Whether you’re standing for long periods of time at work or you’re running on the treadmill, an accidental twist of the ankle or turn of the knee can cause a painful injury. Keep reading for your guide on how to wear the right pair of shoes to reduce pain, discomfort and injury.
There’s How Many Muscles in Your Feet?
Whether you’re walking, lifting, running or dancing, your feet (and all the 100 muscles it’s composed of) are getting a workout. In your foot and ankle alone, you’re dealing with 26 bones, 33 joints and dozens of tendons and ligaments. If your feet are not properly supported with a good pair of shoes, the wrong move as you lift weights or lunge can cause serious havoc. Some of the most common foot and ankle injuries are:
- Stress fracture.
- Bone spur. This can be caused by improperly worn footwear.
- Ankle sprains. The severity of a ankle sprain can vary. The worse the sprain, the longer it takes to heal.
- Turf toe. This is when the big toe bends beyond it’s usual range of motion (the right fitted pair of shoes will help minimize the risk of turf toe.)
- Achilles Tendinitis. When the tendon behind the heel becomes inflamed, it can cause a painful ache just above the ankle.
- Bunions are typically caused by wearing shoes that are too tight.
Whether you’ve had a minor injury or seem to get re-injured during intense exercise, you can control the severity of your injury (and even the frequency of the injury) by supporting your feet sufficiently. Do it the right way with the right pair of shoes!
The Right Shoes For the Right
Shoes are not a one-size-fits-all. Make sure that you’re picking the right shoes for a singular purpose. If you’re a runner, go for running shoes. If you’re a walker, choose walking shoes. If you lift, look for shoes that will support your ankles, so you can endure heavy amounts of weight without strain.
- Shop towards the end of the day. Your feet swell later in the day, so try shoes on when they’re at their biggest.
- Use the thumb’s width rule of thumb. Once you’ve tried your shoes on, measure how much wiggle room you have. There should be about a thumb’s width left, between where your toe is and where your shoe ends. The top of your foot should fit snuggly within the shoe, as well as your heel. If your foot feels like it’s shifting or slipping, try on another pair or another size.
- Don’t give into the bells and whistles. The trendiest shoes don’t always make for the most supportive shoe – so don’t give into the bells and whistles! For example, if your heel is injured easily, gel inserts provide extra shock absorption, but for most buyers, they can do without the ‘extras’.
- Know when to replace them. Shoes wear out over time. In fact, the average pair of running shoes should be replaced every 400 miles, give or take. Overall, go by how your feet feel, and replace when needed.
Use our guide to find the perfect pair of shoes for you – regardless of what activity you do or how long you do it!