September 2016 - The Importance of Good Footwear

With the arrival of September comes the time to change into an autumnal wardrobe and to purchase new shoes for you and the family. Good footwear is vital for foot comfort and correct gait dynamics.

Our feet are our point of contact with the ground as they take our weight and transmit forces of locomotion. Each foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints and over a hundred muscles, tendons and ligaments. As a vital part of our day-to-day existence, it is always amazing how little attention we give our feet until the point at which they cause pain.


Common Areas of Foot Pain:

Hindfoot Pain

Pain in the ankle and heel of the foot. Common causes of pain are ankle sprains, Achilles tendon sprains, Policeman's Heel also called Plantar Fasciitis.

Midfoot Pain

Pain from the arch of the foot including the cuboid, navicular and cuneiform bones. Common causes of pain are collapsing of the arch through trauma or repetitive strain, standing on sharp edges and damage to the Long Plantar ligament (eg on a ladder in soft shoes).

Forefoot Pain

Pain in the toes and including the metartarsals. Common causes of pain are collapsing of the transverse metatarsal arch, trauma to the arch (eg from wearing high heels), stubbed toes, osteoarthritis in the toes.

The Importance of Good Footwear

For a perfect gait, it is vital to have good heel to toe movement. Shoes should be wide enough and the correct length so that there is room for the toes to move. Key points to look for are:-.

  • Width at the forefoot and toes - your toes should not be pinched together.
  • Low heel - high heels are not for walking in as they place huge strain on the big toe and forefoot.
  • Cushioned sole - an element of bounce when walking will prevent too much impact on the hindfoot during heel strike in gait. Heel cups can also be of benefit for people experiencing plantar fasciitis.
  • Adjustable Fastening - buckles or laces can ensure that the shoe is fitted properly to the foot, giving more arch support.
  • Breathable Materials - shoe upper and lining are best in breathable materials such as leather to keep the foot fresh.
  • Removable Insoles - for those of you experiencing foot pain or jobs requiring you to be on your feet a lot. Being able to insert orthotic insoles can change a dress shoe into a comfortable inner shock absorber.

At Kingston & Teddington Osteopathy we see a wide range of foot and ankle problems. The best advice we can give you is:

Don't let yourself suffer!

Foot problems are often aggravated by repetitive strain issues and so the sooner they are treated the better.

Should you have any queries, please do not hesitated to contact one of our team.


For any queries please do contact us at the practice on 0208 977 6396.

Best wishes


General Osteopathic Council Registered