Remember having your feet measured when your parents took you to buy shoes as a child? When we were kids, choosing the right shoes to allow our feet to grow normally was vital. So why do we treat our feet so unkindly as adults?
In general, our feet stop growing by the time we are 18 years old. However, the size of our feet may continue to vary for many, many years after that. In addition to the obvious discomfort caused by wearing shoes that don’t fit well, you risk causing the following damage to your feet:
- Joint deformity (bunions)
- Ankle Instability
- Pain from flat feet (Plantar Fasciitis)
So what makes for a good shoe?
Good heel support – The shoe you choose should support the rear part of the foot while allowing freedom of motion.
Wide heel base – Having a shoe with a wide heel base provides stability. Stiletto heels and fashion shoes with creative heel designs that throw your body out of balance do not provide the stability your feet need.
Good anti-slip sole – Your shoes should provide peace of mind that they won’t become mini skis when it rains. Look for shoes that give a good grip come rain or shine.
Suitable insole – The science that goes into good shoe design is centred around ensuring the weight of your body is fully supported and you are not putting excess pressure on certain parts of your feet. A good insole will ensure that your foot is well-supported and prevent excess loading on your weight-bearing joints.
Good toe room – Always buy shoes that give your toes plenty of wiggle room. That means they should not just be wide enough at the front but also high enough. Having your toes squeezed in an uncomfortable position all day long can lead to foot deformity as well as ingrown toenails.
Good width – Wearing shoes that have a good width allows your feet to open up naturally the way they were meant to. If your feet are too wide for your shoes, they will eventually break the structure of the shoe, causing instability as well as added pressure on the sides of your feet.
Retaining strap or laces – Choose a shoe that holds your foot firmly in the shoe. A retaining strap or laces provide this support at the top of your foot.
So next time you are buying shoes, try having your feet measured so you know the exact size and width of the shoe you need to buy. Then keep the above features of a good shoe in mind when you are making your buying decision.
Remember, comfortable feet make for a great day.
If you have foot problems and are unsure of the best type of footwear for your feet, visit a podiatrist to have your feet checked.
Video reviewed by Mount Elizabeth Rehabilitation Centre