Choosing your next pair of shoes comes down to more than just picking out the trendiest option. These shoes will be the foundation every step you take, affecting your feet, ankles, back, and more! This is why it is vital that you pick the right pair.
Benefits of Orthopedic Shoes
Wearing good shoes can prevent foot pain and joint pain. Other foot conditions you can avoid with good shoes include:
- Corns and calluses
- Ingrown toenails
- Fungal nail infections
- Athlete’s foot
- Plantar fasciitis
- Collapsing arches
Choosing the Right Orthopedic Shoe
Typically you should change your shoes every three months or 300 miles. If you feel that your shoes are wearing out their support faster, you can change out the inserts as a more cost-effective method.
When picking your shoes, choose a pair that will not wear down as quickly. Choose shoes that:
The Back of the Shoe is Stiff
If you press on the back of the shoe from top to bottom you will only be able to twist it slightly.
You Can Slightly Twist the Body of the Shoe
If your shoe is inflexible or too flexible it can cause problems with your feet or become uncomfortable.
The Shoe Has Arch Support
If your shoes do not have the proper arch support it can cause your arches to hurt or even fall
If your shoes do not meet these criteria, you won’t be able to count on them for the long haul.
Orthopedic Shoes: Women vs. Men
Women tend to experience more issues with their feet because women’s shoes are more often made for style instead of comfort.
Orthopedic Shoes for Women
Shoes like high heels can cause damage to the feet and toes due to the narrow structure they have and nonexistent arch support. Not to worry ladies, we’ve come up with some orthopedic shoes that are comfortable, and trendy.
Orthopedic Sandals for Women
When looking for an orthopedic sandal, opt for something that has a wide toe area, adjustable straps, good arch support, and a thick sole.
A good example of an orthopedic sandal is the Rita Adjustable Thong Sandal. It features a foam foundation, arch support, and adjustable straps.
Orthopedic Slippers for Women
Slippers are something that many women wear every day, so it is important to have a slipper with good arch support, cushion, and comfort. Skip the $10 pair at Target and invest in a slipper that will last you a long time and support your feet.
Try this orthopedic slipper by Ortho Feet. It offers arch support, orthotic insoles, ergonomic stride soles, and it is adjustable.
Orthopedic Boots for Women
Many women’s boots tend to be narrow and have a high heel. However, there is still some orthotic options out there that are cute and comfortable.
This black bootie from OrthoticShop offers arch support, a low heel, full-contact support, and ball-of-foot cushioning.
Orthopedic Shoes for Men
When it comes to shoes, men typically have wider shoes with more support. However, shoes like dress shoes can still be narrow near the toes.
Orthopedic Dress Shoes for Men
It is important to invest in a supportive pair of dress shoes, especially if you wear them daily. Instead of buying a dress shoe with a flat insole, look for one that offers arch support and cushion.
This Drew Park Men’s Dress Shoe features arch support, a cushioned heel, a deep/wide toe box, and it is shock absorbing.
Orthopedic Boots for Men
If you are someone who must wear boots for your job, you will want to research orthopedic boots.
This Irish Setter work boot offers comfort tongue technology, a larger toe box, and a removeable footbed.
Orthopedic inserts are a great way to achieve foot support without breaking the bank and it allows you to wear a variety of shoes. There are two types of inserts: over the counter inserts and custom orthotics.
Over the Counter Inserts
These are inserts you can buy from any shoe store. They can offer arch support or extra cushion to your feet. These types of inserts can help with foot pain, flat feet, and more.
Custom orthotics are specially made for your feet and the specific issues you have. They offer a more long-term solution to foot pain and are better quality than store bought inserts. If you are interested in purchasing custom orthotics, talk to a foot doctor near you.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
Because no size fits all, finding the best fit can be a process. Here are few tips to keep in mind during your search:
- Shop at the end of the day as your feet tend to swell and get a little bigger throughout the day
- Wear the socks you plan to wear with your new shoes
- Make sure the soles provide enough support. There should be support for your heel and the rest of your foot.
- Consider orthotic inserts. Inserts can help your shoes properly support your feet and increase comfort levels.
We’ve long been told that shoes need to be broken in, but your shoes should feel comfortable as soon as you put them on. If you buy a pair of shoes that feel like they need to be broken in, it could cause pain or discomfort in your feet.
Understand Your Pronation
Pronation is how your foot lands when you walk or run. If while move you are overpronating or subpronating you may cause more stress on your feet than necessary.
If you overpronate while walking or running motion controlled shoes or orthotics may be recommended to you. If you subpronate you should look for a flexible and cushioned shoe.
If you are unsure if you are an overpronator, subpronator, or neutral consult your doctor or an athletic shoe expert. An athletic shoe expert has been trained to help you find the best type of shoe for your different walking and running styles.
Choosing good shoes is an easy way to provide your body with the support it needs. Your shoes need to be able to absorb shock while run or walk, or risk your body absorbing the shock instead. If you have further questions, ask your doctor about what kind of shoes you need. Activities like running and hiking will require different types of support.
See a Foot Specialist for Treatment Options
If you are experiencing foot pain from improper footwear or just general foot pain, seek help from a foot doctor near you for treatment options. Dr. Willers and Dr. Thomson specialize in orthopedic surgery of the foot at Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics.