Selecting the correct footwear for the job
What do your shoes say about you? Many people, women especially, sacrifice comfort for style, and suffer everyday of their lives as a result. Others may think expensive equals good, or choose a less expensive pair because of their pocket book. Buying shoes based on these considerations can be a big mistake. Many foot problems such as corn, bunions, calluses, plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the soles of the feet), stress fractures and other conditions can be traced to wearing the wrong type of footwear.
So how do you select the correct footwear for the job? You can check out a specialty store that specialises in running shoes where the staff is trained to measure and fit different types of feet, however it would be much better to see a physiotherapist; we will conduct an evaluation to best determine your needs. Your daily activities including occupation, hobbies and exercise routines will be considered along with your medical history, muscle strength, flexibility, gait and any foot complaints you may have.
When purchasing shoes, you should do so with your type of activity in mind. Use common sense. Don't go hiking on uneven terrain in flip flops or sandals. Closed shoes with laces are best. If you spend a lot of time on your feet, you should wear shoes made of breathable material and those that give you enough weight-bearing support. If you are a tennis player, don't wear cross trainers and if you run, don't wear tennis shoes.
Your shoes should provide enough cushion for the heel strike to avoid injury to your Achilles tendons. Some athletes use heel cushions to help absorb impact on the heel and ankle when they walk or run. If you suffer from flatfoot, heel or ankle pain, you too may benefit from orthoses for added support. You may choose the over-the-counter type or have them custom made. These are more expensive, but they last longer and may provide better support since they are made especially for your feet.
Properly fitting shoes should conform to the shape of your feet, and not the other way around. Shoes should be the right size, that is, there should be a thumbnail's width from the longest toe to the end of the shoe. If you run up to 10 miles per week, you should change your shoes every 9 to 12 months.
As you can see, a lot of thought goes into selecting the correct footwear to ensure your comfort and safety. Whether you are a serious athlete, enjoy a jog or simply need comfortable everyday shoes, get in touch with us and we can help you make a good choice.
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