Choosing the right shoes to support your feet and maximise performance

Did you know that depending on your foot type there are certain features you should be looking for in shoes? Which of the following foot types do you have?

  1. Flat feet (pronator)
  2. High arches (supinator), or
  3. Neutral arches

Supinators require a shoe that stops the foot rolling outward and provides additional cushioning.

Pronators require additional support to the arch to stop the foot rolling inward.

Specialty shoe stores may be able to give you an overview of your foot mechanics while your Podiatrist can give you an in depth understanding of your foot type, gait and biomechanics that will help you understand how to look after your feet and the best category of shoe for you.

Is your foot flexible or rigid?

Stability in a shoe is gained through a supportive heel counter (a small insert) that does not bend when pushed downward and a firm shank that does not twist or bend through the middle of the sole.

Your shoe should cup your heel and hold your forefoot securely in place to support the foot and reduce movement of your foot within the shoe which may potentially cause stress on your feet.

Evaluate your current shoes. What shoes are you currently wearing? Are they right for your feet? How did they wear and support your foot? Do you need to look at a shoe with different features?

As hard it as it may be, do not buy a shoe for brand, colour, or comfort alone! A shoe should support your foot type for maximum benefit and to help avoid injury.

Test drive any new model of shoe in store, or you may be able to take them home and trial them further indoors. Check with your shoe retailer on their return policy.

Choosing a shoe for you

Do not guess your shoe size and have your feet measured – width and length.

As shoes are not necessarily made as a pair, check the shoe for any manufacturing errors or inconsistencies that may alter your foot function and potentially result in irritation.

Shoes should fit comfortably as soon as you buy them, and they should not require a “wear-in” period.

Organising for a podiatry appointment

When you visit our podiatrists for an assessment, bring along a pair of current and well-worn footwear, socks, and any shoe inserts/orthotics you currently use. This provides important information for a thorough podiatric assessment.

Our Podiatry team will analyse your walking pattern (gait) and inform and educate you on your exact foot type to assist you in shoe selection and to avoid injuries- and blisters!.

If you require further or personalised information on this topic, please call our clinic to make an appointment to see one of our expert Podiatrists 03 9880 2337.