Choosing the right shoes for your feet is an important part of your health. With the right shoe, you can encourage development, stay comfortable, and avoid injuries. Here are some tips for choosing shoes for common needs:
Once your child begins to walk, it’s time to make sure that they have the right feet for their needs, especially for outside use. Since your child grows quickly, shoes will need to be replaced often (usually every few months). Look for shoes that are specially designed for children, and are not just adult shoes in a shrunken size. Shoes that are not the proper width and length can lead to developmental issues. The top of the shoe should not press on the toes, and the toe boxes should be rounded to allow for movement. Look for lightweight shoes that have mesh materials to allow for breathing, because children’s feet sweat heavily. Avoid shoes with heels or arch supports.
If you are an athlete, you will likely need a specific shoe for your activity. The right shoe for you can vary widely according to the type of sport you participate in. For example, basketball shoes should have extra ankle support to allow for side to side movements without injury. It is best to ask your foot doctor or visit an athletic footwear store in order to choose the shoe that is best for you in terms of size, shape, and comfort. In general, you will be looking for athletic shoes that provide a lot of support to all areas of your foot. Remember to replace your athletic shoes after the shoe begins to show signs of uneven wear.
The elderly have unique shoe needs as well. With age comes the increased risk of slips and falls, which can lead to broken bones and serious injuries. There are also many foot conditions that develop with age that can contribute to fall risk. In the senior years, the arches begin to flatten and the curls can start to curl. Shoes should be the correct size with plenty of room and should have thin, wide, and steady soles as opposed to loose shoes or slippery soles. Shoes should be worn everywhere.
Keep in mind that your foot doctor can help you choose the right shoe for every need, especially if your needs are unique. In many cases, using custom orthotics in addition to properly fitting shoes can be beneficial for many injuries, conditions, and activities.