by Dr. Brant McCartan
Medical problems aren’t always complicated! Sometimes a simple solution like wearing the correct pair of shoes can help back, knee, and foot pain. Many of us realize that a good pair of running shoes is necessary for runners, that football players need to wear cleats, and that high heels can cause issues. However, unless it it fits into a special category, we don’t always wear the best shoes for our feet.
Recently, I spoke with a friend who was having arch pain on the bottom of her foot. After trying to figure out what may be causing the pain, we spoke about her daily activities. She plays some tennis, excersizes regularly, and walks to and from work every day she can. She said that she wears tennis shoes for tennis, athletic shoes for working out, and dressy flats for work as she knows high heels can cause more problems. Most people give similar sounding answers. However, when I asked her what she wears when she walks to work (over a mile in each direction) she said her work flats.
We came up with a simple sollution. Flats are fine, at work. But, on the days she would be walking, athletic shoes or walking specific shoes with more support are a must! Without the appropriate support, walking even mild distances can cause many of us to have unnecissary pain. The right pair of shoes can be a simple solution to many problems. Many people want to look for more cushioning, and will try products like over the counter gel insoles. What many people need is actually more rigid support and structure – not found in many dress flat women’s shoes – or gel insoles. If you do try an over the counter insole, look for a firm product that will provide more support.
Diabetic patients and those with neuropathy should be even more careful about their shoe choices, and protect their feet accordingly. Avoid flip flops, slippers, house shoes, and other shoes that do not provide protection or support. Ask your podiatrist about diabetic shoes. If you are diabetic and a shoe is causing you blisters, stop wearing them!
If you have any questions about the appropriate footwear for you, or are in the market for protective and/or specialty footwear make sure to let us know on your next visit!