Shoes and Orthotics
The shoe is the interface between your foot and the ground. Your foot has the responsibility to support the rest of your body! A lot depends on the alignment of your foot and the quality of your shoes.
Do your shoes qualify as good footwear?
- Bends where the forefoot meets the base of the toes.
- Has a sturdy heel cup to support and connect your heel to the shoe complex.
- Demonstrates stiffness in torsion. That is, it should not be easily twisted
- The heel should be no higher than 1.5 inches.
A normal wearing pattern of the sole of your shoe from walking starts from the middle to outside of the heel and moves toward to the middle of your forefoot.
When do I need orthotics?
- When examining your shoes you notice unequal wear. Like the tires of a car, your shoes wear and tear will reflect your alignment. If you don’t already have foot problems, you may eventually experience it.
- When examining your feet you may have a high, medium, low or no arch in a non-weight bearing position which is all fine. The problem is if you notice that when weight-bearing your arch flattens.
- If you have foot or heel pain.
- If you have loose ligaments from previous ankle and foot injuries.
- If you are standing most of the day, especially on hard surfaces.
Orthotics control the damaging forces by creating proper alignment. By correcting foot and ankle alignment, the ground forces are properly distributed up through the knees, hips, pelvis and low back.
When buying shoes be sure to try on many shoes as possible. Try on one shoe from one pair and a different shoe on the other foot and compare the comfort and support. Shoes should be easy to put on and be immediately comfortable. Take your time with this process and bring your orthotics if you have them.
If you have foot and lower body problems that persist regardless of having good shoes, you may need orthotics, custom made or off the shelf, depending on your specialist’s recommendations.
Dr. Ron Green is available for chiropractic assessments and treatments at Pacific Wellness on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Dr. Green can prescribe orthotics to chiropractic patients. Many employee benefits plans cover the cost of orthotics. For coverage details and requirements check with your insurance provider.