Cheltenham podiatry based in Melbourne provides a range of specialist medical grade footwear. This includes
– Dr Comfort shoes and sandels suitable for Diabetics, difficult to fit feet, orthotics and the general population.
– Alegria Shoes and sandels which is a specialist forefoot rocker range , ideal for forefoot conditions (particularly arthritis).
– Orthoheel sandels and thongs that have an inbuilt arch support.
Lace-Up or Fastening Mechanism
Laces are preferred because they help to keep the foot back in the heel counter of the shoe and provide support for improved stability. This allows the forefoot to function properly and efficiently and also reduces forward pressure onto the tips of the toes.
Broad Toe Box. A broad toe box helps to prevent lateral compression (i.e. squeezing of the toes). If the shoe is too shallow, this causes pressure on the toes which can lead to blisters and the formation of corns, calluses and ingrown toe nails.
Always try the shoes on when standing as feet elongate and spread with stance. Insufficient toe room can result in nail problems and affect stability. Ensure the shoe fits the longer of your two feet and approximately 8-10mm of room beyond the longest toe is available.
Footwear should bend only at the ball of the foot where the toes bend and not through the arch or the middle of the foot.
The heel counter needs to be firm and feel snug as this helps to keep the heel and the foot stable. Once the heel counter loses its stability – this is a signal that your shoes need replacing.
Leather uppers are preferred for their durability and their ability to breathe. Avoid synthetic man made materials unless the upper is an open weave fabric similar to that which exists in many sneakers. Open weave fabrics allow better air flow.
Shock Absorbing Sole
A cushioned non-slip sole is preferred to minimise jarring through the foot, leg, and the spine. Avoid hard soled materials (e.g. hard leather soles.)
Only a small amount of twisting motion should be available in a stable shoe.Heel Height
A shoe with a low heel is preferable (i.e. 10mm to 25mm). Increased heel height ultimately affects the entire body as there is an increase in load and force placed on the forefoot, this causes the body’s centre of gravity to shift forward, calf muscles shorten, muscles and ligaments fatigue as they are forced to work overtime to keep you balanced. This leads to an increase of stress placed on the lower back and thus body posture is affected.
The heel base needs to be broad. The smaller and narrower the heel base is, the less contact you have with the ground, thereby increasing your instability.