A big thank you goes out to the Vionic fans on here. I saw them mentioned enough that I figured I'd check them out, and I just got a pair. They're even better than I'd hoped!

Background: I injured my lower back somehow a few months ago. I don't know how. I think it was a minor strain that I responded to poorly (stopped exercising, partly because I was busy and not feeling great otherwise). It got worse and worse. The doctor ruled out anything concerning and sent me to PT. It helped some, as did buying a memory foam topper (we will want a bigger bed in two years when we move, so I didn't want a whole new mattress if I could help). However, my recovery has been slow and full of peaks and valleys. The pain is not really that bad (ibuprofen helps), but my mobility has been affected in a way that frustrates me deeply. I determined that aside from sleep, another reason is that my main form of exercise is walking the pavement in NYC. I can do some walking on a dirt path in Central Park, which allows me to push a bit, but I can't walk the way I used to on the streets.

I wear "comfort" shoes like Birkenstocks and Naturalizers anyway, but I was intrigued by the Vionics and discovered that the Rack might have some. I went on my lunch break, and was so excited I actually put this pair on for the walk back to work. The difference between this and even my Birkenstocks is stunning to me, as the have a kind of cusky airch support that absorbs almost all the shock of walking on pavement. I never believed in wearing separate shoes for commuting, but I think I may have to now. (My normal shoes are fine for walking around the office.)

The reviews of this pair pan the straps a bit, and I can see why. They are not great... though not as bad on me as on some of the reviews. I can live with them. I don't think this alone will cure my pain, but if it will help me get the walking exercise I need to help with my recovery, I can live with it. I will report back on whether they help long term, but they sure made a difference in how I felt walking today.

Thank you AGAIN to everyone who mentioned these shoes during the past few months. (I know Suz is among them but can't remember who all else.)

ETA I also got these Naot shoes, so that I am not constantly having to change shoes every day (the Vionics look too flip flop for work, but I need them for walking). The Noats are almost as good for my back issue, and a DREAM otherwise. Tons of support, but they don't even feel like they need to be broken in like Birks do. I had always meant to try them, and I'm glad I had the chance. I tried some other Vionics (from QVC, posted below), and since they were the same color as the ones I have, plus a bit too big, they are going back. I didn't like the other colros on offer, but the sole was the right one. I sprung for the Naots instead.