When it comes to foot health, choosing the right shoe is key. Our feet are the foundation of our bodies. They bear our weight, keep us mobile, and play an important role in our overall health. Wearing comfortable and supportive footwear is the first step to maintaining foot health.
At Renew Foot & Ankle, LLC, in Grand Rapids and Bigfork, Minnesota, double board-certified podiatrist Dr. Eric Gilbertson, DPM, FACFAS, is dedicated to treating foot ailments and educating our patients about preventive measures.
Here’s a guide to selecting the right shoes for your feet.
Before selecting a shoe, it’s essential to know your foot type. You can be flat-footed, have a high arch, or be somewhere in the middle. A simple "wet footprint test" can help determine this. When you step on a wet surface and then onto a dry floor, observe the imprint. A flat foot will leave a full imprint, a high arch will show just the heel and front of the foot, while a normal foot will have a natural curve in the middle.
Your shoe should provide adequate support, especially if you have foot conditions or are undergoing treatments. For instance, many of our patients at Renew Foot & Ankle receive treatment for chronic foot pain. While custom orthotics and pain relieving treatments can work wonders for foot health, wearing the right footwear can amplify its benefits.
Regardless of style, if the shoe doesn’t feel right when you try it on, it’s probably not the right fit for you. Your feet shouldn’t feel squeezed, nor should there be excessive space. Shoes that don't fit well can exacerbate foot problems.
Just as you wouldn’t wear dress shoes for a marathon, you shouldn’t wear running shoes for a formal event. Activity-specific shoes are designed keeping specific motions in mind. For instance, running shoes are tailored for forward motion and provide cushioning in the forefoot, while tennis shoes are designed for side-to-side movement.
It’s essential that your feet breathe. Choose shoes made of natural materials, like leather or canvas, to prevent fungal infections and odor.
Over time, even the best of shoes lose their shape and ability to provide support. If you notice your shoes are worn out, especially in the soles, it's time for a replacement.
Investing time in choosing the right shoes is not just an investment in foot health, but in the quality of your life. For more information or queries about our treatments and services for your feet and ankles, call the office in Bigfork or Grand Rapids, Minnesota, or schedule an online appointment.