Following on from last blog, we are continuing to shine focus on the footwear topic. As we head into the warmer months, our footwear selection changes and our risk of having foot pain increases. Read along to find out how you can minimise your risk of developing foot pain over the summer.
Let’s quickly recap on the primary causes of foot pain during summer months, as previously spoken about:
1. Ill-fitting footwear
2. Big changes to load/time spent on feet
Some real-life examples of this:
Wearing shoes that are activity specific, for the wrong activity - ie. running in weightlifting shoes, playing tennis in running shoes
Increased time spent in casual shoes including thongs, slides, and high heels
Increased barefoot walking on tiles/floorboards at home
Increased barefoot walking outdoors including on pavement and at the beach
Work shoes that don’t accommodate for time spent on feet, the surface you work on or the nature of work you’re doing
How to keep your feet happy?
Avoiding thongs or shoes that encourage you to grip when walking. If thongs are your preferred summertime footwear, ensure you’re wearing ones with an appropriate footbed and that are secure to prevent gripping. Some examples include
Birkenstocks – the adjustable straps secure the foot within the shoe and the contoured sole provides comfort for arch and heel pain sufferers.
Ecco sandals – strapping across the heel and around the top of the foot in addition to a contoured arch bed makes them more preferrable to standard sandal options. Other brands with similar style and fit include Merrel which are an off track/ hiking brand for more active style sandals.
Orthaheel or Fitflops – for the diehard thong lovers, try one of these brands. They offer a secure strap that hugs the foot and has a thick cushioned heel to provide plenty of impact protection not offered by regular thongs. These are great for sufferers of heel spurs or plantar fasciitis.
Avoid walking barefoot, especially on concrete and hard surfaces like floorboards and tiles. At the bare minimum, wear slippers or slides around the house to alleviate hard impact directly on your heel.
Avoiding prolonged or regular high heel use where you can. We understand there are certain events or occasions that call for a little more glam and understand from time to time they are a preferred style. Consider wearing brands that are orthopaedic and that have been designed by physiotherapists and podiatrists to reduce the harsh impact on areas of our feet (backs, hips and knees also). Some examples include Bared Footwear & Frankie4 Footwear. Bared Footwear also have a great range of men’s dress shoes to ensure they can be stylish and in comfort for big events also.
What else can I do to prevent foot pain?
Head to your physiotherapist for an assessment of your gait and foot type. They can provide advice around suitable summer footwear specific to your foot needs and give you individualised exercises that will increase the strength and resilience of your intrinsic foot muscles. Remember prevention is always better than a cure and a few simple choices can help prevent foot pain ruining your summer.