When is the last time you had a professional shoe fitting or replaced your walking shoes? According to Meghan Knox, Canadian Certified Pedorthist and clinic manager of BioPed in Guelph, your footwear may be causing discomfort and even pain.
“New shoes can help a lot if you're getting tired from an activity or if you’re experiencing overall fatigue of feet. A lot of people may be wearing shoes that are improperly fit or they've worn their shoes right through. Getting a new shoe that is well designed and properly fit can make you feel a lot better, especially for walking,” explains Meghan.
Choosing Walking or Running Shoes
Good quality athletic shoes are not just for serious athletes. They can really improve anyone’s endurance for everyday activities like walking and jogging.
“Athletic footwear have higher cushion, support, and are often wider and deeper. They are nice to work with because they allow a lot of flexibility in fit. Some athletic companies are now making proper footwear that is considered orthopedic,” says Meghan.
Not only do outdoor shoes matter, but what we are wearing inside our homes is also important. Walking on hard surfaces all day without proper footwear can cause or exacerbate painful foot and leg problems, including heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Slippers and sandals are both popular indoor footwear choices.
“A lot of the homes that we live in have tile, hardwood, ceramic type flooring, so being in bare feet at home can hurt a lot of people,” Meghan explains. “We recommend premolded sippers or sandals which are nice and comfy for indoor use.”
The Importance of Fit
Whether you are looking for athletic shoes, casual footwear, or indoor shoes, the fit is incredibly important. At BioPed, their specialized team recommends shoes that are best for each individual’s biomechanics and lifestyle. Having a professional sizing and assessment can make all the difference.
“I have some people who come in wearing shoes that are way too small because they’ve always worn a particular size, so they just keep buying that size even if it isn’t comfortable,” says Meghan. “A good fitting shoe can help you a lot if you are feeling sore or you have an overall fatigue of the feet.”
Shoes Don’t Last Forever
Even if you have a great pair of shoes, they don’t last forever. Over time, the cushioning and support breaks down with normal wear and tear and should be replaced. Meghan suggests replacing everyday shoes every year or year and a half.
“By this time, the shoes start to lose that nice, cushy support that it originally had. Oftentimes, people don’t recognize that their shoes need to be replaced until they try on a new pair. Some people may even experience knee pain from an old shoe that is worn down on one side, causing them to walk tilted,” she says.
If you’re looking to replace your shoes, BioPed is currently holding their Winter Sale until the end of February, which features a wide selection of athletic, casual, and indoor shoes up to 50% off. You can stop by or make an appointment to have a personalized fitting session with one of their knowledgeable team members.
BioPed is located at 102 Wyndham Street North in Guelph or you can call (519) 821-7310.