New products for baby boomers designed to ease knee, leg pain

Denial makes it easy to forget we are getting older, until suddenly something in our body hurts. Everything is fine as we go through our day-to-day, and then it happens: Back pain, joint pain, hip and knee pain, and we are jolted back to the reality that we aren’t 23 anymore. There are some new alternatives other than surgery that might help.

A common problem among the baby boomer generation is knee pain associated with osteoarthritis of our knees. After years on-the-go, raising children and working non-stop, it’s not unusual for people over age 50 to begin feeling discomfort in their joints.

Osteoarthritis, which can affect knees, hips, feet, hands and other parts of the body, occurs when the cartilage that cushions the spaces between the joints wears away. The disease affects some 27 million Americans and leads to 632,000 surgical joint replacements a year. It is the most common cause of disability for U.S. adults, according to the nonprofit Arthritis Foundation.

One in two adults will develop knee osteoarthritis before age 85, and the risk increases to two in three adults who are obese. Aching knees can be detrimental, making even the most routine daily activities a painful chore.

“The most dangerous exercise you can do when you have arthritis is none,” says Kate Lorig, director of the Patient Education Research Center at Stanford University.

According to the Wall Street Journal (April 2011), “Doctors increasingly are recommending physical activity to help osteoarthritis patients, overturning the more traditional medical advice for people to take it easy to protect their joints.”

There are simple measures that can help you stay active and reduce pain without surgery or medication. New products are coming on the market that specifically target baby boomers and offer solutions to your pain problems. One is the ABEO SMARTsystem line of footwear sold at The Walking Company. The basic premise of the shoe is helps to reduce knee pain associated with age, a previous knee surgery, osteoarthritis, or excess weight.

What’s special is the SMARTsystem’s patent-pending midsole design developed and tested at Stanford University. The midsole is the part of the shoe between the sole (that touches the ground), and the insole (that touches your foot). It’s basically the heart of your shoe, and provides support and cushioning where it is needed most. ABEO SMARTsystem in turn can reduce knee pain, the progression of osteoarthritis, and the onset of osteoarthritis.

Learn more about ABEO SMARTsystem at


  1. My favorite quote from this article is “The most dangerous exercise you can do when you have arthritis is none,” says Kate Lorig, director of the Patient Education Research Center at Stanford University.
    Excellent advice!

    I run at least 3 to 4 times a week, play tennis 1 to 2 times a week, and kayak, surf, swim, hike & bike as often as possible. I’ve never experienced joint pain, arthritis, sore back, or any of the other maladies afflicting many of my generation. The only injury I’ve experienced has been a sore Achilles tendon from time to time. However, a few years ago I consulted the foot doctor who’d prescribed orthotics for my kids a few years prior. He fit me with one and, voila! I’ve not had any sore tendon since.

    So, keep moving … and if you have any pain, consult a doctor immediately so you can get moving again.

  2. Thad, sorry to hear about your ACL, but glad to know that you’re out and exercising again! The SMARTsystem shoes do reduce knee pain, but they are most effective when used with walking activities (not running). Definitely give them a try for everyday use when your pain flares up, and good luck!

  3. I tore my ACL when I was 44, and my understanding is that the likelihood of arthritis in my knee is pretty high. But I am noticing other joint pain, especially in my hips. Interestingly, the pain there is greater if I don’t exercise (I run 3-4 miles 3 times a week). Once I get out and running, the hip pain goes away.

    I am interested in these shoes. Thanks for the post!

  4. Hi Bianca, I’ve attached the link to our store listings ( for Illinois so you can find the one closest to you. We do sell insoles for shoes, but they may not all be available in-store. Check our website, for a full assortment of the insoles we offer! Also, insoles are not recommended with the ABEO SMARTsystem line (the shoe that this article is written about), as it hinders the technology already built into the shoe. Hope this helps, and if you have any more questions, please feel free to email

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