footwear for safety| Worcester podiatrist| SO Podiatry

Footwear – four top tips

We all have them at least one or two lurking in our wardrobes or on a shoe rack, you might even have a nickname for yours? Do you know what I’m talking about? Our favourite pair of comfy shoes.

So the question is how often do we check them out? Properly have a look at them and see whether they are in good repair or not. With every birthday our bodies change as well
as the numbers on the cakes. Our joints can get stiff and our skin can get drier and our activity levels may decrease or increase depending how active we are.

I would like to give you a few tips on whether you need to upgrade or change your footwear and whether they are still safe to wear.

Now, a lot of footwear choice and function is related to your activity so if you’re a footballer you wear football boots, if you are a fireman you need to wear safety shoes; if you work in a shop you may wear trainers shoes/ boots /sandals; you name it, but really what we need to think about is how suitable is that footwear for the activities that we are going to do? You wouldn’t wear heeled shoes for gardening now would you?


1. So let’s take the shape for example.

Does the shoe or the footwear look like the same shape as our foot? Is it long enough? Often our second toe is longer than the big toe and the fit, size and shape of the shoe can often change depending on the length of our toes.


2. Length of shoe

Many of you may have heard me say I like to see fluff in your shoes and the reason I like to see fluff in your shoes is because there is enough room for it. When I see footwear be too small for the foot there is never any fluff in the toebox. You have heard it here first- I want to see fluff in your shoes just like in the picture here.

So here’s a challenge – go and find the last pair of shoes/trainers that you were wearing and check if there is fluff in the toe box of the shoe! If there is none it could mean that the shoe is too small for you.

3.The Sole

Turn the shoe over and have a look at the sole – is it worn through? Are there stones stuck in the tread?

This picture shows lots of nails and pieces of metal studs stuck into the shoe. How often do we actually look at the souls of our shoes? Thankfully when I took this photograph of theseshoes (gentleman works as an upholsterer) he assures me that he pulled this all out every week or so. I couldn’t help myself and I put my hand inside these boots just to make sure

that none of the metalwork had gone through the sole and were inside the shoe. I remember from my previous days in the NHS checking inside a gentleman’s shoe and I found a golf peg and a 20p piece. He had no idea that they were in there, but he also had no idea that he had a new wound on the sole of his foot where these objects had rubbed causing an ulcer!


4.Lastly let’s look at the upper

Is the upper coming away from the seams? Has it overstretched and is now loose? So loose that the foot is moving side to side in the shoe? When we look at the upper of the shoe we need to consider the fastenings; whether it’s laces, zips, straps and buckles. We need to make sure that the foot is secure inside the shoe, and that it’s not moving around causing  friction and also we need to make sure there is enough depth and room inside the shoe so that the foot is not squashed.

Take a good look around at home at all the shoes and footwear that you have. If they don’t pass the tests it might be time to upgrade things. After all the tyres on our car get worn and we have to replace them for safety, just think about the miles that you’ve done in your shoes! They are the vehicle you travel in.

If you’ve any questions or queries regarding your own footwear and whether they passed the test; or if you’re curious about your footwear and activities that you may be doing – get in touch.

You can contact us either through email or by phone , or if you want to book an appointment we can spend the time discussing and looking at your footwear to see whether we can rectify any issues that you have and get you some good advice that’s going to suit your individual needs.