So, What is the Ideal Shoe?
Now, I’m sorry for the possibly misleading heading, as I’m sure there were some of you eager to see an image of a shoe labelled as the ‘ideal shoe’. Unfortunately, there is……..ready for it; no such thing as an ideal shoe!
Our feet play an enormous role in our daily living, doing so much more than just taking the weight of our body as we walk. With roughly a quarter of our body’s joints and many muscles located in our feet, they must be able to twist and flex with varying forces and strains. These are movements we all take for granted as we carry on with our day-to-day activities.
As primal beings, our feet are designed to be exposed to natural, much softer surfaces such as leaves, sand and scrub. Few of us are able to avoid walking on flat hard surfaces such as cement, floor boards, tiles, etc. Our footwear plays a vital role in protecting and supporting our feet, legs, hips and backs.
It is essential that we search for shoes that are suitable for the activities we’re undertaking. It is also crucial to have the shoe fitted properly to the foot.
Some quick tips to remember when buying shoes:
– A gap of about 1cm from your longest toe to the end of the shoe is important in preventing nail damage and ‘clawing’ of your toes.
– The shoe needs to be broad enough. If you’re able to see your foot pressing up against the sides of the shoes, this indicates pressure on your feet and a poor fit. Over time this can cause damage to our nerves, muscle tissue and joints.
– It is a myth that shoes need ‘breaking in’. If the shoe is not immediately comfortable, it’s not ideal.
– Shop for your shoes later in the day. Our feet often swell as the day goes on, so fitting shoes in the afternoon/evenings allows for this.
Our Podiatrists are highly trained in biomechanics, the movements of the body and the effects on muscle tissue and joints within. At Umina Podiatry we offer the latest technology in assessing our patient’s gait and lower limb biomechanics.
If you’re still scratching your head when choosing shoes for yourself or a loved one, feel free to contact us. We can give you specific advice to meet your needs.