Does your job require you to stand or walk (or both) for long hours? Then you’d better make sure that you have the right shoes to allow you to do that. Unfortunately, the wrong shoes can give you pain in the feet, heels, knees, and even back. Furthermore, it can lead to worse problems when tissues, tendons, and muscles get overused or if your gait or posture changes to compensate for the pain. So to prevent or reduce the risk of injury or more severe issues, be sure to wear the appropriate shoes for your work.
How do you choose the best shoes for your job?
- Cushion – Extra cushion is very important to preventing pain from long hours of walking or standing. Good cushioning on the inside soles will be helpful, and rubber outer soles with a “bounce” will be good for softening impact with the ground. If necessary, add orthotic inserts for extra cushion and additional support.
- Support – Speaking of support, orthotic inserts can help with this as well. Have your gait evaluated to see what kind of support you need in your shoes. The most important features are usually arch and heel support.
- Fit – Shoes that are too small or narrow can cause hammertoes, bunions, blisters, and more. Shoes that are too big will cause overuse in foot and ankle tissues and muscles, which can lead to plantar fasciitis. Large shoes can also allow for your feet to slide around, which can cause instability.
- Protection – If your job puts your feet at risk of falling objects, especially that are heavy or sharp, look for clogs or other footwear made of sturdy material. Those that will walk on hot asphalt or near chemicals should make sure that the rubber soles are thick. If you will be in water, get waterproof footwear to prevent all day moisture (increasing your risk of odor and fungal growth).
What to Avoid
- Shoes with pointed toes will cause pain in the toe area after long hours. Pointed high heels, especially those higher than 2 inches will put stress on the feet, especially on the balls of the feet.
- Flats usually have thin soles and do not have enough cushioning and arch support.
To protect and strengthen your feet and ankles, make sure you stretch and rest throughout the day. Massaging your feet at the end of the day will relieve tension and increase circulation.
If you have concerns of foot or ankle pain from your work requirements, come see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Carl Ingrassia, today. He and his team at Fords Foot and Ankle Care will use the latest technologies to assess and treat your work-related foot injuries. Make an appointment today at our office in Fords, NJ.