Article written by Dr.Ritu Chauhan, Practitioner Orthofit
“The things we enjoy aren’t always the things that are good for us.”
The combination of muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments working together to produce movement in the body is known as biomechanics. It is important to know your biomechanical gait and posture because it is never identical to others, hence it becomes necessary to know about your biomechanics to choose the right footwear.
Feet are your foundation and if they are out of alignment, your body has to compensate. When you are active, these little mal-alignments will lead to issues later on. That is why having a good footwear is important to prevent experiencing pain from the bottom of your feet, all the way up your spine.
How does wrong shoe affect alignment?
- Most shoes like flip-flops have no arch support and as a result could cause more strain on the foot arches and soft tissues that can lead to plantar fasciitis. This lack of support can also cause trouble with your knees, hips, and back.
- Slip-on shoes without laces fail to provide the control and stability to the foot and ankle structure leading to overuse of the muscles and ligaments, and gradually injuries and deformities.
- The bottoms of the flat ballerina are so thin that wearing this shoe is akin to walking around on a piece of cardboard. The absolute lack of support with this kind of shoe could leave you experiencing plantar fasciitis, knee, hip, and back pain.
- High-heels shift your body weight to the balls of your feet. Having your feet in this position puts a lot of unnatural pressure on your foot and causes a balance problem by re-aligning the position of your knees and hips.
- Pointy dress shoes due to the lack of toe space can lead to serious foot conditions like bunions, hammertoes, Morton’s neuroma (nerve compression) and some permanent deformity of the foot.
Solution to this problem ?
The best solution for this problem is to get aware of your biomechanical alignment and for that there are podiatrist who specialise into gait and posture analysis and guide you through your condition and treatment.
Shoes are an important part of maintaining or correcting the biomechanics of the body. This includes the size of the foot, measured as per 3-dimensions-length, width and height, and the type of shoe depending on the nature of work or activity.
In many cases the quality of your shoe and the complete alignment of your body can be improved with custom foot orthotics which can be customised by the podiatrist.
How to choose the correct footwear?
- No give in the outer heel counter
- The heel should feel stable to you while walking or running
- The sole should bend easily at the widest part of the forefoot and not further back on the shoe
- Firmness in the sole to the ball of the foot
- Feeling the arch of the shoe with your foot- if not, a custom foot orthotic can be used
- You should have the ability to push off of the big toe while walking or running
- There should not be any heel play in the shoes while walking
- Heel height should be symmetrical for high arch foot. For flatfoot or severely reduced arch the heel height on the inner side of the shoe can be slightly higher than the outer side.
- A lace-up or velcro shoe is preferable to provide control and stability to the ankle and foot joint.
In case of any pain, discomfort of deformity regarding your biomechanical alignment, see a podiatrist before buying the next pair of shoes.