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It’s important to learn how to care for your spine and joint health early on, and choosing the right footwear is a big step in the right direction. With so many shoe choices on the market, it can be confusing to know how to choose the right pair for different activities. The experts at AdventHealth want to help ensure your spine and joint health is protected during all of life’s moments.
Do you need to invest in expensive, specialized shoes and inserts? The short answer is no. The longer answer is sometimes — if they're needed. The most important thing is to have the right shoes for the activity and to make sure they fit correctly, experts say.
Humans were made to walk barefoot. Most of the time when a patient comes in to our offices with pain or discomfort in the legs and back, it is due to improper footwear. It’s important to check the state of your shoes often, as nine out of 10 times, they’re worn out.
When to Replace Your Shoes
The reason that many shoe sponsorships go to basketball players is because they wear so many of them. Ideally, basketball players should rotate four or five pairs of basketball shoes because one pair with regular use generally only lasts about a week, according to AdventHealth specialists.
In general, shoes wear out long before people stop wearing them. If your shoe has a permanent imprint from your foot on the insole, it’s time to get a new pair. Or if the heel is permanently creased, they're also done and it’s time to get new ones.
The Right Shoes for the Job
Other times, there are patients who experience leg and back pain even though their shoes are in good shape. The problem here could be because they're not wearing the right shoes for the activities they're involved in. Running shoes are great for running, but wearing them to play basketball, lift weights or stand on your feet all day could lead to pain.
If someone is at the gym doing cardio on the treadmill but then goes to lift weights, they should always change shoes. Running shoes don't offer the hard-soled, no arch support style for balance while lifting weights. If you’re accustom to standing in place for long periods of time — such has having a job like a line cook, sales clerk or a surgeon — you should wear a clog type shoe that has arch support, rocker-bottom soles and heel elevation that eases strain on leg and back muscles.
Find Your True Shoe Size
AdventHealth experts agree that taking the time to find the best shoe size and width for you will help prevent problems and discomfort down the road. A common problem in a lot of patients is not wearing the proper size shoes. To help prevent this, next time you're at the shoe store, get the metal foot measurer and find out your true size.
Sometimes people who have wide feet don't have wide shoes. More troubling are the companies that advertise as offering wide shoes, but all they've done is add more fabric or leather to the sides, not making the sole any bigger. Experts suggest those with wide feet try sneaker brands such as New Balance, Asics or Saucony. Runners should buy a half size up from their actual measurement to allow for toe spread while running. Otherwise, everyone should be buying their correct size.
For more information about proper footwear or if you're experiencing lower back pain, please visit with one of our specialists at AdventHealth.