Wearing the right shoes for the ideal activities does not just help your toes; it also prevents serious leg and hip issues.
Walking to a shoe store with the goal of buying therapy shoes that are good for your feet can be overpowering, and it’s easy to walk out with a set that’s wrong for you. While most people typically begin with a specific brand, style and cost in mind, what is most important is protecting your feet from harm that could accrue over years of wearing the wrong shoes. Anyone who has experienced foot pain such as that caused by neuroma, bunions or hammer toes knows how debilitating these common foot problems are. Wearing the wrong shoes for the wrong actions may also result in ankle and leg issues and pain which may eventually require surgery. Among the simplest ways to prevent these kinds of foot problems is by becoming an educated consumer when it comes to buying shoes.
Go In-Store as Opposed To Online
Over the years, nearly all foot problems return to the single issue, and it comes down to support. A fantastic shoe should not bend between the ball of the foot and the heel. This region of the shoe is called the shank. Whether it’s a tennis shoe, dress shoe, women’s pump, heel or sandal, the shank ought to be rigid and just bend in the toe, not the center of the shoe. The big toe joint is intended to carry the majority of the weight during walking. If the big toe doesn’t carry this burden, the load is transferred to other parts of the foot. This may eventually lead to foot pain and problems, and of course, purchasing a supportive shoe helps that issue.
Before purchasing a shoe, test it to see if it bends by putting one hand on the heels, one on the toe end and attempting to bend the shoe, or holding the heel in place and pressing the toe back on the floor. If it collapses, it’s too flexible and will not support your foot properly. It is suggested that buying shoes in person is better as opposed to online because of this, at the end of the day, the content written on shoe websites is sales copywriting, and may not be as informative for medical purposes as you might believe.
Avoid Narrow Toe Shoes
The front of the shoe should be broad, as opposed to pointed or narrow, especially on dressy women’s shoes. The majority of women have a narrow heel and a wider forefoot, and a pointed toe or narrow toe box may cause bunions, hammer toe, ingrown nails and other issues. For guys, wing-tip shoes are inclined to be somewhat narrow in the toe box, so search for shoes that are wider at the front. This does not mean buying a size wide shoe, but finding one with space, both side-to-side and top-to-bottom, is vital. Focus on the amount of friction on the top of your feet. Shoes shouldn’t be tight. If they are, change shoes or consider using a shoe stretcher. Contrary to popular belief, arch support is more a matter of personal comfort and taste as opposed to medical significance.
The Lower the Heel, the Better
Of course, the higher the heel, the greater the risk level of developing foot problems because there’s more pressure on the ball of the foot. Regularly wearing high-heeled, pointed-toe shoes may cause Morton’s neuroma, or scar tissue around the nerve, which results in sharp pain. Wearing heels which are 1.5 inches or lower will help avoid this condition. Furthermore, wearing heels less often, say two days a week instead of five, will also assist with prevention. Other issues associated with heels are ankle sprains because of instability, in addition to a long-term shortening of the Achilles tendon. Doing routine stretching to lengthen that muscle, and performing heel cord stretching, can offset the ill effects of wearing high heels.
Spend Time Picking Shoes for Physical Activity
Brand names do not matter when it comes to purchasing athletic men’s and women’s shoes. What does matter is fit, stability and — for serious athletes — using multiple pairs. Each and every shoe company makes some great shoes, and some shoes that are less than perfect. So, customers should test each shoe prior to buying rather than base their purchase on brand name alone. Also, shoe manufacturers promising extra air pockets assist with functionality are usually just creating marketing hype.
For serious athletes, purchase two pairs of running shoes, especially if you sweat too and if you’re able to afford it. Shoes need time to dry between applications and will also last longer, so for high-performance sports, it’s ideal to have different shoes for training and game days. The time of day for purchasing shoes is also important because our toes swell various amounts as the day continues. Buying shoes in the morning means they’ll fit nicely for workouts.
While rest, medication and ice might help alleviate some forms of foot pain, the best treatment comes after discovering the cause of your symptoms. You may just have to look down to discover the issue.