It can be tempting to shop for a deal when it comes to footwear, but investing in quality shoes can benefit your wallet and overall health.
For many people, shoes are a fashion statement. However, Coordinated Health Podiatrist Raymond McCarroll, D.P.M, explains that your shoes should be more than an accessory.
“Although a fashionable shoe worn simply for style and for a short period of time may be entirely comfortable, when patients are looking for new footwear that they will be wearing for prolonged periods of time, the shoe or sneaker should be your “sole”mate,” explains McCarroll.
Dr. McCarroll recommends footwear based on his patient’s activity level. In order to understand what footwear is appropriate, he breaks down the foot into four sections:
- Forefoot – Shoes should be flexible in the forefoot in order to accommodate the foot on uneven terrain and allow some freedom of movement while providing cushioning and shock absorption.
- Midfoot – There should be rigidity in the midfoot to help stabilize and support the midfoot and arch.
- Heel – The heel should be wide enough to help stabilize the foot as the heel strikes the ground.
- Counter – The counter should be more rigid to support the heel and stabilize the shoe on the foot.
Another important consideration in selecting footwear is pronation, which is the way your foot moves after striking the ground. Dr. McCarroll explains that pronation is a typical concern among athletes. “Some sneakers use different densities or hardness of the sole to alter wear and prevent pronation. Other sneakers have increased arch rigidity and height while others are specifically made to remain in a neutral position for those whose feet do not pronate”, said Dr. McCarroll.
Podiatrists, such as Dr. McCarroll, stress the importance of knowing your foot type and regular workout terrain prior to purchasing new footwear. Details in the design of footwear, such as tread patterns, can help improve grip and clear mud for those who enjoy outdoor exercise and exploring.
Although it can be exciting to trade in run-down sneakers for something new, it’s important to select proper footwear that meets your needs. By making the comfort and fit of your footwear a priority, you are more likely to live a happier and healthier life without having to sacrifice your feet!
ADVICE ABOUT FOOTWEAR:
SHOP TILL YOU DROP?
- Sneakers, if worn daily, should be changed every 3 to 6 months. (Approximately 400 to 500 miles of distance activity)
DID MY FOOT SHRINK?
- Never assume your footwear size is the same across all brands, models, and styles. Most footwear companies use a universal sizing chart when it comes to making shoes, but it is important to remember that not every shoe is the same so it’s important to try new footwear prior to making a purchase!
BRING MY GYM SOCKS?
- Experts suggest bringing the socks you wear to workout in with you to the store while trying on new footwear. This ensures you will have the best fit!
STRUT IN THE KITCHEN?
- Although it can be tempting to wear your new sneakers out and about town, it is important to make sure you break in your footwear so your feet aren’t left in pain. Experts advise people to break in shoes while doing activities throughout the house instead of the gym.