Wearing the correct types of shoes is a very important part of keeping your feet healthy and safe. When you wear the wrong types of shoes, your feet are not supported correctly and this can often lead to overuse type injuries such as stress fractures and tendinitis.
From a podiatrist perspective, we think the best types of shoes have a stiffer type sole, so if you flex the bottom of the shoe and you can bend it very easily, it is generally not supporting your foot correctly. Some newer types of shoes, such as Hoka, also have a rocker-bottom to them, which can really help with metatarsalgia and taking some pressure off the ball of the foot.
Another important characteristic of shoes is having a stiff heel counter. The best way to test this on your shoes is to squeeze the back of the heel and see if the material is firm or soft. You should not be able to squeeze the back of the heel and move the material very much, and if you can do this, it typically means that the shoe is not supportive enough for you.
Stability type shoes can be very helpful for people with flexible flatfeet to try to give them more support.
If you have a bunion or a bump on your foot, using shoes that have soft or material over forefoot can help alleviate the pain from the bunion.
Minimalist type shoes can be helpful to help strengthen the muscles and tendons in your foot, but you do need to be careful if your feet are not used to using these. We typically recommend these types of shoes for more higher level athletes that are trying to train and increase strength and function of their foot and ankle.
If you like to wear sandals, we typically recommend using a sandal like a Birkenstock or Vionic that are stiffer and have a little more support for your arch.
Using custom orthotics in shoes can also be very helpful to support your foot. If you are wearing a custom orthotic, you need to make sure you are wearing a neutral shoe, because if you wear these in stability type shoes, you can actually overcorrect the support for your arch and give yourself new pain or problems.
If you have any foot and ankle pain, call your expert Colorado Springs podiatrists at 719-488-4664. Dr. Hinderland, Dr. Cameron, and Dr. Dominick are expertly trained to help your with all your foot and ankle issues.