We place emphasis on the protection of eyes, hands, hair and skin. Do we ever think about our foot? Well, the research works say that there is a significant relationship between the type of footwear we use and the foot type and alignment. This claim is strengthened by the report of Bureau of Labor Statistics which states that wearing wrong footwear results in 44.5 million injuries worldwide. Thus, it can be concluded that right footwear play a substantial role in injury prevention.
Impact of Shoes on Our Body
Shoes affect our feet, ankles, calf, and joints. If shoes are inappropriate, such as too loose, tight or short, then the physical actions of body may cause discomfort, ultimately leading to pain and injuries. A painful foot creates uneasiness in the whole body. The common injuries caused by wearing improper shoes are:
- Heel inflammation
- Hammer toes
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Stress Fractures
- Back injuries.
Heels. Heels may make you look attractive and boost your confidence. However, they are not good for foot health. Studies suggest that wearing heels restrict natural movement of the foot and create stress on toes and calf muscle fibers (practo.com).
Pointe shoes. Pointe shoes are used by ballet dancers. These shoes impose plantar pressure on the foot and cause potential injury risk. Hence, their use must be limited to dance practices (Pearson & Whitaker, 2012).
Converse-style Sneakers. Converse shoes are made of flexible material and hence they provide cushioning and shock absorption. However, they lack arch support due to which they causes foot problems such as heel inflammation, tendonitis and fractures (Lukoff 2019).
Flip-Flops. Flip-Flops lack both arch support and cushioning, which makes them good-for-nothing shoes. They may cause infinite foot issues, such as heel inflammation, strains and fractures (Lukoff 2019).
Rainboots. Rainboots may keep your feet dry but can serve as a medium for the growth of bacteria and fungi. Additionally, they cause stress on calf and lower legs. Rainboots reportedly cause “bacterial and fungal infections, wart viruses and blisters” (Lukoff 2019).
Choosing the Right Shoes
As they say, prevention is better than cure. Choosing the right shoes help prevent foot injuries. Consider the following points while buying the shoes.
- Always buy shoes that best suit your foot type and alignment.
- Always wear, walk, and check comfort level before buying.
- While choosing shoes make sure there is space between your toe and shoes to allow your toes to move freely inside.
- Always check out the quality of materials used and examine the shoe soles.
- Avoid buying high heels and flip-flops.
The shoes must be lightweight and must have cushioning and provide support for shock absorption.
It is important to consider the body mechanism while choosing shoes. Improper fit and inflexible shoes may cause discomfort to foot which may make the whole body uncomfortable. Apart from discomfort, improper shoes may lead to a number of health issues in lower legs and muscles. Therefore, it is advisable to identify the foot type and choose comfortable and well-cushioned shoes to protect your feet and health.