Shoe Shopping Checklist – Your Guide to Buying the Right Shoes!

 

Shopping for new shoes can often be difficult and tiring and may even leave you feeling very frustrated. How do you know which shoes are right for you? Where do you look? How do you know if they fit correctly? These are just some of the many challenges associated with finding the right pair of shoes. Our podiatrists at Feetology have listed a few helpful tips below to ensure you walk out with the right pair of shoes!

Activity

  • It is important we choose shoes designed for the activity we intend to use them for. It sounds simple but this is vital for efficient function and to reduce the possibility of injury. For example, if you do a lot of walking it is important to purchase a walking shoe, if you play a court based sport (eg. Netball) look for a cross trainer or if football is your main sport, make sure you wear football boots.

Heel

  • The heel collar of the shoe (material at the back of the shoe around the heel) should be firm but padded to provide comfort and reduce irritation/blisters. There shouldn’t be a gap between your foot and this part of the shoe when you have the shoe on. Having a small heel/lift at the back of the shoe can be beneficial but look for something relatively low and stable – less than 5cm in height and a wedge or Cuban style heel is better than a stiletto as they are more stable.

Length

  • When trying on shoes, you shouldn’t be able to feel your toe(s) hitting the end of the shoe. For enclosed shoes, aim for a thumbs width room from the end of your longest toe to avoid getting bruised toenails. For sandals, your toes should be sitting on the base of the shoe with no overhang. Tip: Fit the shoe to your longest toe – this may not be your big toe!

Width

Width is an important consideration that gets overlooked too often! It is important that you don’t go up multiple sizes in the length of the shoe to try and get more width. If you have a broad foot or any digital deformities (eg. Bunions, claw toes etc) look for shoes that are wider, particularly around the toes – a good tip here is to look for shoes with a square/rounded toe box instead of a pointed/tapered shape. There are also some brands that cater more for wider feet – e.g. New Balance (sports shoes).

Orthotics

If you have orthotics/inserts always take them with you when looking for new shoes. Looking for shoes with removable liners and adjustable fastenings is a good place to start. Try your orthotics in the shoes to ensure they fit well and you still have enough space for your feet. You may require a half size larger to allow for a better fit.
 

Top Tips

  • Make sure the shoe fits correctly, is comfortable and suitable for the activity you intend to use it for
  • Shop in the afternoon – feet can swell slightly throughout the day and it is important your shoes can accommodate this (adjustable fastenings is ideal – eg. Velcro straps)
  • Don’t assume your size – your size may vary from brand to brand or in different styles of shoes. Always get fitted and try your shoes on before purchasing
  • Don’t buy shoes that are causing pain or discomfort straight away, it will only get worse the more time you spend in them
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    5 tests to tell if your shoes are worn out

    It’s spring time, and we start to come out of our winter hibernation and think about doing a little more exercise. We grab our shoes, put them on and start exercising without giving it a second thought. But, did you know that worn shoes are a leading contributor to foot and leg complaints.

    We all know we need to replace our runners, like any footwear, but how do we know when to do it? When you’re sporting a nice hole in the sole or your toe is sticking out is a good sign. However, these aren’t the only signs that your footwear may be ready for the rubbish bin.

    Here are 5 tests to know when you might be in the market for a new set of runners:
     

    The Wobble Test

    • Place your shoes on a flat surface. If they wobble for a while and then settle then this is a good indication you need a new pair. Not only this but if you see when the shoe settles it is leaning to one side, then you may have worn the sole away too much to continue to use them.  

     

    The Bend Test

    • Runners should bend forward only under the ball of your foot. They should not be easily bent backwards under sole of the shoe, in the middle or at any other site. If your runners are too “bendy”, it’s time for a new set. If your runners are new and bend where they shouldn’t, this may indicate they aren’t of great quality and could damage your feet.

     

    The “Peek-a-Boo” Test

    • You should never be sporting a hole at any site on your shoes. If you find your toe is popping out to say hello or you’re feeling the ground a little too much under your feet, this is a very good indication you are in the market for a new pair of shoes.

     

    The Stomp Test

    • The back of a shoe can provide your feet with a lot of support and control. Not undoing your shoelaces when slipping your shoes on and/or stomping on the backs of them can crush or bent this area beyond return. In this case, best to stomp off to get a new pair.

     

    The “I’m always replacing my shoes!” Test

    • If you’re finding you’re spending more money on your shoes than Imelda Marcos as they’re wearing out too quick, it’s time to get your shoes looked at by a professional.

