Patients often have difficulty finding supportive, comfortable shoes for work and casual wear. Sneakers are the best in terms of support and comfort, but are not always a realistic option. Shoe stores are full of nice looking dress and casual shoes, but how do you know which ones are going to support your feet and not cause you pain?
- Get measured. Many people are wearing the wrong size shoe (often too small). Go to a local shoe store and have them measure your feet. The best time of day to shop for shoes is the afternoon, because your feet swell as the day goes on. Getting measured will also tell you if you need a wide or narrow shoe.
- No heels. High heels put stress on every joint from your spine to your feet. High heels are not good for your body and can cause real damage to your joints and soft tissue. Wedges or platforms are not better than pumps – it is all about the angle of the foot in the shoe. Our therapists recommend a maximum of 1-inch heel height.
- Do the twist test. Grab the front and rear of the shoe and try to twist it. A little give is ok, but a supportive shoe should not twist like a sponge.
- Do the fold test. Grab the front and rear of the shoe and try to fold it in half. If you can touch the toe area to the heel area, it is not a supportive shoe.
- Don’t forget arch support. The arch support of the footbed should match the height of your arch. The best shoes have removable inserts, which allow you to customize the support to your feet. Many shoe stores sell orthotics that are made for dress or casual shoes and come in varying arch heights.
Let an expert help you! There are several locally owned shoe stores in the region that do a great job of helping people find proper work or casual shoes. We do not have a financial relationship with them, we just appreciate the service they provide to customers. They include:
- The Athlete’s Source in Bethel
- Ridgefield Running Company in Ridgefield
- Woodbridge Running Company in Brookfield
- New Balance New Canaan in New Canaan
- Hawley Lane Shoes in Danbury
If you have any questions about shoe selection, our therapists are happy to help! We can evaluate your feet, ankles, and gait pattern to determine what kind of support you need. Several of our therapists can cast a make custom orthotics. Contact Insight Rehab today to make an appointment with a Physical Therapist.