Supportive, well-fitting footwear plays a vital role in keeping people mobile and pain free. However wearing appropriate shoes is sometimes not enough for people with certain foot conditions and foot types. If you have a foot or toe deformity, a complicated or severe foot injury, extremely wide bunions, an open sore, or a neurological disease that affects your feet you may require orthopaedic shoes.
Orthopaedic shoes are shoes that are specifically designed to support or accommodate the mechanics and structure of the foot, ankle and leg and they have a number of medically beneficial features and functions that separate them from everyday footwear. The more abnormal your foot mechanics are the more likely you will require orthopaedic shoes.
Orthopaedic shoes have a number of features, including:
- torsionally strong, well-rockered midsole and outsole. This means the sole doesn’t twist easily and is rounded to help you walk normally
- removable sock liners. Many people who require orthopaedic shoes also need custom orthotics. A removable sock liner provides the space required to accommodate an orthotic
- are available in a variety of widths and shapes to ensure they properly fit a variety of foot shapes
- a firm heel counter
As people age, parts of their body begin to break down, so often older people require orthopaedic shoes. However, orthopaedic shoes aren’t just for seniors. Poor foot mechanics affect people of all ages so orthopaedic shoes are often recommended for young people too. Fortunately, orthopaedic shoes have come a long way from the clunky, black styles of years past. Today, there are a number of relatively stylish options available for people of all ages and fashion tastes.
If you think you may benefit from orthopaedic footwear, book a consultation with a Canadian Certified Pedorthist. The Pedorthist will conduct a full assessment of your lower limbs and tell you if orthopaedic shoes will help you. The Pedorthist will also measure your feet properly and let you know which orthopaedic features are required for your foot type and condition. Just because a shoe is classified as “orthopaedic” does not guarantee it will be the same quality and provide the same benefits as other orthopaedic shoes. A Canadian Certified Pedorthist will provide you with all the advice you need so you can select the shoes that will benefit you the most, so you can remain mobile and pain free.
By Graham Archer, C. Ped Tech (C), C. Ped (C), Surrey, BC