Foot pain is a very common problem that I treat on a daily basis. One of the most common questions that I get from my patients is,“What shoes should I be wearing?” Having the right kind of shoes can make a difference so it is important to consider what shoes would be best for you. There is not one perfect shoe or brand of shoe that is best for everyone. It depends on your individual needs and lifestyle. It is important to make sure that you have a shoe that is comfortable and offers good support. Most popular brands of tennis shoes offer decent support so it really depends on which one is specifically comfortable for you. Shoes to be wary of are flat shoes that do not offer much support. Examples would be things like flip flops, slippers, and high top type shoes. Those types of shoes should be worn more sparingly and not on a regular basis. If any shoe causes pain or increases current symptoms, it is time to look for a different shoe.
Another thing to consider is, if an orthotic insert may be better for you than just changing shoes. There are many types of inserts that you can put in your shoes that can address your foot needs. These can be more generic inserts you can buy at a store or prescribed to you by a doctor for more specific problems. Again, the right insert depends on your specific needs. Your family doctor or foot doctor, if you have one, along with your physical therapist can help decide if an orthotic insert would help you and which one you need. If you would like more information on what shoe or insert would be best for you, there are many resources available online.
One site I like is https://www.healthyfeetstore.com/. You can shop for shoes and orthotics based on your specific foot problem. Also, there is a local store in Hammond called Perfectly Fit that measures your foot and fits you for a customized shoe based on your needs.
On a final note, it is important to remember that shoes and inserts should not be seen as a quick fix for all foot problems. Most common foot problems like plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis can be caused by muscle weakness in the low back and hips and won’t magically get better with new shoes. If you are dealing with foot pain, I encourage you to see a physical therapist to help you determine and treat the cause of your pain.
Mason Porter, PT, DPT