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How One Shoe Brand Is Making High Heels Comfortable

Vionic wants to put a little extra pep in your step.

For the first time, the comfort footwear brand is bringing its signature orthotic technology to a 3-inch heel. Unveiling a trendier spring/summer ’17 line in New York this week, Vionic said the new product is a direct response to the feedback the company has gotten from its loyal customer base — requesting more stylish options in addition to its comfort features.

“What we were looking to do fundamentally is to [make higher-heeled shoes] more comfortable and more wearable,” explained Terry Mitchell, Vionic director of biomechanic technologies. “So we had to look at the function [of a shoe’s heel] and how it actually supports the foot.”

With an expert team behind the design, Vionic gave its 3-inch heeled sandal — dubbed the “perk carmel” — a biomechanical footbed with supportive features, including extra cushioning, arch contact and a deep heel cup.

The new style comes in three colors: saddle, black and natural snake and retails for about $140.

vionic sandals
Vionic’s “perk carmel” in black.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.

“The technology in the shoes not only helps your feet, but it also aligns your ankles, knees, hips and back a little better,” noted Dr. Jackie Sutera, a podiatrist and Vionic Innovation Lab Member. “In a traditional heel, your knees and hips would go forward, and your back has to hyperextend backward.”

But does all that technology mean that wearing these heels will be a completely painless experience?

“It’s going to vary from person to person,” Dr. Sutera explained. “We’re not saying its pain-free; we’re saying it’s a healthier option than some of the standard heels that don’t have those features.”

Other shoes in the spring/summer line include transitional gladiator sandals, booties, espadrilles and embellished flats.

vionic sandals
Vionic’s “perk carmel” in saddle.
CREDIT: Courtesy of brand.
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