Fit for purpose footwear: Advice from a Podiatrist

Shoes come in all shapes, sizes, and heights and we often underestimate the importance of well-fitted, fit-for-purpose footwear! 

“I want the best for your feet and lower limb, so I can recommend which shoes are best for your feet.” Advises Daniella, our podiatrist at Body Consultancy

Wearing the wrong footwear for extended periods can cause discomfort, leading to problems such as callus and corns. Whilst you might not always have the choice in which footwear you can wear – oftentimes you may have to wear certain shoes as part of your work uniform – it’s important to consider what shoes you are wearing outside of these hours. 

Functional footwear 

This type of shoe is one that mimics the shape of the foot, so it fans out at the toe box. Functional, fit-for-purpose footwear should have a wider and deeper toe box allowing the toes to freely move inside. 

Ideally, this type of footwear should be flat when the foot is loading or weight-bearing but not completely flat as they should give some propulsion to your gait, enabling you to move faster! 

Fashion footwear 

Fashion footwear tends to be narrower through the forefoot to the toe box. Often these shoes have high heels or a completely unstable bend in the middle. Shoes designed for fashionable reasons aren’t very sturdy and may be very floppy when picked up. 

When choosing shoes it’s fair to say that aesthetics play an important part in our choices, however, whilst they do look good over time they can cause sore feet. You may even experience pins and needles, bunions, claw/hammer toes, and muscle tightness. 

Daniella states, “I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t wear things like this myself, but everything in moderation! I wouldn’t dream of wearing a pair of high heels to climb a mountain, equally, I wouldn’t want to wear thick boots or trainers to the beach!” 

We hope this article has given you some food for thought when it comes to choosing your next pair of shoes. If you have any questions or would like some advice you can speak to our podiatrist, Daniella, about appraising your footwear!