We often associate shoes with style. But foot health and footwear are closely linked, and you might be walking your way to a podiatry problem without even realising it.
One size doesn’t fit all
Did you know that your feet aren’t always the same size? On a hot day after exercising, or even toward the evening, our feet tend to swell. It’s important to shop for shoes when your feet are at their largest, to prevent the fit from being too tight. From painful blisters to unsightly bunions, having shoes that are too small can lead to an abundance of foot health problems.
Not only do our feet change size throughout the day, but it is also common for one of our feet to be slightly larger than the other – sometimes even requiring a different size shoe. You should make sure you are being measured every time you purchase new footwear. Our feet are no different to any other part of our body, and tend to change with age. Just like jeans, the shoes you wore in your 20s probably won’t still fit in your 50s.
Consider your life, not just your foot
If you are active and enjoy running, make sure you are choosing footwear designed for that activity level. Wearing shoes that are not designed for the activities you’re engaging in will lead to improper support, and potential injury. This applies to athletes too – not all sneakers are created equal. It’s important to seek out the footwear that has been specifically created to support the foot, heels, knees and hips properly whilst performing your chosen sport.
The right fit
The right shoe should cushion, support, and not require ‘wearing in’. Footwear that aids in the correct alignment of your foot as you stand will help to maintain healthy joints. Making sure there is 1-1.5cm ‘give’ in the toe will allow for swelling of the feet. Also, make sure the shoe remains snug, but not overly tight.
Heading to a trained specialist to be properly fitted is a great way to ensure you are making the most out of your shoes and maintaining your foot health. If you’re in doubt about your shoes, and how they might be impacting your feet, talk to your podiatrist or foot health professional.