The Original Vs. The Palmer – Which Style Is For Me?

One of the biggest questions we are asked through customer service and social media is: “Which style do I need – the original, or the Palmer?”

Today, we’re here to help you learn the difference between our styles to help you choose the best option for your needs.

The Original

Our original Healing Sole flip flops are designed with these key features:

  • Moderately-raised arch support
  • A compressible inner heel for cushioned relief
  • Non-compressible outer heel for added support
  • A rocker bottom sole for gentle muscle stretching
  • A metatarsal bar beneath the toes and balls of the feet
  • An elevated toe ramp for additional stretching

This style alleviates pain from plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, morton’s neuroma, and general foot pain.


The Palmer

Our universally-accessible Palmer flip flop is designed with similar features and one key difference: Neutral toe for additional comfort

  • A compressible inner heel for cushioned relief
  • Non-compressible outer heel for added support
  • A rocker bottom sole for gentle muscle stretching
  • A metatarsal bar beneath the toes and balls of the feet
  • A neutral toe for additional comfort and less irritation at the forefoot

The absence of a big toe elevation makes this style comfortable for all foot types and conditions while offering the same pain relief you love from our original flip flop.


This is where The Healing Sole started.

The original Healing Sole flip flop, like all of our footwear and our Well Theory products, are designed by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Meredith Warner.

This is one of the aspects that sets our product apart from the rest.

Dr. Meredith Warner is board-certified and fellowship-trained.

Her passion for helping patients find freedom from foot pain and her scientifically-backed, proven pain-relieving technology is found in every feature of our flip flops.

Each feature has been successfully utilized clinically, but Dr. Warner realized that each feature becomes more effective when used together.

This flip-flop is designed to offer what would normally be offered in 5 or 6 office visits separately. The design thoughtfully integrates each treatment methodology in a convenient delivery vehicle (the flip-flop).  

Our original flip flops are designed with key features to help relieve your foot pain and stress, leaving you free to go through your day, your physical activities, and your close interactions without being interrupted by pain.


1. A Rocker Bottom Sole

Rather than being a flat flip flop, the sole of our footwear is gently curved. This works with your natural heel-to-toe gait pattern, stretching the muscles of the feet and lower legs while also alleviating tension.

The curve also puts body weight into a better position on the foot and allows for natural offloading of painful areas.

Rocker bottoms are well-known to reduce the stress and strain of standing and walking.

2. Raised Arch Support

Added arch support does just what the title suggests. It offers essential support to the arch of the foot, the major structure that carries the weight of the body.

Added support helps to offload stress, reduce pain, and improve balance and posture.

The goal of this arch support is to support the tendons responsible for push-off and arch maintenance.

Please note that this arch support is not designed to change anyone’s natural alignment.

3. Compressible Inner Heel

The proprietary cutout pattern in the inside portion of the heel allows for optimized cushioning of the sole at that zone only. This flexibility reduces pressure on the heel where many experience the highest degree of pain.

However, a normal heel-strike is possible because the rest of the foot bed has a normal, but giving, structure.

This feature is designed to cushion the pain but eliminate ‘guarding’ when standing or walking.

4. Metatarsal Bar

In our footwear, the metatarsal bar is located just behind and underneath your metatarsal heads near the base of the toes.

The metatarsal bar works with the rocker bottom to lessen stress and strain at the toe joints located within the ‘ball of the foot.’

This helps to offload pressure and relieve pain in the forefoot.

5. Raised area under the great toe

(sometimes called the Cluffy® Wedge)

This raised toe ramp helps to prevent the toes from cramping while also offering a deeper stretch to the muscles and ligaments of the feet.

A raised area under the great toe is only beneficial when combined with a rocker bottom. The addition of the metatarsal bar adds to the power of the flip flop to reduce pain.

6. Structural support materials  

Our flip flop is built with a proprietary density of a closed-cell foam that allows the foot muscles and tendons to continue to work but yet provides enough give to allow for the foot to rest a bit.

This material does not break down too quickly like many open cell foams (‘memory-types’).

This material provides excellent structural support to the foot which is more natural and more healthy over time than overly cushioned foot beds.  


The Palmer, in almost every way, is just like our original flip flop. The Palmer still has a firm, rocker bottom sole with raised arch support, as well as the compressible inner heel cutouts and metatarsal bar.

So, what’s the major difference? It’s all in the toe.

As you’ll notice, the elevated toe ramp is absent from this design. Here’s why.

For many who suffer from conditions that affect the toes and balls of the feet, our raised-toe may cause irritation and added sensitivity. These conditions can include:

  • Morton’s Neuroma
  • Hallux Rigidus
  • Bunions
  • Hammertoes
  • Arthritis
  • Metatarsal Capsulitis
  • Synovitis
  • Freiberg’s Disease
  • and Sesamoiditis

The Palmer is universally accessible. Rather than add extra pressure to the toes, we created this design with a neutral toe. This way, wearers with and without forefoot pain can find relief.

This style still targets plantar fasciitis pain, heel spurs, Achilles tendonitis, and more!

The ramp is a great feature, but Dr. Warner felt that if its presence kept many people from enjoying the benefits of the overall goodness of The Healing Sole, its absence was necessary for some.

This is a case of making our shoe more inclusive for people with deformities and problems of the great toe. The feedback on The Palmer has been excellent and we are more than pleased with the outcomes of this design change for the community.  


If you have further questions about our styles, we are always happy to help you find answers. Just email us at, and our customer service team will be ready to help.

Ready to take relief into your own hands?

Choose our Palmer or our Original flip flop and get back to walking without pain and muscle tension.

Add our Well Theory products into the mix for immune support, inflammation relief, and pain reduction when and where you need it!

Say yes to relief. Order today!