Shoes can make a big difference in how your body feels. There are several considerations to keep in mind when purchasing new shoes or wearing old shoes to keep your feet and the rest of your body happy.
When looking for new shoes, ask yourself “are they comfortable on your feet?” New shoes should feel comfortable right away when you put them on. If there are areas that “bind” you immediately, they will only get worse when you wear them all day. Try wearing your new shoes inside first; most shoe stores let you return shoes if they haven’t been worn outside. Even bring your new shoes in the box to work and put them on as you go through your usual routine. If they don’t feel good, don’t keep them. Keep in mind that your feet are more swollen by the end of the day, so if you are trying on new shoes, this is the best time to try them.
Many times people wear shoes that are worn out. How do you know ifyour shoe is worn out? Perhaps your body is telling you: do your knees ache after wearing them? Or, do the arches in your feet hurt or your back? If you look at the heels on your shoes, they should be square-ish (think 90 °). If the outside of the heel of your shoe is worn down, then they aren’t providing the proper support and should be replaced. If you have worn down the inside of the heel of your shoe, then you are pronating too much and might need an arch support or custom made orthotic. Another clue is to look at the tread on the bottom. When the tread has worn down, then the sole of the shoe has lost its integrity too. The cushioning and shank of the shoe are harder to see, so use the above “external” signs as indicators that those shoes are no longer providing the support that they are supposed to.
Most people need to replace their shoes more often than they do. If you have a favorite pair of shoes that you wear every day, you should invest in a new pair each year, or even sooner if you are a runner. Don’t be afraid to spend money on good shoes. Good shoes are usually made of better materials and will last longer. If you have a favorite pair of shoes that are worn out, consider “refurbishing” them. You can have a shoemaker replace the heels or add a cushioned insert or arch support. When your feet feel good, the rest of your body will feel better too!
If you have any questions or want an evaluation to improve movement patterns, call L A R Physical Therapy at 410.381.1574 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.