Lately societal pressures are pushing women to wear one shoe over another.  Whether it’s the Oscars demanding that women hit the red carpet in high heels or Union leaders in Britain telling the Prime Minister, Theresa May, to wear flats for women’s rights it can be confusing to women who want to make good choices for their foot health.

As a podiatrist in Seattle, I believe that men and women should have all the facts before making a foot health decision, and that includes buying shoes.

How to Make an Informed Shoe Purchase

The first step in making an informed shoe purchase it to learn about your foot type for it often dictates the type of shoes you can wear.

  • Flat feet – if you have flat feet your feet will be more prone to heel pain, bunions and hammertoes.  To minimize the chance of acquiring these conditions find shoes with good arch supports and great stability (video demo). Shoes such as Dansko, Keen, and most running shoes will provide both.  High heels will accelerate bunions and hammertoe development.
  • Normal feet – a normal foot type means that your feet have an arch that is neither too high or low and that your feet are stable with little rolling in or out when in motion. Although you’ll have a fuller range of shoes you can purchase you’ll also need to take into account your level and type of activity and any previous foot injuries.
  • High arches – if you have a high arched foot you’re more prone to developing pain under the ball of the foot (metatarsalgia) and hammertoes. As with the flat foot, buy shoes with good arch support and padding. Make sure the heels are no higher that 1.5 inches in height and that you have enough room in the toe box. Special foot pads for pain under the ball of the foot can also help.

    If you’re unsure of your foot type take the “Wet Test” to find out.

Your Activity Level

Runners and other very active people are also more prone to developing plantar fasciitis and other foot problems due to the added stress placed on the feet during physical activity.  For more information check out “How to Buy the Best Running Shoes”.

Other Shoe Shopping Guidelines

Getting your feet measured and shopping at the end of the day are two of the seven  “Essential Shoe Shopping Tips” to guide you in ensuring you have a great fitting shoe for your feet.

So instead of being swayed by the media, do your own research about your feet in order to make the best foot health decision.

If you or a loved one is experiencing foot pain today, call us at 206-368-7000 for an appointment, often same day. You can also request an appointment online.

Get our free foot book "No More Foot Pain", mailed directly to your home.

Seattle foot and ankle specialist, Dr. Rion Berg offers foot care for patients with bunions, heel pain, diabetes, fungal toenails, ingrown nails, and surgical solutions when needed to residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood and other surrounding suburbs.

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