I love wearing my high heels as much as the next girl. High heels can make a woman feel more confident and attractive as this is what this type of footwear was originally designed for. Wearing this type of footwear for a night out or a special occasion can most definitely complete a woman’s dress attire. However, if worn for a prolonged period of time, high heel shoes can have serious damaging effects on our feet and lower legs.
One of my roles as a Canadian Certified Pedorthist is to educate clients on proper footwear to make sure they are getting the maximum support they can get depending on the type of foot you have. Typically they are 4 kinds of shoes that fit your foot type and when properly assessed and recommended a shoe type, mild pain experienced may be eliminated.
Foot types are not the only piece of the puzzle. Sometime there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration. I had a client come into see me that was experiencing foot pain. He mentioned that he has foot pain from standing for long periods of time at work and cannot find a shoe that will last longer then 6 months for him. His problem was that he was a very heavy man and because he was bearing so much weight on his feet, over the course of the 6 months his shoes are completely worn out from rolling on the outside of the shoes. Now, at this time you would think that he has a neutral to high arched foot but when he removed his shoes and socks, he had a flat foot type - pes planus.
So why would he roll out of his shoes?
Dr. Lieberman is one of the top researches studying this barefoot running movement and how it is changing our biomechanics. His research consists of finding that humans were not designed for speed but for endurance. As the human evolved, there are signs throughout research that humans used to hunt for their food by exhausting their prey, thus hunting for food would take humans longer than running as fast as a cheetah and catching their prey quickly.
Your footwear regardless active or not, is one of the most important pieces of your equipment. In order for the body to perform to its potential, this equipment must be functioning properly. The relationship between shoe wear patterns, gait cycle, lower limb mechanics and foot pathologies must not be overlooked. As a certified pedorthist it is my job to observe and interpret this through an assessment then distinguish between uneven and even wear patterns of a worn pair of shoes.
Over the past few years many footwear companies have been developing shoes with features that were only once seen in custom shoe modifications. Now shoes such as toning shoes, antigravity and anti-shoes are being marketed as fitness footwear. These trends may benefit someone with relatively healthy feet but the question is, are they ideal for everyone??
The original concept behind the design of these shoes was to create an unstable platform for our foot thus altering our gait as we walk. This instability creates a wider range of dynamic motion and causes muscles in our lower legs to adapt by engaging in different muscle firing while altering your sense of proprioception (your internal perception of the ground below). Over time, these actions have been proven to promote blood flow in our lower legs while strengthening certain muscle groups.
Here is a great video from the Pedorthic Association of Canada that sums up what to look for when finding the right shoe for your foot. I have also written a blog a while ago on the 10 Tips For a Great Shoe Fit. This blog goes a little more indepth but watch this short video for some quick shoe tips!
Many people come to see me because of foot and lower limb pain and it is nice to know that now after 5 years in business, I am becoming the girl to see when someone is experiencing these types of pains. One thing that has been noted in the foot world is that it doesn’t matter what foot type you have, it doesn’t rule out whether or not you will be so lucky to experience foot pain in your lifetime. I have many people come in to see me with a normal arch height and be completely stumped as to why they have foot pain when they know they don’t have a high arched foot or a flat foot. Like I tell them every time, it’s not the type of foot you have, it is the demands you place on your body where your feet take the brunt of the weight causing the soft tissue strain or the overuse chronic pain.
I have numerous people come into my office asking my what kind of shoe I recommend for their feet or what is a good shoe in general. I have my favorites and wanted to post them so that I could share with everyone. When it comes to shoes and the best quality, there are so many on the market that it can be completely overwhelming and extremely discouraging if you have absolutely no knowledge of good quality footwear. Like my mom tells me in the decorating world, KISS: Keep It Seriously Simple and this statement holds true even in the footwear industry: Find one shoe in each category and thats more then enough to work with!
With the warm weather finally here, many people are kicking off their shoes and replacing them with sandals, worse than that, with flip flops. These easy to slip on, fashionable summer shoes have been known in the past to due more harm than good to our feet and legs.
The problem with wearing flip flops is that people tend to walk everywhere with them on their feet. From the park, to the beach, to the office and to the mall without realizing the damage they are doing to their feet.
With the beautiful weather already among us, what a great time to be outdoors. We put on our running or walking shoes and off we go and then the unthinkable happens and we start developing pain in our feet and lower legs up to our back. Then we realize the shoes that we put on our feet to be more active this summer are a few years old.
We head to the shoe store only to be overwhelmed by the selection of shoes to pick from. Where to begin? To help you select shoes that are right for your feet, here are 10 tips to a great shoe fit: