5 rules for choosing the correct shoes

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5 rules for choosing the correct shoes

We often get asked the question in our clinics in Castlecomer, Tullyallen and Enfield about what are the best pair of shoes to buy. This is a very difficult question to answer as it depends on your foot size, shape and what you do. It’s the equivalent of choosing a tyres for your car. The shoes you wear must suit your needs, having the wrong footwear can lead to unnecessary injury and pain. You wouldn’t put a set of bald tyres on a car so why would you put the wrong shoes on your feet. Here are 5 rules for choosing the correct footwear.

Get measured: All footwear companies have slightly different shapes and sizes, so what might fit in one shoe brand may not feet in another. Be very cautious about ordering shoes online if you don’t know the brand. You might think they’ll fit, but chances are the won’t and you will waste your money. Most good shoe shops have a fitting service and are happy to help.

Never “break” shoes in: Again let’s use the car analogy. You wouldn’t leave the garage with the mechanic advising you that it will be painful for the first week of driving but after that your tyres will be fine! So why do it in shoes? STOP BREAKING SHOES IN !! Any fashion gains you make will only be lost by the way you walk (IN A LOT OF PAIN)!!

Support: If we were still walking around in bare feet since birth then I’d agree we don’t need shoes, but most of us have been in shoes since we were 2 years old. Our feet are now accustomed to the support, so not having that support can cause problems (converse or sketchers) and lead to poor biomechanics causing more pain. In our experience good footwear leads to better biomechanics and reduces the risk of injury.

Variety: Wearing different shoes will help the muscles in your feet, if you wear the same type of shoes day in day out then the muscles in your feet can adapt and adjust to that shoe style. As soon as you wear a different style of shoe like a pair of runners or high heels you may get pain because the muscles in your feet have adapted to your basic shoes. So my advice is to mix it up as much as possible.

What are you doing in them: Get the shoe to suit the task you’re doing. We often see people in our Physiotherapy clinics with pain from simple not wearing the right shoes for the task they are doing. Wearing very flat shoes when running or wearing high heels dancing (when you’re not used to dancing or wearing heels). This causes unnecessary pain and can be prevented.

So in summary find the right fit for your shoes is essential, otherwise you are causing more harm than good and will end up spending more on medical appointments than on shoes!

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Colin Phillips MISCP
Chartered Physiotherapist
Compass Physio