15 Nov How to Choose the Right Footwear
When you’re out shoe shopping, how do you choose your footwear? All too often we waste a lot of time (and money!) purchasing shoes to complement our outfit or look trendy. Our podiatrists at footinjuryclinic say it would be better, however, if we invested more time in having our shoes properly fitted. If you need shoes for walking, running or long hours at work then it’s best to ensure they’re comfortable and give the right support.
Says our podiatrist Russel Rubin, “Getting a pair of comfortable shoes is more than how it feels on your feet; you should also consider how supportive it is for your ankle, knees and hips. You also need to consider your weight, fitness level, foot strike pattern and whether or not you need orthotics.”
Keep these tips in mind while buying footwear:
Arch support: You need footwear that gives you good arch support. You may need to buy orthotics as a replacement insole if you have flat feet or feet that pronate. It is best to check with your podiatrist.
Toe box: When choosing closed shoes, make sure they have a wide toe box to give your toes enough space. You don’t want anything that pinches the toes and the sides of the feet. There should be at least a centimetre’s gap between your toes and the end of the shoe.
High heels: High heels may look great, but they put pressure on your lower back and knees, creating tight calf muscles which often leads to Achilles tendonitis. Refrain from wearing heels unless you absolutely have to. Ideally, heels should not be any higher than five centimetres. If you have to wear them, wear your walking shoes to the venue and change into your heels once you get there. Try to choose shoes with an ankle strap for extra support.
Shoe shopping: As feet tend to swell during the day, shop for shoes later in the afternoon, when your feet are at their largest. Don’t succumb and buy a pair of shoes that are the wrong size just because it’s on sale. Your feet will suffer when they are squeezed into these tight, nerve-pressing shoes. Always look for leather over synthetic materials – it lasts longer and breathes better.
Lace up: Shoes with laces help stop your foot from sliding forward when walking, acting in much the same way as a seat belt does – it stops your foot from unwanted movement and protects it from injury.
Foot health: If you have any existing health problems like diabetes and arthritis, or simply want the correct pair of shoes to wear while exercising, visit your podiatrist. They can assess your gait and provide advice on the most appropriate footwear for you to buy.