Importance of Proper Footwear
There are countless different types of shoes for men, women, and children. Poor choices can result in adverse effects on your feet. Some effects can only be resolved with surgery performed by orthopedic surgeons.
Choosing Good Shoes
Picking a shoe based on looks alone can have a negative impact on the health of your feet. Shoes that improperly fit may cause calluses, soreness, blisters, and even permanent deformity. Once damage has occurred, orthopedic surgeons can often treat the deformity with conservative measures or surgical procedures to eliminate pain and discomfort. Additionally, foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons can instruct you on how to pick the best shoe for your foot. By bringing a pair of shoes to your initial doctor’s appointment, the doctor can use your shoes as part of your initial evaluation.
- To ensure a proper fit while choosing a shoe, try on shoes at the end of the day. Measure your larger foot if there is a substantial difference.
- Make sure to choose a shoe by fit and not size. Toe space is just as important as space for your heel. There should a thumb’s width of space between the end of your great toe and the end of the shoe. To test for appropriate shoe width, remove the existing insole and step on it. Should your fit splay out wider than the insole, the shoe is not wide enough for you.
Men’s shoes should
- Conform to the foot
- Have a roomy toe box with sufficient space both vertically and horizontally
- Have a low heel (about half an inch)
Women’s shoes should
- Have a heel an inch or lower
- Have a wide/square toe box
- Limit daily wear of high heels
Children do not need shoes until they begin walking. Once they start to walk, measuring your child’s feet and checking for signs of too large or small shoes is very important. A shoe that shifts too much is a sign of being too large. Physical signs of children’s shoes being too small include redness, calluses and blisters. If your child is removing his or her shoes often, it may be a behavioral sign of poor fit. Check your child’s foot regularly for recent growth and ill-fitting shoes.
One of the most important factors of a shoe is the material it is made of. Softer and pliable materials tend to be more comfortable and are preferred when standing for long periods of time. Shoes with harder materials can offer more protection depending on your activity or occupation.
Evaluation and Prevention
Foot and ankle orthopedic surgeons work to both prevent and remedy foot problems. Choosing proper footwear is the first step in self-prevention.