Why is footwear important?
Good shoes equal good foot health. Choosing footwear that appropriately fits your feet is essential in preventing complications later on in life. With the average person walking 160, 000 kilometres in their lifetime, our feet and foot health are an essential component in ensuring we can continue to remain mobile and independent. These days, there are a plethora of options that enable us to choose both a comfortable and supportive shoe that also does not compromise on style.
Footwear alters the way you walk and move throughout gait, changing the way load is placed on the lower limb. Poor choices can lead to structural deformities such as bunions and hammer toes along with painful skin issues such as corns. Shoes with too little cushioning can increase the risk of injury due to poor shock absorbing properties. On the contrary, shoes with too much cushioning can also be problematic as they overwork intrinsic muscles in the foot to try and stabilise the feet. Additionally, shoes that are simply too small, big or tight are the most common issues that affect people daily.
Choose footwear tailored to the activity you are undertaking
Instead of having several poorly made shoes on rotation, consider shoes as a long term investment and be prepared to spend a little extra for shoes that will last a year or two and keep your feet happy and healthy. Below is some advice regarding what to consider when choosing footwear for particular situations:
- Athletic shoes- with athletic shoes it is essential to consider what type of activity the shoe is for i.e. short or long distance running, weight training, HIIT workout, trail running etc. These shoes come in a range of cushioning and support levels, pitches and weights depending on your foot type and needs
- Summer footwear- living in Queensland, thongs are ingrained in weekend attire. This is not ideal for the feet long term, and can contribute to overloading and skin issues. There are however alternatives that are firm fitting with arch support that our podiatrists can recommend based on your foot type
- Formal shoes- these shoes are often firmer, higher and tighter than traditional shoes which can affect both your feet and gait. Over time, these kinds of shoes can contribute to skin conditions such as callus and corns as well as deformities such as bunions, thickened nails and hammer toes. Our podiatrists are happy to discuss brands and designs of formal shoes that are suitable for your foot but also do not compromise on corporate requirements
- Elderly- it is important to consider shoes with an appropriate amount of cushioning, grip and stability in order to reduce the risk of falls. Shoes that secure with velcro rather than lacing also offer an easier alternative.
At Studio Podiatry, our podiatrists are more than willing to work with your personal preferences and requirements to choose the perfect shoe for you, in order to ensure you are able to perform optimally day to day in whatever activity.