It’s the New Year and along with ushering in a new season many of us have the New Year’s resolution to be active and get more exercise. One of the things that can hold you back is pain, especially foot pain.
The foot is a complicated combination of muscles and joints that all need to work together every time you take a step, run or jump. If your feet hurt it literally hurts with every step you take!
The good news is one of the easiest and most important things you can do to prevent or help decrease foot pain is wear good shoes. It is something we all know, but how do you know if you need to get new shoes? Here are four ways to tell you need new shoes just by looking at them.
- Look at the bottom of your shoes. The tread on your shoes is like the tread on the tires of your car. If they are worn out they aren’t giving you the traction you need to get the job done.
- Look on the inside of your shoe. Is the back of the shoe worn out where it wraps around your heel? This part of the shoe helps lock in your heel and prevent excess motion. If it is worn out your heel could be sliding around more than it needs to and causing your foot to be more unstable.
- Look at the top of your shoes. Do you notice any tear-outs on the side? Do you see any tears over the toes? Tear-outs over the toe are a sign your shoe could be too small. As we get older the shape of our feet change and often we need to wear a different size shoe (often larger) to accommodate joints which have spread out from years of being on our feet.
- Look at your shoe from the back. Does is look like it is sitting tall and straight? If your shoe is leaning to one side or the other from vertical more than the width of a pencil it is no longer stabilizing your foot.
If your shoes are showing these signs of wear, it could be a sign that new shoes could be just the thing you need to keep your feet moving the direction you want to go.
Also remember that physical therapists are trained in the examination and treatment of foot pain. They can help you figure out why your foot is painful and give you exercises to help resolve your symptoms. New shoes can often help relieve pain, but if your symptoms persist, seek the experts to help you relieve your discomfort!