If you have an active lifestyle, you may at some point experience pain in your feet from overuse injuries associated with running or hiking. When we have pain that does not go away there are many things a Podiatrist can do to help you to heal but what about preventing these injuries before they happen? We often think it might be time to buy new shoes but how do you know you are choosing the right shoe for your foot type or activity? These days it seems like each brand of shoe has 20 or 30 different options. The choices we have are constantly changing and it is hard to keep up with the ever evolving market.
Basically there are 3 main types of feet; flat, neutral and high arches. Flat feet tend to have fallen arches, making them flexible and prone to over pronation, an inward rolling motion of the arch. Neutral feet are the most biomechanically stable variety, putting them somewhere in the middle. High-arched feet are essentially the opposite of flat feet. When the arches are high, the feet end up being rigid, leading to supination, or landing on the outside edges of the feet. If your foot is not functioning in neutral position there is likely overload of part of the foot and this can lead to chronic pain, tendonitis or overuse injury.
A podiatrist can perform a full evaluation of your foot or a clerk at a good running shoe store can watch you walk and help you determine what foot type you are. Many shoes are now designed to help control excessive pronation or supination by the buildup in the sole of the shoe which can help prevent you from rolling in our out. Please see the following link for some more recommendations. If pain persists, you may need a custom foot orthotic from a podiatrist for maximum control and protection.