Not too long ago, so-called experts told us we had to wear supportive shoes to protect our joints. Turns out those folks were wrong. If you're one of the 46 million people diagnosed with arthritis, here's how to "lace up" for a better life.
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Casey Taylor: It's a fast pace, high intensity, exhausting job that Coach Beatrice Jirasek loves. Beatrice Jirasek: I've been coaching girls God you're talking 30 years. Casey Taylor: Arthritis in her knees nearly side-lined her for good. Beatrice Jirasek: I felt as almost if my body was going to collapse under me. Casey Taylor: When painkillers didn't work, she found the real problem, at her feet. Dr. Najja Shakoor: What we put on our feet has a huge impact on our knees and our hips. Casey Taylor: Doctors at Rush University Medical Center study footwear's impact on arthritis. Cameras, sensors and 3-D software measure the force different shoes put on your knees. They've looked at flip flops, clogs, flat sneakers and supportive shoes. Dr. Najja Shakoor: For years we've been thinking that really supportive shoes are good for our feet. Casey Taylor: The study found the opposite. Supportive shoes and clogs put 15 percent more force on the knees. More force equals more joint problems. Dr. Najja Shakoor: While the very light-weight shoes including flip-flops were associated with the lowest forces almost as if someone was barefoot. Casey Taylor: Rheumatologist Najia Shakoor won't prescribe flip-flops for everyone - but says wearing a flat, flexible shoe can ease the strain on arthritic knees and hips. Beatrice Jirasek: I was walking around with these clunky grandma shoes. Casey Taylor: Beatrice now sports new kicks and wears them at least six hours a day. Beatrice Jirasek: I'm thoroughly surprised that this shoe, which was like in the prototype and stuff, could have done that for me. Casey Taylor: It didn't eliminate the pain, but it helped, keeping this coach in the game. I am Casey Taylor reporting.

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