Have your shoes done too much work?
Do you have a pair of shoes you can’t imagine parting with? Have you had them for years and worn them for every special occasion? Are they your go-to, every day, favourites or are they a lucky pair of athletic shoes that helped you win an important championship?
Whether it is comfort, style or emotional attachment many people have at least one pair of shoes they wear all the time. As footwear specialists, Canadian Certified Pedorthists recommend shoes be replaced every 8-10 months or every 2,500 km as they wear out and lose their effectiveness. However, we also understand people want to hold on to some special pairs longer. Here’s what I recommend:
Get your shoes re-soled
The soles of shoes bear the brunt of wear so fitting them with a new pair of soles can extend the life of a shoe when they become worn. Below are before and after shots of a pair of much-loved Birkenstocks I re-soled for a patient at the end of last summer. With these new soles the shoes will last another summer.

Examine the wear patterns
Soles provide cushioning, support and protection for your feet so it is important you replace them before they start looking like the before shot above. However, before you rush to the cobbler for a new set of soles, take a close look at your wear patterns. If you see different wear on each shoe or if you are experiencing unexplained foot, knee or hip pain you should book a consultation with a Canadian Certified Pedorthist before you get your soles replaced. A well-worn pair of favourite shoes are an important diagnostic tool as they tell a lot about your biomechanics so be sure to take them to your pedorthic appointment.
Custom soles or orthotics may be required
Depending on the results of your pedorthic assessment, you may benefit from pedorthic treatment and a custom sole may be recommended. Canadian Certified Pedorthists are footwear specialists. They can:

  • Create a Flare – A Flare is created by adding material to the side of the shoe to broaden the base of support. The Flare increases the stability of the shoe and gently forces the foot away from the modified side. A Flare can be beneficial if you have a flat foot that breaks down the footwear along the inside or a very high arched foot the wears down the outside more excessively.
  • Build a Rocker Sole – A rocker sole helps to reduce painful pressure on the bottom of your foot, reduce energy consumption and reduce stress on stiff or painful foot or ankle joints. If you are suffering from arthritis or Metatarsalgia (pain in the forefoot), a rocker sole may make a significant difference to your comfort and mobility.
  • Make a Thomas Heel – If your foot rolls excessively inwards, Pedorthists can extend the standard heel of your shoe on the inside to provide additional support to your foot.

Worn out soles are an excellent opportunity to examine your pedorthic needs. If you have a favourite pair of shoes that you want to re-sole, start by speaking to your Canadian Certified Pedorthist to see if a custom sole will benefit you.

By Shawn Duench, C. Ped (C), Waterloo, ON