The Importance Of Well Fitting Footwear
Well fitting footwear fulfils three main functions, it protects our feet, it makes it possible for us to walk wherever we want regardless of the terrain and it makes it comfortable for us to stand or be active on our feet for longer periods of time. Well fitting shoes should make you make you feel more comfortable with no negative health impact. Poorly fitting shoes can impact on our health, our feet and our general well being. Wearing ill-fitting shoes for long periods can cause long term problems for the entire body.
The right shoe will cushion and support your foot – shoes don’t reduce the impact of walking or other activities, what they do is make it take longer to spread so the body has time to adjust and prepare. It will support help keep your foot properly aligned which helps with posture and gait.
If your shoes do not fit well any physical activity, even a gentle stroll, will put strain on your feet, ankles, lower leg, up through the pelvic girdle to the spine and beyond. If you are more active you open yourself up to shin splints, achilles tendon problems, not to mention corns, bunions, bruising and ingrown toenails.
If you have health problems that impact on your feet, such as diabetes, then well fitting shoes are even more important as even the slightest damage to your feet can cause serious problems.
Our feet change in both size and shape throughout life, so it is wise to have your feet measured each time you buy shoes, particularly as different manufacturers will have slightly different measurements.
Every shoe will be subject to variations such as:-
- Where they were made
- The materials used
- The design
- The Last on which they are made
- The construction method used
A fitting gauge is a guide to the shoe fitter – not a measurement of your foot because every foot is different – your feet will most likely be different lengths and widths. A professionally qualified fitter will know all about the shoes they sell and be able to guide you to the right pair for you. There is no substitute for having your shoes correctly fitted, allowing a professional to assess the right style, size, fitting, and make sure the shoes are fit for the purpose.
A qualified fitter will make sure that there is sufficient space for your foot and that there is no pressure or rubbing, that your heel is properly cupped with no slipping and that your foot is properly supported. It is a fallacy that shoes will ‘stretch to fit’, they won’t. You should buy shoes that are comfortable the minute you put them on.