Shoes that are constricting, uncomfortable, or ill-fitting can be a huge contributor to foot pain. To make sure that you aren’t making some common mistakes when it comes to shoe selection, here are a few tips to keep in mind that can prevent future foot pain.
"Beauty is Pain"
If you are experiencing foot pain, wearing high heels should be avoided at all costs. Though wedge heels are better than pointy stilettos, all shoes with a heel shift all of your weight to the front of your foot. Consistently wearing heels not only causes foot pain, but it can also be damaging to your knees, hips, and lower back over a period of time. Wearing shoes that evenly support your entire foot is much more beneficial for your balance and can decrease your risk for arthritis in the joints of your knees and ankles.
"If the Shoe Fits"
Making sure the shoes you wear fit appropriately is something that sounds simple but is rather complicated. A recent study by the British College of Podiatry revealed that a third of men and more than half of women have worn shoes that don’t fit properly. As you age, for a variety of reasons, your shoe size can alter. This can be due to injuries, pregnancy, or simply getting older.
Consistently squeezing your feet into shoes that are too small can permanently alter the size and shape of your feet. Even if you think you’ve had the same shoe size for years, it wouldn’t hurt to measure and verify your shoe size on a regular basis before you buy. Measuring at the end of the day is the most accurate, since this is when your feet are likely to be at their largest. Keep in mind also that you usually have one foot is slightly larger than the other one, so fitting the larger foot is your best option.
Not all shoes are created equal. In other words, your shoe size for one brand of shoe might be completely different for a different brand. Therefore, always try shoes on and walk around before purchasing them. If the shoe pinches your toes or slides up and down on your heel when you walk, the size might not be what you need. Buying shoes that are too tight with hopes that they will stretch later on is not a good idea.
"Good for Your Sole"
A shoe with a thick sole will provide more cushioning when walking on hard or rough surfaces. Good soles can prevent foot pain. If you find it difficult to find a shoe that is visually appealing while also comfortable, another option is purchasing sole inserts that you can place inside any shoe to provide comfort while alleviating any pain or discomfort. Inserts can range from "one-size-fits-all" varieties that you can purchase over the counter to the more expensive option of having a podiatrist create custom inserts called orthotics.