Here are 8 improper wear patterns to look for in your shoes:
1. Irregular Creasing in Toe Are of Upper Shoe
The upper of your worn running shoe should be comparable to its original shape. Natural wear across the upper across the balls of the feet (1st and 5th metatarso-phalangeal (MTP) joints) is is seen with a gentle crease with a straight line from the 1st to the 5th MTP joint. If a running shoe is improperly fit, the crease may run oblique or be absent and could tell me 2 things:
- Failure of the 1st MTP joint to dorsiflex (extend during toe-off) A sign that a hallux rigidus is present.
- An absent line indicating a short stride and/or a flat footed gait with very limited propulsion.
2. Narrow Fit
If you find that your foot inside of the shoe overhangs the edge of the midsole, this is usually because your shoes were fitted too narrow and does not allow for proper tissue expansion while you are standing.
3. Tapered Toe Box
In certain styles of running shoes, the toe box can taper off. This style doesn’t provide enough forefoot room. Your toes end up squishing together and over time can contribute to the development of a bunion, hammer or claw toes. These deformities can be painful and need sufficient room within the toe box to prevent irritation.
4. Shallow Toe Box
When a running shoe is too narrow, short or the wrong last shape, blistering and callousing on the lesser toes from rubbing on the inside roof of the toe box.
5. Rubbing in Heel Counter
A small fitted shoe can produce blistering on the heel because of the rubbing on the inside heel counter.
6. Excessive Wear On MTP Joints Area Of Outsole
When looking at the outsole of a pair of worn shoes, excessive wear at the center of the forefoot on the outsole suggests a low transverse arch (arch across MTP joints) with increased pressure on the MTP joints upon weight bearing. This pressure can cause metatarsalgia.
7. Excessive Wear On Inside Edge of Big Toe
If unusual wear is noted at the medial forefoot below the 1st MTP joint of the outsole of your shoe, pronation is typically present throughout later midstance to toe off in our gait cycle. This increased pressure at the 1st MTP joint can contribute to the development of a bunion, hallux valgus or sesamoiditis.
8. Excessive Wear On Inside And Outside Edge of Outsole
If the wear continues a long the medial border or medial rearfoot of the outsole, it is possible that pronation is present. With runners who supinate, wear will show along the lateral boarder (outside edge of the outsole) of the running shoe.
A footwear analysis is intended to find problems in the shoe fit and may assist to diagnose a foot problem. Your current worn footwear is a very valuable evaluation tool during my assessment with you and by being able to recognize the source of the potential problem though your footwear wear evaluation can be effective during the design of your treatment plan.