The New York City marathon is just a month away, and anyone training for it knows the important link between heel pain and footwear. If your feet are bothering you, the first place to look is your shoes. Poorly fitting footwear can cause a number of problems, from plantar fasciitis to metatarsalgia.
The first thing to know is what kind of foot type you have. Many people don’t know if they have flat feet or high arches, but this is good information to know. You can do this at home by taking the “wet test.” Simply put your foot in some water and then step on to a brown piece of paper. Notice how much of the middle part of your foot is present. If you can see about half your arch on the paper, you have a normal foot type. If you can see the whole thing, you have flat feet. If the connection between your heel and toes is extremely thin or even missing, you have high arches. Finding shoes that offer the support you need, where you need it is a crucial part of wearing properly fitting shoes and staying comfortable.
There are a few things to keep in mind in order to avoid heel pain in walking shoes. Your arches need to be supported. You can find shoes that do this, or get a custom-made orthotic to put into footwear that you already have. You will want a heel that is slightly raised so that your heel itself isn’t taking the brunt of the force from walking or running. Make sure the fit is good on all sides. The soles should be shock-absorbent, the sides should be rigid to keep your foot from flopping from side to side, and the heel counters need to offer support. Also remember that shoes that are ideal for running may not be ideal for daily activities. You need to switch them out for the activity you will be doing.
For more information on figuring out your footwear, call Dr. Mark Gasparini at (516) 804-9038 to schedule an appointment in our Massapequa, NY office.
Photo Credit: Sura Nualpradid via FreeDigitalPhotos.net