How to Relieve Foot Pain with Shoes
Feet support the body's weight and sustain the impact resulting from running, walking, and exercising. Hence the complex muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the feet need special care and attention, including selecting the right type of wear that will not destabilize the feet as they play their role.
Deformities and disorders occurring on the feet due to excessive, imbalanced, and irregular pressures on the feet can lead to foot pain. These pressures and imbalances may occur due to the type of shoes and how the shoes are used. When this is occurring, it is important to understand how to relieve foot pain occurring due to several conditions.
Take, for instance, the hammertoes, a condition where toes bend permanently due to pressure. Or the bunions where the toes develop bony bumps and blisters, which result from poor support on the feet and excessive pressure on the feet. Poor support on the feet due to improper shoes and shoe usage can also contribute to pain and injuries on other body parts such as knees and back.
Specially made shoes can be worn with or without existing deformities of the feet to prevent the formation of those deformities or to worsening of existing ones. The kind of shoe to buy to avoid or relieve foot pain will depend on the level of your activity, weight, height, gait when running and walking, comfort, and your custom style.
Causes of foot pain and the foot disorders caused by shoes
Wearing very tight shoes can cause several conditions that lead to foot pain. These include foot maladies, hammertoes, and bunions. Wearing certain shoes can also cause foot swelling, blisters, and sores, resulting in painful leg joints and feet. Other causes of pain on the foot include thick callouses and jogger's heels as other types of foot deformities, and cold weather, which can cause it to dry and crack.
Uncomfortable shoes may make worse some conditions and deformities already present on the feet. Although foot deformities emanate from the DNA, shoes can accelerate their development. This may lead to excessive pain and aches when the shoes do not give the foot good support or fit tightly.
For instance, a tight shoe can cause bleeding under the nails because it places excessive pressure on the nails. Additionally, the nails can thicken if the shoe is so tight that the nails keep hitting it. This is crucial information for those who want to relieve foot pain without spending thousands of dollars.
Irregular gait, which is a popular source of foot pain, can result from improper walking and walking styles that make the feet to hit the ground awkwardly. Metatarsalgia, a painful condition where the ball of the foot becomes inflamed, can result from vigorous running and jumping activities. This can be made worse by wearing the wrong type of shoes for the activities.
Pain on the foot can also result from the breaking of bones and joints in the foot as a result of neuropathy. This condition is called Charcot arthropathy. Foot pain can also occur due to inflammation of joints on ankles and toes caused by Charcot arthropathy, which also causes a low flow of blood on the feet.
What types of shoes can cause or relieve foot pain?
Some types of shoes can lead to foot pain more than others, and others can make worse foot deformities. Flat shoes, for instance, press on and strain the soft tissue underfoot. Shoes pressing together toes of the foot can cause bone spurs, corns, and neuroma-inflammation.
High heels tend to shift the weight concentration forward to the balls of the feet. For those looking for information on how to avoid and relieve foot pain, these kinds of shoes can foot pain because they put a lot of pressure on muscles and joints. They can also lead to bunions and hammertoes, along with other disorders of the feet.
High heels of the stiletto style can also cause more problems on foot than the platform types. If insisting on high heels, it is advisable to keep them between 1.5 to 2 inches of the height. Otherwise, platform types are better. The platform type will also leave a little more room for the toes compared to the stiletto type.
Flip flops and other types of flat shoes may also not offer adequate support to the arc or proper shock absorption. Hence they can lead to foot pain.
Otherwise, you could use creams, lotions, and ointments that have lactic acid and urea-based products together with shoes. These can moisten the foot environment in the shoes and can debride and exfoliate thick, cracked skins. In other words, they will soothe the dry and cracked skins and avoid skin reactions to these conditions, such as painful feet.
Special footwear design can alleviate or relieve foot pain.
Designers of special and custom shoes that help avoid and relieve foot pain study foot geometry and body geometry. The result is a shoe that provides proper and additional support and control of the foot every time it steps on the ground or is raised, compared to your ordinary shoe. These shoes are made to provide proper balancing of your weight while walking, standing, or running.
Custom-made shoes relieve pressure points that either primarily lead to foot pain or make worse existing pain. These shoes may come with extra padding. They also incorporate special materials that help avoid or reduce skin irritation.
Orthopedic footwear, for instance, has these characteristics, in addition to lessening horizontal movements from side to side. These shoes are designed for specific foot conditions such as inflammation of the foot and joints, rheumatoid arthritis, Metatarsalgia, maladies, hammertoes, bunions, and Charcot arthropathy, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and other conditions that lead to foot pain.
Sneakers, high heels, sporting shoes, and other performance shoes can be designed to provide extra comfort in addition to balance and support on specific pressure points of the foot, based on what each of the shoes is meant for.
