When feet hurt, walkers seek relief. The first step is to get the right shoes, but the answer to pain may be a step further - to insoles, arch supports, and orthotics. Consulting a foot health specialist can bring definitive diagnosis and treatment for your pain.
What a shoe does and doesn't have:
- Arch support: No. Walking shoes and running shoes do not have arch support.
- Cushioning: Depending on the style, shoes provide more or less cushioning. Look for a cushioned style to relieve sore feet.
- Motion control: Some shoes provide correction for overpronation with motion control elements - dual density foam in the sole so that the foot does not over-rotate.
- Insoles and inserts do not extend shoe life: It is the unseen midsole of the shoe that breaks down by 500 miles, leaving your foot without proper support. Adding a new insole does not correct that problem.
Conditions that may benefit from shoe inserts:
- Arch strain and pain
- Heel pain
- Ball of foot pain (metatarsalgia)
- Weak ankles
- Crooked toes and corns
- Knee pain
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Shin splints
- Plantar fasciitis
A podiatrist or other foot expert may use taping, padding, and other simple techniques to correct foot problems. Before spending an arm and a leg on your feet for products that may not work, consider an appointment with a foot expert to have the pain and problem fully diagnosed.