Fit & Proper: Importance of choosing the right footwear

Incorrect or ill-fitting footwear is a recipe to many foot ailments, which catapult into bigger problems if not rectified at the correct stage

When walking down a short aisle, climbing a small flight of stairs, or going for casual stroll becomes a dreadful walking experience, it is time to have a closer look at your foot health. While a lot of foot problems may have more complex reasons, some could be simply due to incorrect footwear. Footwear which is too small or too big, too tight or too flimsy, too hard or too soft, too narrow or too wide and not in congruence to your foot shape, length, and arch, will be categorised as incorrect footwear Such incorrect or ill-fitting footwear is a recipe to many foot ailments, which catapult into bigger problems if not rectified at the correct stage.

How to know if the footwear is incorrect

  • Your toes graze the tip of the shoes
  • The little toe and the big toe both should fit comfortably in the shoe box
  • If you develop corns, callous, bunions then one of the reasons could be improper footwear. Too short, too tight or high-heeled shoes cause such problems
  • An abnormal gait, incorrect hip rotation, and heel pain are signs of improper footwear
  • If the arch of your foot aches at the end of the day, then your footwear is not providing proper support

If your shoes are too big, or they’re not supportive enough, the muscles on the bottom of your foot tighten with each step in an attempt to keep the shoe from sliding off or slipping out. It can also set the stage for an overuse injury, such as Plantar Fasciitis, where the Plantar Fascia Tendon that runs along the bottom of your foot from toes to heel becomes chronically inflamed. Poorly designed footwear for your type of physical activity, can cause a number of short- and long-term health problems that affect various parts of our bodies. Hence, it is important to choose proper footwear to ‘be well-heeled’.

Dos and Don’ts

  • High arch people need to wear cushioned shoe
  • The insole and outsole should provide enough cushion for shock absorption
  • There should be 1.5 cm of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe
  • Your heels should fit comfortably in your shoes with minimal slippage
  • If heels need to be worn, try to spend minimum time in them. The heel height should be no more than 3-4 cm, if they are to be worn daily
  • Narrow pointed footwear can lead to bunions
  • Since our feel have slight size difference, always look at fitting the larger foot first
  • Buy stretchable shoes to decrease joint irritation

Specialized in Pilates and physiotherapy, the author talks about the importance of choosing the right footwear and the possible negative impacts of wearing the wrong ones in this article. There are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind while choosing a footwear, avoiding which can later turn into a chronic suffering. Vardan is an advanced physiotherapy clinic in Delhi that strives to cater to the best physiotherapy services which help in putting the joints and muscles at ease.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.