It’s a question we get all the time, and a question I love to hear from my patients! To put it simply, spending a few dollars extra on your shoes could be the best bang-for-your-buck to fix your sore feet issues.
Aren’t they all made in China anyway?
Yes, pretty much! But it’s not where they’re made that’s the issue, it’s a combination of many factors. When choosing footwear, you need to consider three things-
- The quality of materials they are made from
- The quality of the design and construction, and
- The activity you will be using them for.
How to choose running shoes
There is no ideal shoe. Just like there is no ideal foot! You need to match your foot with the activity you’ll be doing, with the right footwear. Running 15ks a week is very different from running 5ks, or 50ks! And distance running is very different from other sports like netball, tennis, hockey, basketball, and will require shoes that can handle these differences.
How to choose casual shoes
Ok. This one is tricky. Particularly with the ladies. Remember the rule- if you wear the right shoes, at the right time, for the right activities, you will be ok! But this does mean there are wrong times to wear certain shoes (e.g. thongs for mowing the lawn), and there are right times to wear the wrong shoes (e.g. 3 inch stillettos to a wedding).
As a general rule, you need to have footwear that will reduce stress and strain to your feet at the times when you stress and strain them the most. Just think- when do your feet hurt most right now? Is it after walking the dog for half an hour in your thongs? Or when you mow the lawn in your worn out sneakers? Or when you stand all day in your ballet flats in your retail job?
The Do's and Don'ts of choosing shoes...
Buy a shoe only for its colour, brand, price, etc. The benefit of a well-fitting and correctly designed shoe will last a lot longer than the thrill of a bargain that doesn’t fit, or doesn’t suit your foot and makes it hurt.
Try and make your running shoes last forever! 6 to 12 months and you really should be getting new ones, depending on what you do in them.
Wear the wrong shoes for the activity you’re doing.
Get a shoe that feels good in the shop. If it doesn’t feel good on your foot in the shop, it won’t feel good after walking/ running for 5ks, that’s for sure.
Get your feet measured! Heaps of people are in shoes that just don’t fit.
Get help if you’ve got problem feet. Find a good shoe shop that can measure and fit you professionally.
See a podiatrist if you’re in pain. That’s what we do- fix sore feet!
Consider video gait analysis. This is where we film you walking or running, and evaluate your footwear and orthotic needs.
These suggestions are of course very general, and will suit most people most of the time. If you're having trouble with getting footwear, or having persistant foot or leg pain, come and see us for a thorough evaluation of your injuries. We're here to get you out of pain, and back to normal again!