San Francisco Podiatrist – Footwear

Supportive, properly sized footwear is important for all ages and feet at all stages of health. Each individual has unique footwear needs. A child’s growing foot requires frequent sizing and upgrades to allow the foot to develop unrestricted. Parents should seek shoes with a firm heel, insole cushioning and arch support. The foot flexes at the ball behind the toes, and so should a good shoe. There should be a space between the end of the toe and the end of the shoe, about the width of the thumb. Children should try on shoes with socks, while standing and walk a short distance to check for pressure or other discomforts. It is important to choose shoes that will not slip off during activity, a frequent factor contributing to sprains and fractures.

Popular women’s footwear is not surprisingly the cause of a multitude of foot and ankle issues. Women should consider lower heels built for support and walking, as heels taller than two inches contribute to posture problems. It is also wise to alternate wear of pumps with laced walking shoes, which provide more padding and better support. Men should wear comfortable shoes with cushioned soles. Those working outdoors or in hazardous conditions should wear safe and protective footwear. Steel-toed or waterproof boots should be worn when needed to prevent injury. Men and women should both be careful to pair the proper shoes with their various activities. Work, exercise, leisure – all may require different support. Athletic shoes should fit in the manner most conducive to the natural movement of the activity. They should be supportive of the foot and ankle and not used past an average amount of wear and tear.