In episode 4 of the NK Active Podcast, Caroline French from W.J French & Son joined us to talk about footwear and share advice on buying your shoes; we also asked our NK Active Podiatrist and Clinic academic, Charlie, to share the four simple principles to be aware of when buying footwear.
Charlie says: “If you are like me – I love wearing a variety of shoes and this will depend on how I am feeling, what I am wearing as well as what I am doing in my day.”
Makes sense, right?! But there are some simple principles to be aware of when buying footwear or choosing shoes to wear for the day / an occasion.
It is common to have feet that are different sizes, sometimes one whole shoe size. There are also a lot of different foot shapes and people who have specific conditions such as diabetes, peripheral vascular disease and arthritis which may make someone’s feet look and feel different too.
It is always a good idea to try shoes on in and around the home to check they are suitable before wearing outdoors. It is good practice to try wearing a new pair of shoes in gradually, I tend to wear them for a few hours a day – this can save your feet from blisters!
2. Comfort (cushioning)
Comfort is perceived differently for everyone. Cushioning is used to absorb impact when loading the foot and could be helpful to protect bony foot structures, like underneath the toes or in the heel.
As we get older, we can lose some of our padding in the soles of our feet and footwear with cushioning can sometimes help make walking more comfortable.
Stability comes when the foot is not slipping inside the shoe or sandal. This could mean having a shoe with support around the ankle or a thick sole/tread to ensure the shoe is stable on slippery services.
It is important to look at the fastening system (laces, Velcro or zips) that will help ensure that your foot and shoe work together.
If shoes are not secure or stable, they could put you at risk of tripping, slipping, or falling.
For some people, having shoes made from materials that contour and are soft are important, especially if they have a deformity such as a bunion.
Materials that contour can ensure the shoe fits the foot shape and reduce the risk of rubbing, which could lead to blisters and marks on the skin.
Further advise and guidance.
If you need some more advice and guidance with your footwear and buying footwear, then W.J. French and Son is a great shop to help you find the perfect shoes. Listen to episode 4 of the NK Active Podcast with Caroline French here. #NKActive