1. Are your shoes worn out?
If your shoes are worn, they can cause injury to you. Soles that are worn on the edges can increase the odds you will sprain your ankle or slip on a slick or wet floor if the tread is worn off.
If they are running shoes, they lose their shock absorption and can increase injuries you get in the feet and knees when you are running.
Wear in one area means the shoes don’t fit wide or tall parts of your foot. If you have corns or calluses on your feet, the shoes may be irritating your foot because the shoe is too narrow or too shallow for your feet. Is the inside of the heel area worn? This suggests the shoe is too loose at the heel. This causes the heel to “piston” on the foot – that is the shoe slides up and down too much at the heel and can injure the heel. A Pedorthist can help ensure the shoe fits this area as well.
2. Do you have sore feet?
Pedorthists can help you find shoes that fit your feet and the task you want to do. Work boots require different characteristics than runners for example.
Many athletic activities subject the foot to excessive weight loads. Walking and running can subject the foot with forces greater than the person’s body weight. The faster a person goes, the more force the body has to absorb. Sudden changes of direction like in Tennis and Pickleball increase even more the force that the foot has to absorb.
Pedorthists can help put devices like wedges and orthotics in your shoes to help relieve the pain.
Pain in the feet, for example, can come if you have high arches and the uppers are tight on the top of the foot.
3. Have you had an injury to your foot or leg?
In addition to replacing worn shoes, Pedorthists can help supply splints and braces that will help the injury recover quicker and minimize the chance of re-injury.
Foot injuries can be under-diagnosed or difficult to recognize because the foot has so many moving parts to it. A Pedorthist, consulting with a doctor, helps by focusing on the foot, orthotic and shoe.
Injuries can be acute or chronic. An acute injury is one that a person can point to what happened. Chronic injuries can occur from overuse, repetitive motion or stress. Sometimes people plough through pain and favour the injured spot and putting unusual pressure on other areas of the foot to compensate. Those people can experience additional damage without realizing it.
4. Do you need help with sports performance?
Some Pedorthists specialize in helping athletes increase their performance and minimize the chances of injury in racing and athletic events. Simple design changes in athletic shoes can make it easier to relieve the stress of the foot contacting the ground at running speeds.
For athletes, the shoe is an important part of their equipment. Contact between the foot and the ground is important for performance. Sport specific footwear is important because different floor or ground surfaces need a different grip for best results.
By using shoe modifications and foot orthotics, Pedorthists help athletes compensate for these types of average wear and tear.
Click here to find a Canadian Certified Pedorthist near you.
Pedorthists can help people remain active and enjoy sports and life to the fullest measure.
By Jim Pattison, C. Ped (C)