Tips on choosing your shoes to avoid and relieve foot pain
- Measure your foot regularly and under certain situations- Age can lead to changes in foot shape and size due to the aging of ligaments and tendons on the feet. For instance, age loosens some tendons and ligaments, and feet may become wider and stretched out due to changes in body weight and gravity.
Pregnancy can also contribute to weight gains or weight fluctuations, which can alter the size of the shoes you should wear. Joints may also swell due to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, and thus leads to changes in foot size. The size of your foot and shoes can also change when you develop bunions and hammertoes.
Change in the shape and size of the foot and hence shoe size can also result due to nerve damage resulting from diabetes. This nerve damage can lead to foot pain, tingling, and numbness.
Knowing the size of your foot and shoe can help relieve foot pain under these conditions. This is because you will end up wearing a properly fitting shoe and thus avoid excessive pressure on the feet while providing good support and comfort to the feet.
- Understand your arch type - Understanding the type of arch is important to help avoid and relieve foot pain. There are two types of arches - lower arches and high arches. People with high arches have taller gaps between the ball and the heels of their feet. Those with lower arches have shorter curves that are closer to the ground between the ball and heels of their feet.
These two types of curves require different types of shoes to provide proper support and comfort. The curve of the shoe to choose will vary depending on your arch type - the rule of thumb is to ensure the curve supports the arch. The curve should also provide enough cushioning on foot.
- Use the right shoes for specific jobs/activities - High heels may not be appropriate for walking long distances. Depending on the nature of work, they may not be best for office use if you have to walk around the office all day.
While high heels can be used indoors and under situations where there is not much walking and traveling, low or flat heels can best be used for walking. Otherwise, go for a shoe with the right arch for your foot and which provides the right cushioning for the foot.
- Appearance should not be the only dictating factor when selecting running and workout shoes - Additionally, workout and running shoes should be picked based on performance basing on the design of the shoe. Shoe specialists and designers can offer the needed support here.
More specifically, decide on the kind of exercising and running or sporting shoe based on the kind of exercising and sporting activity and its intensity in addition to your foot geometry and size. Thus, it is advisable to select the right shoe for the kind of sporting or exercising activity. For instance, dance, basketball, and tennis shoes have lateral support to address the effects of side to side motions while using them in these kinds of applications.
Wearing a tennis sporting shoe for running may contribute to foot problems because running shoes need to prioritize forward motion. You may end up developing sprains and picking up injuries.
- Let the shoe adapt to the feet slowly - Sometimes you may develop foot pain, blisters, and other effects when trying to force to "break in" new shoes. For instance, some people put on thick socks, and others blow a hairdryer to force the shoes to loosen. This is common when using hiking boots, leather shoes, and other types of shoes made of multiple materials, and which shoes may need the user to wear them for a long period before they can snug in excellently.
Instead of forcing the "breaking in" process, you can use the shoes a few times a day until it accustoms to the foot naturally. Alternatively, for those searching on how to avoid and relieve foot pain when using these kinds of shoes, you can research shoe stretchers or ask shoe cobblers to create more room in the shoes.
- Use plush insoles on slippers or shoes with memory foams if you suspect being too much on barefoot is leading to foot pain - You can alleviate and relieve foot pain by using plush insoles and memory foams in the shoes if walking around barefoot too much is causing the pain, which occurs due to thinning of fat pads on the balls and heels of your feet. This pad is what cushions your body weight, and going barefoot too much can strain the pads without providing too much support on foot.
- Don't forego the insoles and use the right type of insole - In addition to using insoles, choose an insole or a shoe with an insole that best suits your arch type. Flatter feet are best suited by stiffer insoles, while feet with higher arches are best suited by more cushioned insoles. If your show was not designed with an insole or for some reason it is worn-out, you can purchase custom over-the-counter ones.
- Replace worn-out shoes before it is too late - Wearing of the soles makes the shoe to start breaking down because it changes the angle at which the foot strikes the ground. This will result in pain in the feet, knees, hips, and back. You can try adding new pairs of insoles on old shoes, which can be helpful with pumps, loafers, or dressy boots.
Otherwise, depending on the activity level and frequency of use, from a few months to one year of everyday use may be long enough to use your shoe. This is especially so for sneakers, hiking boots, sporting shoes, and shoes for walking around. You can abandon these once they start developing clear holes, deform, or develop abnormally smooth spots.
Uneven, deformed, or wrapped soles should tell you that it is the perfect timing to quit wearing a performance shoe. For instance, you can detect this by doing a tabletop test where you place the shoe on the table and looking at the form in which the sole presses on the table.