Your footwear is a complicated piece of equipment you use every day. As a piece of equipment, its two main roles are to prevent injury while enhancing performance. Your footwear must protect you from external hazards and the demands of everyday life. While achieving this, your footwear must also facilitate proper foot function by assisting your feet in their two primary roles: 1) acting as a stable base of support for the rest of your body while 2) absorbing the impact of your foot striking the ground.
Many factors play a role in choosing the ideal shoe. In addition to foot structure and lower limb alignment and certain medical conditions, daily lifestyle, participation in specific physical activities and sport as well as work place demands must also be considered. Numerous types of footwear may be necessary to satisfy your needs.
No matter what your needs, the following three features are integral to the function and longevity of a shoe:
- Stiff heel counter (heel cup)
- Firm density midsole (platform)
- Minimal twist/torsion of the sole
However, every foot is different! Proper sizing and appropriate fit are imperative for ideal footwear function. Your Pedorthist can ensure proper fit and educate you on your personal footwear needs. They will teach you how to choose the ideal footwear and provide recommendations of appropriate brands and models as well as a list of stores who carry footwear to satisfy your needs.
If your condition is complicated or your needs cannot be met by everyday stock footwear, we have training and expertise in modifying and altering your footwear to ensure optimal comfort and ideal function.
The following is a small sampling of footwear modifications performed by Pedorthists:
- Lifts – Accommodate leg length differences
- Spot Stretching: Relieves pressure over bony prominences
- Sole Splitting: Widens the sole of the shoe
- Flares or Buttresses: Strengthens the sides of the shoe to prevent distortion and widen the base of support
- Rocker Soles: Unloads problem areas and facilitates propulsion
- Lacing Techniques: Simple alterations to lacing patterns can make a big difference to comfort and function
- Additional items such as tongue pads, heel grips, metatarsal pads, heel lifts, arch cookies, etc. can improve comfort and function