When you walk, your feet endure pressure that is twice your body weight. No wonder you feel it when you work on your feet all day. If your job requires lifting heavy items, that pressure can be even greater. Good shoes are always a good idea, but when you’re on your feet all day, they’re essential.
But what’s the best shoe for what you do? To find out, start by answering 5 simple questions.
1. Where do you work?
Different jobs means doing different motions on different types of floors. A construction worker is going to need a completely different shoe than a man who works in a hospital all day. It’s important to do some research to find the right type of shoe for your line of work. Even if the shoe has good support, if it’s not made to handle the challenges of your work, it could be bad for you. Most industries have standards on the type of shoes that work best to help avoid injuries and fatigue.
2. What do your current shoes look like?
To determine what foot problems you may be having, inspect your current work shoes. Look for clues like the soles being excessively worn out in certain areas, such as the inner sole or the ball of the foot. This lets you know where you are putting extra pressure. No matter what specific job or ailment you may have, look for:
• Adjustable straps or laces
• Arch Support
• Enough wiggle room for the toes
3. What do your feet look like?
Just like your shoes, your feet hold clues to your current foot issues. For example, a blister on the heel or bunions, corns and calluses on the toe can mean that your shoes are too tight. To ensure the right size, be sure to have your foot measured before you get a new pair of shoes.
4. Have you had your feet checked by a specialist?
If you’re aching after a long day on your feet and simple solutions like insoles didn’t help, see a podiatrist. He or she may be able prescribe specific solutions for your foot pain, such as custom orthotics.
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety: “Foot Comfort and Safety at Work”
SCP. Working Feet: A Practical Guide to Looking After your Feet at Work. Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.
California Podiatric Medical Association: “Why A Podiatrist?”
Podiatry Today: “Orthotic Modifications and Shoewear for Different Jobs”