October 30th 2014

Pedorthist David Fischer Pedorthist David Fischer tells us how to ensure our boots are made for walking... You did your best diligently picking out the most comfortable walking/hiking shoes, only to find that after a few hours of wearing you were feeling pressure, pinching, blisters forming or downright pain. How can this be prevented? Finding the most comfortable, functional and good looking walking/hiking shoes can be a challenge! Other than common knowledge around fitting shoes properly there’s a key ingredient that is often overlooked, and that is how the foot functions inside the shoe. The answer lies 'in' the shoe. Every foot, even on the same body, bends, rotates, flexes and moves differently throughout the gait cycle. These movements create friction, pressures and stress on the foot and up the lower kinetic chain into the ankle, knee, hip and back. Addressing the mechanical foot abnormalities with off-the-shelf inserts or custom foot orthotics has been proven to reduce the forces inside the shoe. Removing the standard insoles and replacing them with pre-molded inserts or custom made orthotics can decrease your risk of discomfort. Which one is best for my feet? As a rule of thumb, the flexible, flatter arch feet that drop in toward the midline of the body when standing (pronation) do best with firmer, more controlling devices. Stiffer, higher arch feet that roll out when standing (supination) require softer, more cushioned devices. Your retailer will allow you to try different inserts in the same boots. Take your time walking around for a few minutes to get a good feel of each insert. Whichever pair feels the best in the store, usually is the best one for you. If you have a history of foot, knee, hip or lower back pain, it would be wise to consult your healthcare professional to determine if you would benefit from wearing custom made foot orthotics. Prescription orthotics may help relieve your pain by realigning and stabilizing the bones in your feet, restoring your natural walking pattern. With the addition of proper inserts or orthotic devices, you’ll not only create greater comfort and reduction of injury, but also have a much larger selection of shoes to choose from.....even the ones your eyes admire. David Fischer has been a Board Certified Pedorthist for over 35 years.  When he’s not hiking the arroyo’s of Santa Fe, NM, he’s consulting people online with issues concerning their walking comfort.  He can be reached at [email protected]

Download: PDF Document.
Print: Press CTRL+P or click here to print.

Next Post  →