If the Shoe Fits…
Choosing Proper Footwear
When Prince Charming comes carrying a glass slipper in search of Cinderella, she might do well to run away. Without a good fitting shoe, she may end up suffering from heel pain, shin splints, knee problems, back pain, and not mention fungus. Wearing improper footwear can lead to a variety of aches and pains.
Your feet deserve the royal treatment when it comes to selecting comfortable, supportive footwear that will meet your specific needs. Determining what shoes to wear involves more than looks. It’s important to consider the specific needs of your feet, the types of activity you do, and the support you need in shoes.
Look at Your Feet
Take a close look at your shoes and your feet. The way you wear out shoes indicates how you walk and the type of support you may need. Generally, your feet are close to one of three types: a normal arch, a rigid high arch, and a flexible low arch (flat foot). These three categories are pretty broad and may not address your specific needs. Your physical therapist at ACE Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Institute can evaluate your specific foot type, including flexibility, arch, and any other challenges you might need to consider when selecting shoes.
That Thing You Do
Are you a runner, a walker, or a ballroom dancer? The types of activity you do and the regularity of that activity can also help clarify the type of shoes you should wear. It’s important to match the shoe to the sport since different activities can stress the feet in different ways. The various shoe types are designed to provide targeted support for specific activities such as hiking, speed walking, jogging, court sports, field sports, winter sports, track and field, and more.
What to Wear
Slip into some shoes that are comfortable. Whenever you buy new shoes, it is essential to try them on for size and comfort. If the shoes are uncomfortable in the store, you cannot “break them in” for comfort. Don’t buy them.
Just because you wear a specific size in one brand that doesn’t mean you’ll wear the same size in another brand. So it’s important to try on the shoes and make sure there is about a thumb’s length from your longest toe to the tip of the shoe. The width should not be too loose or too cramped. A good sports shoe should cradle the heel preventing movement and provide good shock absorption.
Your size, foot shape, injury history, and planned activities can all play a role in determining proper footwear. As a general rule, people who tend to be flat footed or have flexible arches need motion control shoes for stability; people with high arches should wear shoes with cushioning.
It’s important to consult with your physical therapist at ACE Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Institute when selecting shoes to make sure your shoes fit properly and provide the comfort and support you need.
Our team of professionals utilizes the latest research, medical knowledge and tools to help you recover from injuries, surgery or other challenges and return to the activities you enjoy.