Orthotics are designed to change the ground that lies under our feet. Whether that involves more support for our arches or more cushioning for the ball of our foot, these changes are designed to help the way our foot functions. But what about the surface that supports the orthotics? Our shoes. If we think of our orthotics as a structure to support, then our shoes are the foundation. And just like with buildings, an insufficient foundation is going to negatively impact the structure about.
There are a number of key elements that are important for getting the right pair of shoes. Everything from the right material on the upper, to having a removable insert (very important for fitting the orthotic into the shoe) has an impact on the fit. However when looking for a shoe as a podiatrist we tend to recommend 3 key points to look for that will help to find the right fit.
1 – Supportive midsole
The midsole lies between the outsole on the bottom of the shoe and the upper where your foot sits. It is responsible for a majority of the cushioning and support that a shoe provides. When testing for the right midsole we recommend you grab the shoe at the heel and ball and try to twist it. A shoe that provides support is quite difficult to twist. This resistance in the midsole shows the shoe is capable of resisting your foot rolling inwards or outwards when running or walking.
2 – Strong heel counter
At the back of shoe, where it holds onto your heel bone, there lies a round piece of plastic inside the upper. This piece is not found in all shoes, but is exceptionally important for properly supporting a foot during standing or moving. When we look at a foot rolling inwards or outwards the movement starts with the heel bone. How far it dictates the degree the foot as a whole rolls in or out. By supporting it with a hard piece of plastic the heel is no longer moving as far as it was previously. This overall reduces the movement of the foot, as well as the work required by the muscles as well.
3 – Comfortable to wear
Last but not least is the comfort of the shoe! A shoe can be theoretically perfect for your foot, with the best support and cushioning available, but if it feels uncomfortable then it is not the shoe for you. A shoe must fit in terms of support, but also comfort to work well with the way your foot functions to help your foot as much as possible.
If you need help with finding the right shoes call our reception at (07) 3823 5423 to book an appointment with our podiatrists.