     

    Even if your runners pass the above tests, they can still be “worn out” or incorrect for your feet. They could be the cause of any foot pain or could lead to a problem occuring. If you have foot or leg pain, it’s time to see a Podiatrist.

    Feetology Podiatry Centre’s Podiatrists can assess if your footwear are excessively worn and if this is occurring too quickly. They can answer your footwear questions and provide custom footwear assessment and suggestions to get the best shoes for your feet.

    Don’t let your shoes spoil a good day out. Call Feetology on 07 38206326 or book online.

     

    How do I know if my child needs to see a podiatrist?

    Sometimes it’s hard to get a lot of information out of our children about how their legs and feet are feeling. And sometimes it’s even harder to think of the right questions to ask! It can be hard for our kids to express how their feet and legs are feeling too…

    To make this a little easier for parents and kids alike, our Feetologists (Podiatrists) have come up with a few questions to help you work out if your child requires a check-up with one of our podiatrists:

     

  • Is your child complaining about painful feet/legs “growing pains” particularly in the evenings?  Does your child limp after running or playing sport?
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  • Is your child clumsy or constantly tripping?
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  • Do you think your child is walking ‘funny’?
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  • Are they walking on their tip-toes, do their toes point inwards (pigeon-toed), do they have flat feet, do their knees point inwards or are their ankles rolling in (or out)?
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  • Do they look different to other children their age when walking or running?
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  • Have your child’s shoes worn through quickly or unevenly?
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    If you or your child answered “Yes” to any of these questions, a thorough foot check is the first step to getting them back to their best. Help your child get off on the right foot; ready to tackle whatever comes their way!

    Call Feetology Podiatry Centre on (07) 3820 6326 to secure an appointment with one of our friendly podiatrists or you can book online.

     
     
     

    4 Tips to Prevent Overuse Running Injuries

    Caleigh Crick's running tricks

    We all train for different reasons: to keep fit, to increase the distance we are able to run, to perform PB’s with our races – long or short, or to be able to compete in a number of different racing platforms. I am sure whatever category you fall into, we all want to achieve one thing – reach our goal injury free.

    There are clever training tips and shoe advice that can aid with this goal when it comes to running training.

    We find that a lot of injuries occur because of repetitive stress – when soft tissue (muscle, tendon) is loaded incorrectly and repetitively. This creates increased force over a joint, tendon or ligament for prolonged periods and ultimately can cause these structures to start to fail.

    So how do we stop this repetitive force from ruining your run:
     

    Changing speeds

    Throw in some sprint training into your runs. Mix up a long distance run with Fartlek interval training, which will also help with stamina. Or take yourself to a track and focus purely on interval training.
     

    Change your route

    If you continually run the same route it means you’re continually running that same road at the same camber, and that same hill at the same time in the course of your run. This means your are undergoing the same force patterning for every time you run that route
     

    Change surfaces

    Do you swap the surface you run on? Or do you continually run on the bitchumen, or the pavement, or the grass, or sand even? Studies have found that trail runners experience less repetitive stress runners than other runners? Why? Because their terrain changes all the time and therefore the force input.
     

    Change your shoes

    Taking all the above into account, changing shoes for your different training scenarios also makes sense. If you are constantly in the one pair of shoes your force input and loading is continually the same. Look at a thicker midsole, higher heel height, long distance shoe for getting the miles under your belt. A smaller, lighter weight, reduced heel stack racing shoe for your faster runs/speed work.

     
    Need help on which shoes to look at for your different training needs that will meet the above principles? Come and see us at Feetology Podiatry Centre. We look at your gait/running style on our Video Gait Analysis System to assess what shoes suits your unique running style and training needs.
     
    Caleigh Crick has 14 years of experience in paediatric and biomechanical podiatry, having worked in paediactric specialist clinics and multidisciplinary sports practices here and in the UK. She loves keeping people moving and returning them to the activity they love doing pain free.
     
    Request Appointment
     
     

    What is happening to running shoe design?

    Modern Shoes

    In recent times, there have been big changes in how running shoes are constructed. This has been driven by two things, a better understanding of the running gait and consumer demand for change. These new shoes challenge the old model of shoe selection, and is causing quite a bit of confusion amongst the public.

    Nearly all brands are trying to lower shoe weight, and are doing so through changing the materials the shoe is made from. What’s the benefit? Well lowering weight according to newton’s law lower’s force. It is thought that lower forces means a decrease in stress on the tissue resulting in fewer injuries.

