6 Shoe Mistakes That Could Be Causing Your Foot Pain
If you’ve ever hobbled off of the dance floor at a wedding with your heels in hand, or if you’ve ever found yourself looking forward to the moment you go home after a long day spent in meetings, so you can slip your new pair of suit shoes off – you’ll know shoes can easily cause foot pain.
This holds true for all types of footwear, not just the fancy kind…
Exercise shoes, office shoes, sandals, and that pair of weekend running around shoes we all have – they can all lead to painful feet too.
But before you throw out every pair of shoes in your wardrobe – let’s talk about your feet.
A lot of us are unaware of just how big of a role feet play when it comes to supporting your body.
Feet play the big job of supporting your body weight and take the impact of standing, walking, running and everything else you do throughout the day.
Your feet are made up of 52 bones, 66 joints and OVER 200 muscles, tendons AND ligaments – so when your feet don’t get the support they need, it’s no wonder why you can get issues!
A lack of support can also cause pain beyond your feet – your knees, back and other parts of your body begin to overcompensate, which can lead to pain in those areas too… not good.
With all of the above in mind – here are 6 shoe mistakes that cause foot pain, are you making any of them?
- You’re Unaware Of Your Arches
Generally speaking, there are two types of feet:
- High arched
- Low arched
And the demands for these two types are quite different!
For someone with high-arched feet – they have taller gaps on the soles of their feet.
For someone with low-arches – the curves between the balls of the foot and heels, are closer to the ground.
The curve of your shoe should support your arches so they can, in turn, support the rest of your feet and body. A good running shop, shoe shop, or even a Physio clinic with a special machine – can figure out what’s best for you.
We customise shoes for patients all the time, and the difference in their pain means they can get back to walking around comfortably and independently again.
- You Choose Your Running Shoes For Appearance
Have you ever bought a pair of running shoes because you think they look good? You’re not alone, many of us do, I’ve been guilty of it too!
But the truth is, picking the right performance shoe should be a strategic process.
When you need a new pair of trainers, go into a specialty running store and speak with a specialist. You need to consider things like the type of exercise you’ll be doing – running over 20 miles outdoors each week is VERY different from doing Pilates classes a couple of times a week.
A running analysis can do you the world of good too. We can do a GAIT analysis at both our clinics using a 2D and 3D video approach. Connect with us to find out more.
If you can afford to, have a couple of kinds of trainers for the workouts you do most often.
Wearing a tennis shoe for running, or a basketball shoe for weightlifting, can encourage injuries – choose wisely.
- You “Break In” Your New Pair Of Shoes
While it’s true that some shoes made of multiple materials, like hiking boots, might need some “breaking in” before you can get to the point where you feel like you’re walking on clouds – you should be careful not to rush the process.
Your shoes need to become accustomed to your feet over time to avoid pain and those nasty blisters that so often come with a new pair of shoes.
Instead of pushing through the pain – wear your shoes in a little at a time until they loosen naturally. Whether you’re doing this at home or while you’re out and about getting jobs done – keep a pair of socks and plasters handy to prevent blisters.
4. You Walk Around Barefoot At Home
As soon as you step through the door do you throw your shoes off and that’s you done for the day?
For a lot of us, taking our shoes off is one of the best feelings! But for some people, walking or standing barefoot on surfaces like hardwood floors, marble or tile puts stress on the structures of the feet either causing or making pain worse over time.
This can happen when the fleshy parts on your heels and balls of your feet which help cushion our bodyweight wear down.
If you have foot pain that feels worse when you walk around barefoot – get a pair of slippers to wear around the house to ease the pain.
Remember though that over time the best solution is to train yourself to walk around bare feet. It is actually better for you long term. But most of us in this modern day have become so accustomed to having something between our feet and the floor, some sort of support is thus required long term.
- You’re Still Wearing That Worn Down Pair Of Boots From 2014
Many of us only throw away a pair of shoes when they’re looking a bit worse for wear and worn down.
But once the sole of your shoe starts to break down, it changes the way your foot strikes the ground which can cause pain in your feet, hips, knees and back – this can also happen before your shoes start showing obvious signs it’s time for a brand new pair!
Depending on your activity level, it takes a few months to a year of daily use to wear out footwear.
If you really love a pair of shoes then re-soling them or adding an insert can help prolong their wear.
But don’t hold onto a pair of shoes too long before it’s too late!
- You Don’t Use Insoles
…Or understand their purpose.
Depending on your foot type and foot pain, you might already have the insoles that come with your shoes – however, they may not be right, or even supportive for you.
To ease the pain, stop it from getting worse or even to prevent it from coming on – it’s a smart idea to get yourself a pair of customised insoles (also known as Orthotics).
Rarely, however, are true custom orthotics available in many places, and most definitely not in shoe stores, in retail stores and even pharmacy’s.
Prescription Foot Orthotics ARE the most accurate custom functional foot orthotics and are made from non-weight bearing moulds of your feet (but you don’t need a note from your doctor to have one).
They also act to make activities such as running, walking – even standing – more efficient. What’s more, they can act to redistribute pressure on the bottom of the foot to relieve pain from excessive pressure or calluses.
The takeaway: Your feet are probably doing way more than you give them credit for, so they need shoes to match.
The right choices for you will depend on your activity levels, height, weight, walking and running style. But if you’re experiencing any kind of foot pain that lasts for days, it makes it almost impossible to live your life as normal.
If you’d like to talk to an experienced Specialist Physio about the possibilities if you currently struggling with foot and ankle pain and you decide for yourself that Physio will add value to your health, like it does so many other people, then please connect with us.
Here at Apple Physio all of our team have vast experience dealing with Foot and Ankle pan so if you need any advice please don’t hesitate to contact us.
If you’d like more info on this, and some easy, actionable tips you can use now to start easing your neck and shoulder. We have a free foot and ankle pain guide that we can send you. Connect with us on 01344 489398 (Bracknell) , 01753 866274 (Windsor) or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what’s going on. A member of the team can take your details and we can email or post you a copy.
About the Author: Leslie Abrahams and the Apple Physio team
Leslie is a Physio, Pilates Educator and Rehab Specialist who has a special interest in Spinal Treatments, lower limb injuries, and has vast experience dealing with patients post injury or surgery. Every week, for over 20 years, 100’s of people aged 30-64+ have consulted the Apple Physio team looking for answers to concerning questions about, and for, a fast end to their health worries and physical pains and stiffness.
Leslie is a Master Trainer for the world renowned Australian Physiotherapy and Pilates Institute(APPI). He is regular key note speaker at conferences and travels internationally to present on modified exercise for rehabilitation. Leslie is the Director of Apple Physio Clinics situated in Bracknell and Windsor. Berkshire’s Specialist Private Physiotherapy Practice for People in their 30’s. 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, who want to keep healthy and active.