Footwear can play a vital role in preventing and managing injuries, as well as allow us to perform at our best. Whether it is for sport, walking, or using for work it is important you are wearing shoes that fit properly and support your feet.
Poorly fitted footwear can lead to blisters and corns, and toenails problems such as ingrown toenails or black toenails. It may also contribute to bunion formation.
What makes a good shoe?
- A deep and wide toe box – This ensures the toe have enough room reducing risk of increased pressure.
- A fastening mechanism – for example laces, a buckle or a strap. This is very important for support and stability. A slip on shoe requires your toes to have to grip onto the shoes. This means the muscles are working hard to keep the shoe on your foot. May lead to claw/hammer toes.
- Strong heel counter, this is the back of the shoe, this should not be easily collapsible.
- The shoe should flex at toe joints not the middle of the shoe
- Have a good torsion system.
For more information please watch our video on what makes a good shoe here.
Choosing the right shoes
When choosing shoes, you need to consider the activity, the surface and your need for support. Sport players where there are multiple changes of direction need more medial and lateral stability. Runners may require more cushioning due to the increased impact. Trail or hiking shoes need to be more durable.
Alternate your shoes
Alternating your shoes from one day to the next will help to vary the posture of the foot and distribute the load over a greater range of joints and muscles. It will also allow your shoes to dry out and therefore reduce the growth of bacteria.
It is always important to be correctly fitted for your footwear and if possible have your foot measured with every new fitting.
Your Podiatrist can give you expert advice on footwear needs based on your activity, lifestyle and biomechanics.