Which shoes are best for you?
By Dr.Bruce Theall
August 11, 2015
Category: Shoes

A very common complaint by many people that come to the doctors’ office is complaining of foot pain.  You can break the foot down into 3 easy to remember parts to help your podiatrist evaluate your foot and its specific area of pain, so he/she knows best treatment for your paining foot.  The bottom part of the foot, or the ‘plantar’ surface, the part you walk on can be broken down into the heel, arch, or ball of the foot, beginning with the most posterior part of the foot first being the heel. 

Many times as soon as people feel any kind of pain or discomfort in their feet, they assume they need surgery, which can be very stressful and scary.  Most people need not to worry because not all foot pains require surgery.  In reality, most foot ailments can be cured with proper footwear.  It is often found that many people are not wearing the correct type of supportive shoe needed for their level of activity throughout the day, and your foot wear can be best evaluated by your podiatrist. 

Most people chose shoes according to fashion and comfort but this often not the ideal way to choose the best shoes for your feet.  You should see your podiatrist for the proper evaluation of your foot type, then a proper and specific recommendation will be given to you purchase certain foot wear.  It does matter on purchasing the right shoe for the right level of your daily activity or sport.  Your biomechanics should be evaluated and are reflected in the shoe design.  Many injuries are secondary to an inappropriate shoe types. 

                Running shoes have extra heel cushioning, low cut to allow for ankle motion with minimal lateral stability.  Running shoes should be replaced every 200 – 400 miles, depending on usage.  Running shoes are ok for walking, but a walking shoe has a more rocker sole configuration which better approximates walking.  Basketball shoes have a  ¾ top construction for lateral stability with firm upper for torsional stability and no additional heel cushioning.  Cross – trainers are ok if you doing a little of everything and < 10 miles / week running.  Flats, sandals, flip flops, and high heels are all shoe types that can cause more problems when in them for long periods of time.  They offer no heel support, increase the amount of pressure applied to certain areas of the foot, and do not support the heel or arch at all.  Other problems that can arise from improper shoe wear is Hallux limitus from a more rigid toe box would be desirable, anterior shin splints from rigid toe box, and the most common is plantar fasciitis from a too flexible shank.  Most complaints of foot pain are people who wear these types of shoes. 

                For the most part it is true: you get what you pay for get.  Most shoe companies make shoes to sell they do not make shoes to fit the person.  The price of shoes usually coincides with quality.  The cheaper the shoe, the lower the quality.  It is important that you purchase the highest quality product that you can afford according to your foot type and amount of daily activity.  It is very important to make sure your shoes fit properly.  Too large or too small a shoe can result in foot problems and need to be evaluated by your podiatrist. 

                If there are any other questions feel free to contact Dr. Theall’s Gentle Touch Footcare office for all your foot and ankle needs and concerns at 973 673-3668.  Remember to take care of your feet they are the foundation to your life!!!

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