Good Footwear is Essential when spending lots of time on your feet. It becomes even more important when you increase the stress on your feet and legs in such activities as sport, hiking, traversing uneven surfaces, jumping and sudden stop / start movements. Also equally important after suffering an injury where your balance, co ordination and exercise tolerance is diminished (any injury in your leg). Good foot wear will prevent injuries and help recovery from injuries.
The basics of footwear design and function are very simple.
- Correct Size (Wide feet, narrow feet, long feet, short feet, bunions, callus, high arch, low arch)
- Soft innersole (push with your thumb to test)
- Rigid Sole (not entirely rigid, but not soft)
- Good arch support (especially those with dynamically unstable arches)
- Rubber non slip sole
- Lace up (holds up the arch – arch supports are almost useless in non lace up shoes)
- High sides if ankle support is required (basketball boots, hiking boots – alternative is an ankle brace)
- Durability (good quality materials used – generally the more expensive the better)
- Specificity (Task specific – different designs for different uses – sprinters shoes, soccer boots etc)
- Easy to put on and take off