You know that delightful feeling that you get when after a long day of walking in uncomfortable shoes, you finally get the chance to take them off and step onto the soft carpeted floor? Footwear today is not only a powerful fashion statement; it is also a reflection of important social and political influences.
What’s the deal with Women, Shoes and Foot Pain?
- It is “painfully” obvious the damage that the wrong pair of shoes can do to your feet and even your spinal health, yet 9 out of 10 women still wear shoes that are either too small for their feet or just don’t properly fit at all.
- 80% of the North American population will experience some sort of foot problem in their lifetime.
- Footwear can result in foot pain, foot disfigurement, bunions, corns, hammer toes, ingrown toenails and a host other foot problems, all of which are best addressed by a visit to a Chiropodist or Podiatrist. Many of these concerns are tolerated, overlooked and ignored when we are young. It is not until we get older and our willingness to endure the pain lessens that the search for comfortable footwear truly begins.
What Foot Pain Can Be Indicating About your Shoes
Here are some signs that you may need to change the type of shoe that you are wearing:
- If your arches hurt, then your footwear probably isn’t supportive enough.
- If you find that your toes are clenched just to keep the foot from slipping out of the shoe, it is usually a sign that your shoes are too big.
- As feet get sore, folks often tend to just buy a bigger size shoe. Wearing a loose fitting shoe can be as bad as wearing a shoe that is too tight and it is not uncommon to develop heel pain and plantar fasciitis. Plantar fascia is the tissue that fans along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes. This plantar fascia gets strained and develops localized inflammation in the heel and arch area. A Chiropodist or Podiatrist has many treatment options to offer you if you have Plantar Fasciitis. Treatment can include Shockwave Therapy, Orthotics, and footwear changes. Shockwave therapy is a highly effective treatment which stimulates and accelerates the healing process and relieves the pain.
- The shoe size you have always worn feels too small now. This is a sign that takes time to notice. As we age, our ligaments can stretch and along with other structural changes, the arch lowers and the overall foot length can actually increase which can translate to an increase of a half size or even a full shoe size. You are advised not to take shoe size for granted and have your feet measured in the store every once in a while to see if they have “grown”. Also, try a size up and a size down from what you normally purchase and see if the shoe feels better on the foot. Changes in sizing can vary dramatically from one manufacturer to another and actual fit should take precedence over buying the size that you always wear.
- Your footwear may require a change if you find that you do not leave your house without bandages for fear of blisters and corn and callus pain. Rubbing of the toes against the shoe material or against each other causes friction which leads to blisters and the formation of hard and soft corns. Repetitive blister and corn formation can damage your skin and the repetitive pressure can lead to osteoarthritic joint changes and toe deformities and bunions. A Chiropodist or Podiatrist can evaluate your foot pain and provide you with an effective treatment plan for your presenting condition. This treatment plan will inevitably also include footwear advice.
Footwear Buying Tips:
- Do your shoe shopping in the evening. Your toes and feet tend to swell a little throughout the day and the shoes that felt like a perfect pair in the morning, may feel too snug and even uncomfortable come the evening.
- If you are very active, you may need to buy running shoes every 6 months or so. High impact activities like running and basketball break down the shock absorbing properties of the soles and arch support systems. If the sole or heel wears out significantly more on one side of the shoe, this is probably an indicator that the shoe needs to be replaced. Soles that have lost their ability to shock absorb are not providing you with the comfort that you need.
- If you have been fitted with a custom made orthotic, you are advised to always have the orthotic with you when shoe shopping. Many shoes are now manufactured with removable insoles which can be taken out and substituted with your orthotic. This eliminates the need to buy a bigger size to accommodate an orthotic.
Getting a new pair of shoes may be exactly what you need to provide your feet with much needed relief. The effectiveness of am orthotic is enhanced when the shoe is structurally supportive and comfortable.
CanadaPhysio is a multi-disciplinary full service rehabilitation centre with 7 locations conveniently located across Ontario, in Toronto, Scarborough, Whitby, Mississauga and London. Our trained service providers who specialize in foot pain can provide you with education, exercise and treatment aimed at preventing further damage and injury with the goal of restoring you to optimal function.