It is a shame how much we take our feet for granted. While we are enjoying the fresh air on a morning run or having fun on the basketball court with friends, they suffer the jarring impact that comes with every step and jump. Most people are unaware, but feet can endure a force approximately 150% of our bodyweight just while walking. That number jumps when we start talking about running and other high-impact activities.
Given all they do for us, it’s important that we return the favor and do something for them – protect them in footwear that is activity-appropriate and provides ample cushioning and support. This means you should know how to buy shoes that work best for your feet. Our professionals at Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle, LLC, are dedicated to helping you find the pairs you need for optimal safety and comfort.
What do my feet say about my health?
When you come in for your appointment, be sure to bring along a pair of your old shoes. By analyzing the wear patterns on them, Dr. Evan Merrill can form a more comprehensive diagnosis for you. The way in which they wear down depends heavily on your natural gait and is often indicative of certain foot conditions. Pressure that is unevenly distributed across the foot will wear down the sole in different places based upon the cause of the problem.
We can see how force on your foot is diffused over the sole by examining your footprint. By viewing the profile of the foot striking the ground, our experienced staff will be able to discern pronation and arch problems in patients. If a condition is identified, our office might prescribe corrective shoes to return the foot structure to a normal state.
How do I find the right shoe for me?
Patients don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort! There are many specialized brands designed to prevent injury to the feet. Many people also think they will be limited to wearing only sandals and athletic shoes to prevent irritating an existing foot condition. However, the options available for functional, stylish footwear are actually quite numerous when you know exactly what to look for.
It’s often beneficial to familiarize patients with the anatomy of a shoe. This means knowing the individual working pieces and how they affect the feet, which can then allow patients to make better decisions in their future purchases.
Once Dr. Merrill has diagnosed the best shoe type and style for your condition, it’s time to find the right fit. This includes ensuring there is room in the front (toes should be able to wiggle, there needs to be a thumb’s width of space between the front and longest toe), the heel is firmly cradled, and you can slide your index finger down the back of the heel up to the second knuckle. If you have any questions regarding fit, our office will be happy to assist.
Shoes to Suit Your Lifestyle
What you wear on your feet will depend, in no small part, on your lifestyle choices. If your job requires you to handle heavy items on a frequent basis, then you should wear safety shoes or steel-toed work boots. Spend your free time running? Then you need a sturdy pair of running shoes that fit correctly and work with your particular pronation style. Remember, once they are worn out—roughly 500 miles of running—it’s time to replace them!
Shoe Buying Assistance in Southern Oregon
Feet are as unique as the fingerprints on your hands – they can even be very different from one another on the same person. Your lifestyle and who you are influences the types of stress and pressure your feet are likely to undergo on a daily basis. Dr. Merrill always takes each patient’s daily needs and concerns into consideration when diagnosing the best treatment.
Now that you know about choosing the right footwear, the next step is to contact our Medford office at (541) 776-3338 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Merrill. Find the cause and solution for your foot pain problem with Southern Oregon Foot & Ankle today.