Our feet bear an enormous burden of daily living. As well as carrying the weight of our body, they must also twist and flex with increased impact and strain when we move around. Even through simple day-to-day activities such as standing and walking, our feet can be injured if not properly supported. Shoes play a vital role in this, as well as protecting our feet from external dangers.
There is no such thing as the one perfect shoe. Feet come in many shapes and sizes, and are involved in many activities. Generally though, when you buy new shoes, it’s important to make sure:
They fit properly
They are supportive for the kind of activity you engage in
Choosing shoes that fit well is an important part of caring for your feet. Finding the right fit may mean you have to look at a few different styles to accommodate your particular foot shape.
Because feet are rarely the same size, it is important that you fit your shoes to your larger foot. An experienced footwear sales person can help you with this. Since most shoe manufacturers have their own size range, you should make decisions on what feels right. People who have misshapen feet from an injury or medical condition such as arthritis or diabetes, may require shoes with extra depth or width. Some people may require orthoses (inserts). Occasionally a custom made shoe will be most suitable. These should be prescribed by a podiatrist.
When buying new shoes, keep in mind the following:
Materials: Leather is preferred for shoe uppers. Synthetic or rubber are best for the sole as they are generally more durable, shock absorbent and provide better grip.
Security: Shoes should be secured on the feet with laces, straps or buckles – especially walking shoes. If your feet have to work to hold your shoes in place, your foot muscles may be strained.
Shape: Pointy shoes can make your toes ‘claw’. This may affect overall body posture. Clenched toes can cause rubbing, leading to corns and calluses. Broad-toed shoes allow the toes more room and can help prevent pressure injuries.
Also check the following:
The heel of your shoe is less than 2.5cm (1 inch) – high heels increase pressure on the ball of the foot
Your shoes have a well-padded sole – a cushioned sole absorbs shock and reduces pressure on the feet
Your shoes are made from a material that breathes – fungal infections such as tinea love a warm moist environment. Absorptive socks can help with drawing moisture away
Your shoes protect you from injury – your feet must be protected from your immediate environment. People with reduced sensation or circulation problems need to be especially careful that they do not injure their feet.
If you work in a field that increases the chance of you injuring your feet, safety shoes are vital. Safety shoes and boots protect your feet, help prevent injuries and reduce the severity of injuries that occur in the workplace.
Your toes should not touch the end of your shoes or you may damage your nails and toes – you need a gap of about 1cm from the end of your largest toe to the shoe.
Shoes should also be broad enough and deep enough. If you can see the outline of your feet pressing against your shoes, they are probably the wrong fit.
Don’t buy shoes that need breaking in. Shoes should be comfortable immediately.
In addition to footwear advice, AC Podiatry can also help you maintain the health of your shoes. We have available The SteriShoe® sanitiser. This is an innovative foot care product that provides a healthier environment for your feet by sanitising the inside of your shoes. It's clinically proven to be effective in killing up to 99.9% of problematic microorganisms! Using germicidal ultraviolet light, the SteriShoe® shoe sanitizer kills the organisms that cause:
Offensive shoe odor
For more information on the SteriShoe® preview the video below: