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!
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.
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
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.
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
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.