Choosing a Good Shoe
Footwear can both relieve AND cause problems. Their role is to protect and support our feet. Important features that good shoes should have include:
Having laces or a velcro strap that is firm across the top of the foot is important in preventing slipping of the shoe and reduces the workload of your muscles. Slip on shoes cause the muscles in your lower limb to work hard to hold the shoe on. They also contribute to hard skin, corns, bunions and hammer and mallet toes.
FIRM HEEL COUNTER
A firm heel counter on the shoe provides stability. It can reduce the amount of rolling in (pronation) that the foot undertakes. It also helps to hold the shoe onto the foot securely.
REASONABLY THICK SOLE
The sole needs to be thick enough to provide cushioning between your foot and the ground. A thin sole provides little protection and padding to the foot. Potential problems that may arise with a thin soles shoe include nerve irritation and corns.
BE 5-8MM LONGER THAN YOUR LONGEST TOE
The toes need room to move when you are walking. There is the potential of nail damage to occur if there is not enough room in the end of the shoe. This includes blackening or thickening of the toenails.
ADEQUATE TOE BOX DEPTH AND WIDTH
The toe box of the shoe needs to be deep enough and wide enough to accommodate deformities such as bunions and hammer toes. Narrow or pointed toe boxes can cause bunions, corns, callous and ingrown toenails.
A completely flat shoe can cause as much problems as a high heel. The shoe should have a slight increase in height at the heel to aid with normal walking. Low heels can cause problems with the Achilles tendon and high heels can cause ball of the foot problems.
GOOD TORSIONAL STABILITY
The sole of the shoe needs to be stable and rigid. You should not be able to twist the sole of the shoe onto itself. Shoes should only bend at the toe. Bending in the middle of the shoe reduces its stability.