Feet are a part of our body that we do not always pay the attention it deserves, and we forget that the health of our joints depends largely on our feet. Despite this, we tend to get carried away by fashion or aesthetics and end up buying inappropriate footwear that in many cases far from doing us good, ends up causing serious damage to our health.
Dr. Joaquin Mir, Podiatrist and Medical Director at Clínica Mir in La Línea de la Concepción (Cádiz), reminds us that wearing inappropriate footwear can cause foot deformities such as bunions, hammertoes or tailor’s bunionette, but can also cause pathologies in other structures such as Morton’s neuroma, alterations in the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia, onychocryptosis (ingrown toenail) among others.
Not wearing the right footwear for our feet can cause ankle instabilities if they have a bad design, toe deformities if the toe cap is too narrow, sweating alterations when wearing material that does not transpire properly, etc.
How to choose a good shoe?
An important detail when choosing footwear is to choose the right size. For this, the doctor advises to buy the shoes in the afternoon, since it is the time of the day when the foot is more dilated and we will not choose one that is too tight. It is also advisable to try on several sizes, as sizing may vary from one brand to another.
But in addition to these tips, we must not forget the quality of the materials, as it is important to have adequate breathability and durability. Sometimes, we get lost in the aesthetics and we are not able to see beyond, putting our feet at risk just to be fashionable.
Remember that first and foremost, footwear must be comfortable and for this it is important that you look for a shoe that is flexible at the toe joints (metatarsophalangeal joints) to allow the foot to take off correctly during walking.
What about heels?
If we are looking for high-heeled shoes, we must also take into account a series of characteristics. Dr. Mir advises that the heel should measure around 2-3 cm and should not be too narrow, especially in older people, so that they do not have instability that could cause them to fall. The use of excessively high heels (more than 3cm) can cause shortening at the level of the calves and will excessively transfer the loads to the metatarsal area (pad) producing pain in this area (metatarsalgia).
Another aspect to take into account is the sole of the shoe. When used on wet surfaces, they should be sufficiently slip-resistant.
What are the health implications of using inappropriate footwear for sports?
For the practice of each sport, specific footwear must be used for that purpose, since the design and characteristics will be adapted to the technical gestures of each sport, which will be very different from each other. For example, it is not advisable to use a running shoe to play paddle tennis, since the gestures are different.