     

    Sole Unit

    The material the sole of the shoe is made from has for most companies always been EVA. They are still sticking with EVA as material for shoe soles but making big changes to formulations – making it lighter and changing the energy return properties of the EVA. The durability has increased so much that some companies are even moving away from the rubber outer soles, saving even more weight.

     

    Midsole

    Midsole shape is changing – we’re starting to see more midsole touching the ground, which increases stability without having to add increased density (weight). The thickness of the midsole is changing with some companies increasing midsole thickness so that there is little difference between heel height and forefoot height (like the Hoka). Lot’s of companies are playing around with the drop between heel and toe and listening to market feedback.

     

    Uppers

    You may have noticed that the uppers (the material part of the shoe) have drastically started changing. Companies are playing around with new-sew technology and engineered meshes. The result is an upper that has the comfort of a well fitting sock and some impressive colours and textures.

     

    What Now?

    With all these changes emerging in the footwear field it can lead to confusion with choosing the right shoe. How do you know what the right shoe is? Especially when what you are wearing now isn’t working anymore? Well that is the topic for my next blog.

    But if you cant wait, you can always give us a call at the clinic and we can line you up with some expert advice from one of our podiatrists on the best footwear for you.

     
     

    Does your child have flat feet?

    Child Flat Feet

    We find many parents are concerned about the appearance of their child’s feet, especially when it comes to a foot that appears very flat. Many doctors will tell parents that their child will grow out of flat feet and discourage treatment. And for some this is correct, however in my 15 years of treating 100’s of children, I have found that lot do not.

    So when is it appropriate to be concerned and when is it appropriate to seek treatment?

    Well if you ever have concerns then you should seek advice from someone who looks and treats children’s feet everyday. It is far better to learn there is nothing to worry about than regret that you never took your child to be assessed.

    Our Podiatrists are skilled with being able to assess a child’s foot and determine the appropriateness of treatment. In most cases if the child’s flat foot is causing pain or causing developmental delays (delays in gross motor skill milestones, balance etc), then it is treated. If there is no pain but the foot does not sit within the parameters of what is considered normal for that age group then it is monitored – ie watch and wait, or it is treated simply and with discretion. If the foot has a normal appearance for their age group and not causing any issues then the podiatrist will be able to put your mind at ease identify it as such and give general advice.

    Contact us now to have your child checked by one of our experienced podiatrists.

    Children’s Heel Pain

    Children's heel pain

    Children’s heel pain

    Does your child experience heel pain when playing sport or running?

    Are they able to stay on the field for the whole match or are they missing out on game time due to their sore feet?

    Children’s heel pain can be quite debilitating for your child and heavily impact on their ability to participate and play to their full potential. Quite often this pain occurs during a match or as soon as they start to run. Once the pain becomes chronic (has been present for a long time) then it can even occur with long periods of walking and also can be very painful the next morning after sport matches/running.

    If this sounds familiar to you then maybe your child has an issue that can be treated by one of our podiatrists. Call us or request an appointment today. Or read on to find out about one of the most common causes of heel pain in children that we see in our clininc.
     

    What is Sever’s Disease?

    The most common causes of children’s heel pain that we see in the clinic is a condition caused Sever’s Disease. This is when there is excessive pulling of your achilles tendon on the growth plate at the back of your heel, resulting in swelling, inflammation and pain.
     

    Who gets Sever’s Disease?

    It occurs in active (soccer playing/footballing/netballing type) children between the ages of 9 and 13. It occurs more commonly in boys – although we do see plenty of girls with this as well.

     

    What factors contribute to getting Sever’s Disease?

    Your child’s foot and leg functions combined with a high level of activity can lead to extra loading on the heel bone. Other factors like footwear and flexibility can contribute and will be assessed as part of your child’s treatment.

     

    How can it be treated?

    Resting and anti-inflammatories do help with pain reduction, but as a mother of two boys I know how hard it is to get children to ‘rest’, especially in the middle of soccer or football season! We have effective treatment that allow many of our patients to continue with their sport, with minimal to no down time.

    Our treatments start with an assessment of how your child is moving, not just the feet but the whole body. Appropriate stretches and exercise are given and often orthotics (special arch supports) are used to correct foot alignment that can be contributing to the pain.
     

    So remember, if your children’s heel pain is impacting on their budding sports career, come and have them assessed by one of our podiatrists. They may well have a very treatable issue and could be back on the sports field in no time! Call us or request an appointment today.