It’s that time of year when parents are thinking about new shoes for their children before the Autumn term starts again, but what about our shoes? Research shows that many of us don’t have our feet re-measured after we leave school. Moreover many of us make do with shoes that are well past their best, especially trainers.
According to a 2014 study by the British College of Podiatry, one-third of men and half of women wear shoes that don’t fit properly. A 2011 study showed even more alarming results, with 48.5% of women and 69.2% of men wearing ill-fitting shoes. Here are a few signs that the problem lies low:
- Wearing the wrong shoe size can lead to foot health complications like bunions, corns, and calluses.
- Beyond that there can be knock-on effects on the way that you walk, leading to knee, hip and back pain.
- You may also notice that you get cramps in your feet or legs at night, potentially coming from shoes restricting circulation.
So before you head off to the shoe shop, what should you be looking for in a shoe? This can be determined by where you are going when wearing them: for instance if you are commuting and walking a lot on hard, concrete floors and pavements then a cushioned sole like a trainer or rubber soled shoe is best. Heels should only be 2 inches, unless you want to suffer for fashion! Otherwise, barefoot at home (even in the garden in summer), and thin soles that allow you to “feel” the ground if you’re out walking, although if you’re walking all day, more robust walking shoes or boots would suit well. In short, the more you’re on your feet, the more you need to consider your foot health, and the more comfortable you need to ensure your shoes are. However, make sure you give your feet as much time out of shoes as possible; it helps with so many of the above problems.