Stepping into Spring (with your best shoes on)

From Your Head to Your Toes

Stepping into Spring Footwear

Osteopaths care about all of you, from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.

It’s now almost time to pop those trusty winter boots away and to step into lighter footwear – thank goodness!

It can be really tempting to go for less supportive footwear. However this is often not the best environment for our feet, especially if feet are sore/arthritic/suffering from an injury.

I always look at my patients’ shoes, it tells me so much about them biomechanically.

I can get an insight into how they walk, weight-bear and if they weight-bear equally through their legs. You can tell a lot from looking at your shoes. From checking if one shoe is more worn than the other. As well as if the shoe is right for them, for example, is the shoe is fitting correctly?

All feet are different, some people have high arches, some people have flat arches, some people have narrow feet, others wide. What all feet have in common is that they are an incredible biomechanical structure. 26 bones, lots of ligaments, taking the weight of the body all day & absorbing ground force as we move.

So, with this in mind it is only fair that we give our feet a good environment to work in. Wearing the ‘wrong shoe’ or unsupportive shoes can lead to a host of problems throughout the body, This includes foot, knee, and lower back pain, and muscles in the legs getting tight and sore. The consequences can be far reaching.

I remember a long time ago one of my elderly patients said to me that he was advised by his father, (so we are going back some here).

“Never skimp on footwear or mattresses, because if you’re not in one, you’re on the other”.

My Top Tips for Footwear

Active Footwear

There is an absolutely overwhelming amount of choice/information about what is ‘right’ for your feet. When it comes to trainers, I recommend getting them properly fitted in a sports’ shop, where your gait, how you walk and weight-bear, can be properly assessed.

Wearing the wrong trainers on your feet for sports can predispose you to injury. Those aesthetically pleasing models may not be feet-pleasing. Choose what is right for your feet not your eyes!

Office Footwear

This is a big one. High heels, especially a stiletto heel, are just hideous for feet.

Our weight is thrown forwards causing the muscles at the back of the body to shorten and become tight. This in turn can cause lower back pain as the joints sit closer together. Even sitting in heels causes the calf muscles to shorten as well as the Achilles tendon, which can lead to a lot of ankle dysfunction. Likewise for the super tiny very flat shoes, they have no sole so their ability to help shock absorb is zero.

Out and about Footwear

Trainers or a trainer type shoes are best.

As the weather warms it is tempting to reach for those flip flops, but walking in flip flops for a period of time is really hard work for your body. Your toes have to slightly scrunch to keep the flip flop in place. Flip flops have no shock absorption at all, so all the ground forces go straight into the ankle and knee. This can be a real problem. Especially in the older foot, but also for the younger foot, as well as predisposing it to plantar fasciitis (pain in the sole of the foot).

Further Information

Please choose your summer footwear wisely.

Want to ask any further questions on what footwear is best for you. Or you would like more information about how Osteopathy can help you, please visit:

Always happy to help you.

For more from Kibworth Osteopaths, please also see:

Emily Coombes (BOst)

Registered Osteopath (7416)