Shoe Shopping Tips

The RiteSole For Happy and Healthy Feet

Planning to become more comfortable and protected now for the winter? The Pedorthic Association of Canada and its members stress the importance of selecting functional shoes. Functional shoes are the shoes people wear everyday, for work and play, as part of their active lifestyles. Because these shoes provide feet and legs with support for the majority of the day the selection process is very important to maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.

The Role Of Your Daily Footwear

Footwear plays a large role in the development of foot and toe problems such as bunions , calluses and corns , and hammer, claw, and mallet toes . Shoes that don't fit properly make these conditions worse and more painful. But wearing the right shoes may help keep foot problems from becoming worse. A comfortable, well-fitted shoe offers you the best chance of:

oRelieving pain in the foot or toe that is caused by a deformity or joint problem.

oPreventing a foot or toe problem from getting worse.

oPreventing a toe joint problem from returning after corrective surgery.

Key Criteria To Look For Proper Footwear Shopping

Bend Test – A test consumers can try when purchasing new footwear is to hold the shoe in both hands at opposite ends, and bring their hands together. Ideally, the shoe should only bend at the ball of the foot, which matches the movement of the foot.

Proper Heel Counter – The Heel Counter is the hard piece in the back of the shoe that controls the foot’s motion from side-to-side. If the heel is not contained snugly, there can be excessive movement when the consumer walks resulting in blisters, heel spurs and micro-tearing causing foot pain. Consumers can quickly test the effectiveness of a shoe’s heel counter by placing the shoe in palm of their hand and putting their thumb in the mid portion of the heel, trying to bend the back of the shoe.

Removable Insole – Although many consumers are not aware of this tip, it is important to replace the insoles with proper support in shoes on a regular basis. While cushioning requirements vary from one foot type to the next, the benefits of proper cushioning and support include less stress on your joints and improved muscle strength and prevent joint problem.

Insoles vs. Custom Made Orthotics

Before we start, it may be useful to differentiate between insoles and orthoses. Generally a foot orthosis (plural orthoses) is made specifically for your needs by a trained specialist (Podiatrist, Chirpodist, Pedorthist). Orthoses can be divided into two categories: functional and accommodative. Functional

orthoses are engineered with the aim of modifying the structural and functional characteristics of your skeletal system in an attempt to reduce a specific pain. Accommodative orthoses are made to provide cushion or comfortable support underneath your foot but not really meant to correct any dysfunction.

Insoles are not designed with just one foot in mind. They are prefabricated and mass produced.

There are common conditions that pedorthists treat, and for which orthotics have the most potential to help: Plantar Fasciitis, Arthritis, Diabetes, Metatarsalgia, Flat Feet.