Wearing good supportive shoes can be the difference between pleasure and pain for many patients. It’s important to remember that even if you do wear good supportive shoes they have a limited lifespan. Podiatrists agree that shoes should be replaced every 300 – 500 miles, or every 6 months for the average American. If you wear the same pair of shoes every day then you may need to replace them more often than that. Below are some signs that it may be time for a new pair.
Excessive Sole Wear – Take a good look at the sole of the shoes, is the tread worn down? If you see a lack of definition in the treads then it’s time to replace them. Many running shoes are constructed with different color foams, so when you see another color poking through the sole it’s a sure sign that it’s time for a new pair.
Blisters, Corns & Calluses – All of these are signs of excessive rubbing, which indicated that the shoe is too small. Try buying your next pair from a running shoes store or your local podiatrist, both have individuals trained to fit you with the perfect shoe for you foot. Make sure they measure both the length and width of your feet for a perfect fit.
Arch Pain – This problem is frequently caused by shoes that fit too loosely. If your shoes are too big and don’t provide support throughout the arches, the muscles in your feet tighten with each step to keep your arch up, a job that your shoe should be doing for you. This constant tightening of the muscles can lead to tendon issues, such as plantar fasciitis.
Slipping Shoes Off and On – If you can slip into and out of your shoes without lacing them it is a sign that the heel counter is worn out. The heel counter is the part at the back of the shoe that wraps around the back of the ankle. When it is snuggly fit it helps provide stability for the ankle. The heel counter is often the first part of a shoe to wear down, because many people slip their feet out of their shoes without untying them first. This causes the heel counter to break down rapidly, so take the extra couple of second to untie your shoes if you want them to last.
If you notice any of these signs it’s a good idea to get a new pair of supportive shoes as soon as you can. If you are having regular pain in your feet and ankles then it’s time to call your local podiatrist.