We all know that wearing the right shoes is important, but what exactly does that mean? More importantly, how do we know what is right for us?
Well, this is a brief introduction to know exactly what you’re looking for and how you can benefit by choosing the right shoes for you.
To start, look at the bottoms of your shoes. Preferably, the ones you wear the most often. These will give you a very strong signal as to what you need. Although they may be a little dirty, and even have some leftover gum you trod in that time, what you need to be focussing on is WEAR AND TEAR.
That’s right, where the sole of your shoe may be a little smoother or worn down more so than other areas, it’s this wear and tear that will indicate what kind of support your feet and gait (how you walk) will benefit from.
Inner side of foot, towards the centre line of the body wear and tear can indicate PRONATION or a gait that may roll inwards whilst walking. This is one of the more common gates and can require support from the arch of the shoe.
Next time you buy, have a feel of the inside of the shoe in the same position. A “hill” on the inside of your shoe is designed to help provide extra support to your arches, stop your feet rolling inwards too much and ensure your shoes get enough wear before collapsing or becoming too worn in.
Heel and/or ball of foot wear and tear can indicate a NEUTRAL gate, where the ankle is fairly balanced. When purchasing new shoes, it is important look specifically at the activity you are doing. Activities that require frequent stopping and starting, will require support on both sides and under the arch, this can be done through plastic lining (usually found as a decoration on the outside of the shoe), the arch support we spoke about earlier and buying shoes with laces that can be tightened are essential.
For more streamline activities, a lighter running shoe is fine if it provides the support needed.
Outer side of foot, towards the outside of the body wear and tear can indicate a SUPINATING gait and this basically means the ankle and foot will roll outwards in activity. These are usually those individuals prone to rolling and spraining their ankles. If you’re in this group, lace up shoes with plenty of ankle support are essential.
Leather and tougher plastic decorations can be helpful to maintain stability. No matter what activity comes your way, you may need to consider shoes with a higher set ankle lining and in some cases lower arch support can be helpful.
Choosing the right shoe benefits the individual in three key areas, each as essential as the other:
– Supporting the feet effectively means supporting the entire body
– Working with your gait means giving your body the opportunity to perform to its potential
– Shoes can be extremely expensive, so choosing the right pair for you means they will last longer and serve you better.