Purchasing Orthopedic Shoes
Start by examining your foot structure
– Wide or Narrow
– Thick or Thin
– Fatty or Bony
– Pronating (roll in) or Supinating (roll out)
– Is the Long Arch: Flat, Low, Medium or High
– The Longer Toe: the Big Toe or the Second Toe
– The Front Part (forefoot): Like a Square or Like a Triangle
– Does the Front Turn Toward or Away from the Other Foot
– Is the Top (instep): High or Low
– Is the Heel: Narrow or Wide
– Any deformities: Bunion, Hammer Toes, Bump on Instep
Where to Purchase Shoes?
There are so many stores selling footwear. To find the best fitting running shoes it’s preferable to go to a store where the staff is well informed about the shoes they are selling and are trained to do proper fittings.
If you haven’t had an assessment by a certified pedorthist, you want to try to find a store that will offer a basic evaluation of your foot and its function in relation to your body. If you are a diabetic or have severe foot deformities you may want to consider seeing a professional shoe fitter.
The sales person should measure your feet before fitting a shoe. However, most footwear are imported and the sizing vary from one distributor / manufacturer to the next. The ideal way to see if the shoe fits properly as for the length and the width is to remove the insole and stand up on it. The insole should be showing at the toe area and your foot shouldn’t overlap the sides of the insole.
Styles of Shoes
There are many different brands shoes with different functions and support. Some companies will fit your foot better and the only way to determine which is best for you is to actually try them. It is recommended to walk in the store with the shoes on to make sure they feel comfortable.
The style of footwear will depend on your foot structure and if you wear orthotics or not.
If you do have orthotics, especially custom, it is usually advised to try to find a neutral posting shoe (the upper is glued at a 90 degree with the floor ” + “. This style usually works best because of possible over correction with other shoes, which could lead to other complications. If you have a full length orthotic, you will need to look for footwear with removable footbeds.
If you don’t wear orthotics you will need to take into consideration the structure of your foot along with its attributes.
By looking over your answers concerning your feet, try to find the shoe that fits your foot best and not try to reshape a shoe to accommodate your feet.
If you experience no pain, no foot structural issues, your arches remain in neutral when you stand, you can try shoes with a straight last (structural shape of the shoe in relation of the heel to the toes) or with a varus (front curves a little inward) depending how your foot is shaped. Make sure that the big toe and little toe are not being pinched on the sides.
If your arches are unstable and roll in when standing, try a shoe with some pronation control (extra support on the inner section of the shoe). It would also be important to look for a shoe with a reinforced shank. The outer sole of the shoe from the heel to the ball of the foot should be wide and stiff. It can be flat or wedged depending on how flexible your calf muscles are. The shoe should also be able to resist twisting and bending in any direction. The heel counter, which is located at the back portion of the shoe, should be constructed with firm materials and feel rigid when attempting to squeeze it together.
If your arches roll out because of high arches, try supinator control footwear (extra stability on the outer part of the shoe). You can also try a neutral posting shoe (the upper is glued at a 90 degree on the sole in relation to the floor “+”). Usually a high arched foot is more comfortabe in a cushioned shoe with a slight elevated heel with a slight rocker sole at the back of the heel to decrease the impact upon heel strike.
If you have any forefoot issues (big toe stiffness or pain, ball of foot pain or ankle stiffness or pain), it is best to find a shoe with a rigid rocker sole at the front (curved upward from the ball of the foot to the tip of the toe area) helping to propel the body forward in the correct direction and decreasing strain on the forefoot and ankle.
Tight calf and tight foot muscles can try footwear with a slight heel raise to decrease the strain on the Achilles tendon, plantar fascia and tendons for the toes.
A high instep, a bump on the instep and hammer toes can try extra deep shoes with a soft upper. There are different ways to tie laces to help decrease pressure on the top of the foot. Ask the shoe fitter the best way to tie your laces.
Orthopedic Footwear are extra supportive and deep footwear with a removable
insole. Depending on your foot structure it might be advised that you consider
trying orthopedic footwear. In other cases orthopedic modifications are also
recommended. The modifications are structural changes done to the footwear
to accommodate and help correct an ailment or a severe alignment problem.
Please consult with a professional shoe fitter and/or a Certified Pedorthist to find out if require more support.
Laces or Velcro?
Laces are generally more supportive and easier to accommodate the foot since the can be manipulated and altered. However if you have difficulty bending, using your hands or your foot is very rigid and sturdy, velcro might be the best solution for you.
To Schedule an Appointment
Call (613) 231-4980