Proper footwear is crucial not only in the prevention of foot and toe problems but also in treating these problems. A comfortable, properly-fitted shoe can help in preventing a toe joint problem from returning after surgery, relieving pain in the foot or toe or preventing a foot or toe problem from developing or getting worse.
You can develop a foot or toe problem such as a bunion, plantar fasciitis, callus or hammertoe for a number of reasons, but your footwear can play a large role in how bad your foot condition becomes.
Try these tips when shopping for your next pair of shoes:
-Stand up while getting fitted for your shoe and walk around the store to make sure the shoe fit feels right.
-Shoe size, especially width can change with age, so have both of your feet measured when buying new shoes.
-If you have orthotics or shoe inserts, make sure you bring them when trying on new shoes.
-Try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest due to normal swelling.
-If a shoe feels snug, ask the salesperson to stretch it out for you. With that said, you should not have to break in shoes if they fit properly.
The type of shoe selected is vital for maintaining a healthy foot. Make sure you pick a shoe that laces up as opposed to slips on and has a flexible sole that allows your toes to bend as you walk. Avoid high heeled, narrow or pointed-toe shoes, as these increase pressure on the front of your foot and on the toe joints. If you must wear heels, selects shoes that are no more than 2 inches high. Shoes that breathe when your feet sweat are best so avoid plastic or vinyl shoes. Look for a shoe with a wide and deep toe box that allow you to wiggle your toes while they are in the shoe and avoid shoes with seams, as they may rub against or irritate the skin around your foot problem.
When you are at home, wear sandals, soft-leather flat shoes or slippers or even go barefoot if possible.
Be sure to discuss all of the above tips with your doctor before shopping for new footwear. They will be able to offer you their recommendations depending on your specific needs.
Issaquah Foot and Ankle Specialists
Did you know that we have developed a dedicated resource for heel pain sufferers?