Picking out a pair of everyday or work shoes isn’t something to worry about is it? Wrong! The proper shoe will give the support required to put less strain on the joints of the lower extremities, pelvis and spine. A poor shoe fit and support increases strain on the joints but also may compromise good blood circulation which can result in varicose veins and lower extremity swelling. This article will offer some suggestions on how to select a comfortable pair of everyday work shoes. Spending a few extra dollars will minimize the chance of getting a poorly fitting and non-supportive shoe. Support and fit are more important than the appearance in the qualities to look for when purchasing shoes to wear at work.
Potential Health Problems from Prolonged Standing
Footwear is very important for workers that are continually standing or walking. There are numerous health problems and concerns that can occur from having to constantly stand or walk during the work day. They include but are not limited to the following conditions:
- Sore Feet
- Varicose Veins
- Swelling of the Ankles and Legs
- Ankle, Knee and Hip Pain
- Lower Back Pain
- Muscular Fatigue
- Neck, Upper Back and Shoulder Pain or Stiffness
Awareness of these potential problems and understanding what you can do to help prevent them is a step in the right direction to limit potential future health conditions.
Selecting a Work Shoe
Standing for long periods of time on a concrete or a tile floor wearing a pair of shoes with poor arch support will make you quickly realize that something needs to change. Wearing poor footwear may soon cause foot, ankle, leg or back pain. A large amount of money is spent on treatments for foot, ankle, knee, hip and spinal problems because of incorrect or poorly fitting footwear. Treatments received for these conditions may not have a lasting effect or resolve your complaints if changes are not also made with your footwear.
Choosing the proper footwear for standing 8 hours or more on a hard surface is necessary to minimize progressively worsening joint and circulation problems. Some suggestions for shopping for a good shoe for prolonged standing or walking at work include:
- Firm Counter and Shank – A counter prevents the heel from running over the edge of the shoe and keeps the heel bone straight in the back of the shoe. The shank is what makes the sole of the shoe firm so it doesn’t give way and bend in the middle.
- Non Slip Soles – Help prevent minor slips. Slipping could create or aggravate a prior injury to muscles and joints. Make sure the soles are thick enough to absorb some of the shock with prolonged standing and walking.
- Lightweight – Less weight produces less fatigue. This may not be possible if your work requires steel toes for safety.
- Padded Tongue – Provides a soft cushion against the lower leg and anterior ankle joint. Helps to reduce the pressure from a tightly tied shoe.
- Arch Support – A built in support is necessary, but most shoes are made with only a large or “inside” arch. There are 3 main arches of the foot that may need support. The smaller arches can become strained after prolonged standing day after day. Good arch support can be obtained from foot orthotics, which help prevent fatigue and injury.
- Taller Boots – Help support the ankle. The best boots will have a padded top or collar to prevent rubbing and chafing of the lower leg.
It is not smart to skimp on the cost of your work boots. Poor fitting shoes or boots can lead to other health problems that may cost much more in the future. It’s wise to purchase the best footwear that you can afford.
Shopping For Work Shoes
The best time to shop for a work shoe is after putting in a full day of work on your feet. This is because the feet are more than likely a little swollen after all this time on your feet. If you fit your shoe with your feet in this condition; you are less likely to get a fit that’s too tight. Having shoes that don’t fit properly and are too tight will be a precursor to future problems with the feet and can aggravate any foot problems you may have at present.
The doctors at Coon Rapids Chiropractic Office have an understanding of work shoe selection and fitting orthotics.