It’s been said that you should always invest in what you sit on and sleep in. This is simple wisdom for the most part and today I will elaborate a little more on the detail.
No matter which way you look at it, as far as shoes go, you get what you pay for. This does not mean Chanel boots you can buy for 2 or 3 thousand dollars are a great shoe (quite the opposite, at least as far as function is concerned), but with that kind of money I would at least expect very high quality materials. So perhaps there is value in that regard. For the most part, in a functional every day shoe you actually do get what you pay for. Quality footwear will generally cost a little bit more but we at Sutherland Podiatry think the investment is well worth it. And with the amount of force that goes through your feet, it is always best to wear shoes that help your body move efficiently and painlessly.
How do I know what shoe is right for me?
Not all feet are equal. And neither are shoes. There are shoes that are suitable for some people, and not suitable for others. Different shoe types exist for different activities, and different foot types.
There’s an entire industry dedicated to providing us with choice, and this can be extremely overwhelming. Have you ever stood in a sports store looking for new runners and have no idea? There are hundreds to choose from. Where do you even start? How can we choose a shoe that is appropriate for us?
We try to keep it simple when looking at shoe selection, and so let me introduce you to the 4 S’s to help make the process a little more streamlined.
- Size – Ideally you would like at least a thumb-width of space at the end of your shoe after your toes, to avoid crushing your feet when you walk.
- Support – Check the shoes to make sure they bend where the foot normally bends around the forefoot. Shoes should be fairly rigid in the middle, flexible at the toes, and have a firm heel counter for support. If you can fold your shoe in half with a finger and a thumb, it’s not a supportive shoe.
- Secure – ill-fitting shoes that are too big can cause aching or fatigue if you wear them too long because your muscles have to work harder to keep the shoes on. Try to choose shoes that are secure on your feet with laces, a buckle or a zipper so your foot is inside the shoe snugly but comfortably.
- Soft – When you walk, up to 3 times your body weight is going through your feet and shoes so we will always recommend some cushioning in your shoes. This is dependent on individual circumstances, some people require more, some less but as a general rule, cushioning is appropriate. Please be mindful of stability. A cushioned shoe is often lightweight but offers no support, is unstable and can cause other issues (See point number 2).
Should I Wear My Favourite Shoes?
Here at Sutherland Podiatry we realise that fashionable or practical and professional footwear are important, so we are fully prepared and capable of working out ways, methods, and styles of shoes which will tick off your fashion, occupational and functionality needs, to ensure your feet are in their best possible shape to cope with your daily activities.
If you would like us to help you find the right shoe for you, recommend good shoe stores, or even assess your shoe collection (we have had people bring suitcases full of shoes to their appointments!), come on in and have a talk with our podiatrists at Sutherland Podiatry Centre.
See you next time,