Avoid the problems caused by poor-fitting or old footwear
From a podiatric perspective it is vital that you have the most appropriate and correct-fitting footwear. Poor-fitting footwear can lead to blisters, ingrown toenails and heel pain and can cause muscle strains and injury. And wearing shoes that are not designed for the activity you are engaging in may place your feet and lower limbs under unnecessary strain, increasing your risk of injury as well as causing discomfort.
Running shoes have a limited lifespan
It is equally important that your footwear is up to date – the average running shoe has a life span of approximately 700 to 1100km. As a shoe wears out, the midsole material can become overly flexible. This may mean that rather than flexing at the ball of the foot, the sole may also continue to flex further back in the mid foot, making it difficult for the foot to develop the rigid structure it needs for propulsion.
How quickly a shoes wears out depends on your body weight, what activity the shoe is used for, the surfaces you walk/run on, your physical form, the shoe materials etc. Signs your shoes need replacing include excessive wearing of the sole, loss of support from the heel counter, or wearing out in the midsole.
Best-practice tips for footwear selection
Whether you are selecting sports shoes or shoes for everyday you should remember to:
- Get your feet accurately measured each time you purchase new shoes because shoe size can change as we age;
- Fit the new pair to your largest foot (we all have one foot slightly larger than the other);
- Look for good support in the heel counter and midsole;
- Make sure the shoes feel firm but not tight and give your toes adequate wiggle room;
- Pay attention to the quality of the shoe material.
The Foot Group can help you
At The Foot Group we can provide expert advice on your footwear needs based on your lifestyle, activities and body mechanics. We regularly meet with the top athletic footwear companies and retailers to keep up with current footwear technologies and trends.