The footwear is a very important factor in the biomechanics of the foot, the leg and even the back. Inadequate footwear can cause injury. For example, shoes that are too wide at the heel can cause a very painful irritation under the foot, plantar fasciitis, often associated with a problem called Lenoir’s spine.
The explanation: there is, under the heel, a small cushion of adipose tissue whose function is to absorb the shocks caused by the impacts of the foot on the ground. Now, if the heel of your shoe is too wide, this cushion has space to spread, it thins and protects you less and less. In addition, a shoe that is too wide does not support the arch of the foot. These two phenomena combine to cause plantar fasciitis.
The risk of fasciitis is also increased by wearing rubber flip-flops, very popular in the summer. These shoes offer no support. They can cause sagging of the arch, as well as knee problems, especially in people with flat or hollow feet. The lack of support of the arch modifies the biomechanical alignment of the leg, resulting in problems of kneecap, or tendonitis in the knee or the ankle.
High heels should be worn only occasionally. If they are part of the daily routine, they risk shortening the calf muscles and causing inflammation of the Achilles tendon, making it difficult to walk barefoot. They can also increase the risk of plantar fasciitis. On a daily basis, a comfortable heel of two or three centimeters is recommended.
If your work requires you to walk a lot or be long standing, take care to find out the best shoes for standing all day that support the arch and absorb shock – if necessary, add cushioned soles if your shoes are hard or too thin.
Sharp, very fashionable shoes can cause a deviation from the big toe to the second toe and possibly pain, onions and calluses. In the most serious cases, an operation will be necessary to straighten the toe.
The fashion of “yo” type shoes has caused patella problems in teenagers. These very wide shoes could offer a light support if they were attached, but, precisely, the young people always wear them detached to be in style, with risk of misalignment of the joints of the leg.
Some sports activities require adapted shoes. Tennis, badminton or volleyball shoes are designed to place the foot deep into the shoe to minimize the risk of sprains. On the other hand, the running or walking shoes offer a very good support of the arch in addition to absorb well the shocks. For aerobic dance or sports involving repeated jumps on the forefoot, the shoe should be cushioned throughout the sole. It is important to change worn shoes that no longer provide adequate support. For example, if you are racing, see to replace your shoes after having travelled about 600 km.
In short, properly fitting your feet avoids premature wear of the structures that make them up and allows you to enjoy them fully throughout your working life.