The Right Shoes For You

There are few if any parts of your wardrobe that can play as big a role in your physical health as your footwear. Your feet are subjected to tremendous amounts of physical force throughout the course of the day. A proper pair of shoes can assist feet in distributing those forces in an equitable, normal manner. The wrong footwear, however, can exacerbate or even cause issues.

Knowing how to choose the right shoes plays a major role in the health of your feet and, here at Houston Foot Specialists, we want to help keep your lower limbs as safe as possible!

Professional Footwear

The nature of your job will likely dictate the type of shoes that you wear at work. If you frequently handle heavy items, protect your feet against the risk of ingrown toenails or fractured toe bones with a good pair of safety shoes or steel-toed work boots.

For women who work in office settings, we understand wanting to wear pumps or stilettos if the dress code calls for professional attire. High heels might not actually cause bunions, as has been previously thought, but they can exacerbate an existing issue or potentially lead to neuromas or metatarsalgia (forefoot pain). With this being the case, give some consideration to only wearing your high heels at the office. Choose other, sensible models for your commute, and then slip on those pumps or stilettos once you are at work and take them off before heading home.

Active Lifestyles

Footwear plays a big role in keeping your feet, lower legs, and even the upper body safe during physical activities. Many sports and workout options feature movements that can be defined as “high-impact.” Your feet absorb forces roughly equivalent to the one-and-a-half times your bodyweight while simply walking, so it should be no surprise that numbers are even greater when running and jumping enter the picture.

To help the lower limbs, athletic footwear offers extra cushioning, durable arch support, and traction. These features allow the foot to stay stable, while ensuring that its various structures (arch, metatarsophalangeal joints) are able to perform their respective functions.

Proper fit is important for any shoe, but especially one that is used for physical activities. Shoes that are too tight, especially in the front, can lead to issues like ingrown toenails, black toenails, corns, calluses, and blisters. When you shop for athletic shoes, be sure to bring along a pair of the socks you will be wearing with them. They will likely be thicker than the socks you wear at work, which affects how the shoes fit.

For the runners out there, it is important that you replace your running shoes when they are worn out. In many cases, this will be somewhere in the range of 300-500 miles. Running in worn-out shoes can lead to increased risk of issues like stress fractures and Achilles tendinitis. Be sure to ask an informed sales associate at a store that specializes in running shoes, or do research online, to find out the range for your specific running shoes.

Letting Your Feet Breathe

Another consideration for choosing the right shoes is prevention of fungal infections. Athlete’s foot can usually be cured at home with the use of over-the-counter sprays or powders, and our office provides fungal toenail treatment, but you would likely prefer to avoid infections like these in the first place. One of the best ways to do this is to keep your feet dry by choosing footwear that is constructed from materials that allow the feet to breathe—like leather and nylon mesh.

Diabetic Footwear

If you have diabetes, you already know the importance of diabetic foot care. There are various facets to this, but one that should not be neglected is proper shoe choices. A good pair of diabetic shoes will help reduce the risk of skin breakdown, which could ultimately lead to a serious medical emergency. Many of these shoe models feature extra depth and room for the insertion of custom orthotics that provide additional protection for your feet.

Expert Foot Care in Houston, TX

If you would like additional information on knowing how to choose the right shoes, Aleisha Allen, DPM and the staff here at Houston Foot Specialists will be glad to help. Give us a call at (713) 467-8886 or schedule an appointment online to see us at our Houston, TX office.