5 Footwear tips to help your heel pain
Heel pain is a real pain! Hobbling when you get of a bed in the morning and feeling like you have a bruise right under your heel all day. It is frustrating! Of course you want to do something to help it go away – and many clients we see will first go to the soft, flat shoe to help ease their pain. It’s a common and understandable mistake. You’re looking for comfort and so you choose a loose shoe that’s very soft …. BUT! That’s actually the opposite of what you need right now!
Slippers, Ugg Boots, moccasins and even thongs or slides are the most likely choice for our clients when they get those first symptoms of heel pain but unfortunately, these shoes are only going to make your heel pain worse!
There a myriad of causes for heel pain, but most forms of heel pain have one thing in common and that is that a tight calf muscle. Now the calf muscle’s role is to place your heel on the ground, but if it is tight, the muscle may not have the length to keep your heel on the ground and this can lead to pain in the heel area.
By using a shoe that is soft and flat, you actually are increasing the pressure on your calf muscle to keep your heel in that position, hence increasing pressure at your heel and therefore actually increasing your heel pain!
Top Footwear Tips to help reduce your heel pain
1. Wear a shoe that is cushioned and supportive – preferably a shoe that has lace up or Velcro fastening to keep the shoe on your foot
2. Wear a shoe that has a wedge sole. This means a shoe that has an elevation of the heel relative to the toe. Most shoes do have a slight difference between the heel and the toe, but you want to look for a shoe that will have over 1cm difference to really offload your calf muscles
3. Your sports shoes are your friends – provided they are not 15 years old and are NOT a pair of trendy Nike Frees (they are too flat)!! Try to wear your sports shoes as much as possible as they have plenty of cushioning and you can also lace them firmly to give your foot ample support.
4. Some great news for those who like to wear high heels is that heel pain is a condition that can benefit from wearing a higher heel (but not all the time!) The higher heel will further offload the calf muscle and therefore can reduce your symptoms in the short term.
5. Limit your time in bare feet or very flat (no heel) footwear. This is only going to exacerbate your pain
The Podiatrists at Foot Right Podiatry are well versed in the footwear market. If you are having ongoing issues with finding a shoe to make your heel pain better, why don’t you book in for a consultation today? Your heels will appreciate it!