Few people think of everyday footwear as a medical device. But perhaps we should, because the correct shoe may be able to ease joint pain well beyond the foot. "When your foot hits the ground, its not only the foot thats affected. You also can create problems in the knee, the hip, and elsewhere," says Kay Niedermeier, MPT, MDT, a clinical specialist in Cleveland Clinics Department of Rehabilitation Services. The cumulative force on the feet that comes from an average day of walking can equal several hundred tons. The wrong shoe can not only cause pain in your feet, it can also create soreness in your ankle, knee, hip, even your back-particularly if you have arthritis. Conversely, the right shoe can lessen the pressure on your joints, thereby reducing pain and even slowing arthritis-related deterioration. "Youll feel the effects of a good shoe in more than just your foot," Niedermeier says.