Your feet go to work with you every day. Because they continue to support you all day long, they play a vital role in your job. Outfitting them in the correct work shoes can make a significant difference in your ability to do your job well—especially if you must spend most of your time standing or walking.
Why Wear Special Shoes?
Correct and comfortable work shoes are an absolute must. Footwear that fits poorly, or that wasn’t designed to handle the stresses of your job, can lead to strain on the feet and ankles. This causes pain in the feet, but it can also create a domino effect of discomfort up the legs and into the knees, hips, and back. You become more prone to injuries and general soreness too. Cashiers, nurses, food service workers, and department store employees are among the people who need supportive and cushioned footwear to work effectively. Factory or construction workers have the added concern of heavy objects possibly falling on their lower limbs, and so need additional protection as well.
Other jobs, like office and desk-based careers, require you to spend much of your time sitting. Footwear needs for these jobs are different. Although you may be able to wear models that are fancy but unsupportive—like high heels, flat sandals, and narrow dress shoes—you still need to invest in footwear that fits well and doesn’t increase your risk for injuries.
What to Look For in Footwear
The best work shoes for being on your feet all day have solid arch support, cushioned heels, and room for your toes. You need to understand your own foot type to be able to buy the best shoes for you. Dr. Robert Parker can evaluate your lower limbs and help you determine any special needs you may have. Our team can also advise you about your arch type and measurements, so that you can determine your shoe fit based on your actual foot size and shape.
Then you can look for gear that is designed to handle the stress of your job. Comfortable footwear, like some walking shoes or well-padded trainers, may be all you need to support your feet. Other industries, like nursing, have particular models that were meant for those jobs. Nursing shoes come in multiple styles, but typically they are easy to slip on and off; have thick, padded, and flexible soles; and allow your lower limbs to breathe.
Factory and construction workers need extra protection against heavy objects that could fall and crush their toes. Steel-toed boots, in most cases, are an absolute must for these working environments. These boots have a re-enforced toe cap made from strong metal that can withstand impressive levels of stress and force. Modern safety boots are designed to be comfortable and flexible enough to walk normally. Investing in this footwear can help keep your toes from suffering irreparable damage in a workplace accident.
While many people choose work shoes for a desk job that aren’t healthy for their feet, you should still take steps to protect your lower limbs. Spending most of your day sitting doesn’t mean you never stand or walk around. Take care of your feet for when you do. Choose models that are wide enough and supportive enough for your feet. Avoid styles made from non-breathable material that encourage excess sweating. Make sure you have plenty of room in your toe box for your digits to move as they need. If you select high heels, avoid pairs that rise more than two inches, since they put extra strain on the ball of the foot and the Achilles tendon.
Whatever shoes you choose, make sure you always fit them correctly so that they offer the total support your lower limbs need. Your feet work hard every day to keep you upright—make sure you protect them from discomfort in return. If you’re not sure how to fit shoes correctly, or are already struggling with foot pain while on the job, contact Dr. Robert Parker here at Parker Foot & Ankle in Houston, TX, for an appointment or more information. Call (281) 497-2850 or use our online contact form to reach us.