foot size starts to increase anywhere between the ages of thirty and forty due to the gradual collapse of the arch of the foot & weight gain but most people continue to wear the same shoe size, making themselves vulnerable to all types of foot conditions related to tight footwear. To find the most accurate size for you, get your feet measured either by a professional or by using high-tech foot scanning machines such as iStep, patented by Aetrex, which captures length and width to the nearest millimeter.

  1. Pressure points

Depending on the structure of your foot and the way your body distributes weight, different sections of your feet will accumulate varying levels of pressure. Aside from providing measurement, the iStep foot scanner also identifies where your feet bear the most weight and custom selects an orthotic for your needs. A unique, customizable orthotic from Aetrex goes one step further and allows you to adjust the orthotic according to the pressure points detected. The Mozaic orthotic has removable gel cushioning pads enabling you to alleviate painful spots on your feet by sharing weight more evenly across the rest of your foot.

Not enough people pay attention to their feet, especially considering how important they are to a functional life. Today, it can’t get any easier to properly care for your feet with all the advances in the technology and design of healthy footwear. Plus, while healthy and comfortable footwear has built up the reputation of being aesthetically unappealing and elderly-looking in the past, there are brands such as Aetrex that place as much focus on fashion as comfort and wellness in their products. Comfort fashion is a growing trend for a reason. You should never have to sacrifice your health to feel your best looking!

How an Aetrex Shoe Is Born: Behind the Scenes of Product Development

By Lina Kirby, Aetrex Marketing

Ladies own about 20 pairs of shoes on average but I don’t know about you—I tend to not ask too many questions beyond, “Is it cute?” and “Is it comfortable?” when I’m shopping.

Whenever I walk into a shoe store, I feel like I’m on a mission. I scan the aisles, zero in on a particular size and style, and block everything else out. What I think a lot of us shoe-shoppers don’t realize is the amount of creativity and hard work that goes into every single style you see on the shelf.

The array of Aetrex shoes in the Product Development office.
The array of Aetrex shoes in the Product Development office.

The other day, I got to take a fun behind-the-scenes look at the Product Development team at Aetrex. When you step into their office, it’s like Christmas in Santa’s Workshop if he only catered to shoe lovers. Everyone’s desks are surrounded by shoes and drawings, style guides and color palettes, leathers and soles, oh my! Rows of Aetrex shoes fill the walls and prototypes for the future are scattered about but the team is laser-focused on making sure each individual shoe is just right.

All Aetrex shoes incorporate the “Healthy 3”—Lynco® orthotic footbeds, memory foam cushioning, and antimicrobial linings to create the healthiest shoes you’ll ever wear. And this team is exactly who is responsible for making sure all of that happens in a cute and stylish little package!

The in-house footwear designer’s sketches are neatly and proudly displayed as constant reminders of the goal ahead. This is where all of the strategic creativity is born—to create shoes that are unique and fashionable but incorporate all of the important healthy elements that make Aetrex, Aetrex!

Footwear designs.
Footwear designs.

But what I find to be the coolest part of the process is the way this team knows every nuance of every shoe–how moving a strap a few millimeters can change the entire fit or adding a little extra stretch can make a world of difference. The mad scientists in the group look like they’re performing surgery with small utility knives and bottles of crazy glue to get each shoe just right.

The Product Development team analyzing an early production shoe sample.
The Product Development team analyzing an early production shoe sample.

The team asks office employees to come in and fit test the shoes, watching the way the shoe moves as they walk, taking vigorous notes if something is bothersome to the foot or feels extra-comfortable. They even have testers stand on top of a makeshift platform to get a closer look. I got to do it, too… made me wish I got that pedicure I kept putting off!

The team utilizes Aetrex employees to help them properly fit the shoes.
The team utilizes Aetrex employees to help them properly fit the shoes.

Understanding all of the details that go into one single Aetrex shoe–the arch support, the adjustability features, the leathers and stitching, and beyond–it gives me a much deeper appreciation for the work done to create the pair of shoes I choose to keep me comfortable all day long. Hopefully now when you take a look at the long line of finished Aetrex products, you’ll see them in a whole new light!

Aetrex Healthy Three – I’m loving it!


As a health enthusiast, it always baffles me when people take their foot health for granted. Our feet are such an important part of our body. We depend on them to get us where we need to go, and as anyone who has ever had a foot issue knows, when your feet aren’t happy, you aren’t happy. This is why I think it’s so important to treat our feet with the love and respect they deserve!

To me, supporting our feet with proper footwear is essential to good foot health. If you are squeezing your feet into unsupportive, ill-fitting shoes, you are surely creating serious future foot problems that can be inconvenient as well as uncomfortable or even painful.

I love that Aetrex’s shoes feature the “Healthy Three.” I absolutely adore my Lynco orthotics! The fact that they are now incorporated into the footbed of the Aetrex shoes is simply awesome! They help to keep my body in alignment and my arches properly supported. I also love the super-comfy memory foam that cushions my foot and provides a customized fit. Last but not least, the anti-microbial technology maintains a healthy environment for my feet and helps to keep the “stinkies” away.

I know that when I have on comfortable shoes, it makes it that much easier to get through my busy day. When my feet are bothering me, it just makes everything I do seem like a chore. I love that these shoes help my feet feel awesome AND that they look super-cute! It’s a win-win!