Choosing Shoes for Problem Feet

Robert G. Parker
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Dr. Parker is a podiatrist and surgeon in Houston, TX who has been helping patients for more than 40 years.

Choosing shoesShopping for shoes: you either love it or hate it. If you’re a fashion bug and enjoy looking for dazzling heels, cute ballerina flats and sparkly sandals—there are plenty of them to go around. But what if you have foot problems? Those can make shopping a chore, because good shoes for bunions are few and far between, and how do you know what’s best for your low or high arches? We want to help make the experience a bit less frustrating.

The first thing you need is a good foot measurement. Place a sheet of paper on a firm surface, stand one foot on it, and have a friend trace the outline closely with a pen. Use a ruler to measure the length (heel to longest toe) and the width (widest part of foot). Then go online to a site that has shoe sizing charts (like healthyfeetstore.com) to find the size and width by the two measurements. Even easier is to visit a reputable shoe store with a knowledgeable sales person who can use that familiar metal gauge. Remember to measure both feet and fit to the largest one.

Second, change the way you think about shoe shopping. Don’t waste time on countless pairs that look great but are never going to fit or work well on your feet. Shop by condition instead of style:

  • If you have a bunion, don’t even bother with those pointy stilettos. Look for a good slip-on shoe of a material that stretches to accommodate the bump, and has good arch support and a wide toe area to keep pressure off the joint.
  • If plantar fasciitis is your problem, you need arch support to keep your foot stable, a wide heel that absorbs shocks, and extra cushioning for your forefoot.
  • Pain from Achilles tendinitis is often relieved by wearing shoes with a 1” heel, heel inserts within the shoes, or a custom orthotic that rebalances the weight on your feet, along with a proper stretching regimen—which we would be happy to show you!

Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX can diagnose what is causing the problems in your feet and provide information about the type of shoe you should choose to help rather than harm your feet. Call our office at (281) 497-2850 today for an appointment and get the caring expertise you need to keep your feet healthy and safe.

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