If you suffer from a chronic foot problem or back pain induced by foot pain, investing on a pair of excellent orthopedic shoes could be a great idea. Orthopedic shoes are special shoes crafted to provide extreme comfort to the feet and treatment for heel and toe pain. Nowadays, people of all ages and sizes wear comfort shoes not only because of its functionality. If before you can only find orthopedic shoes in plain and limited designs, now you can choose from a variety of aesthetically pleasing ones.
Orthopedics shoes were first invented in the 1970s. A sales professional named George J. Hayward conceptualized it. Fortunately, the product became successful and manufacturers and health experts adopted it. As many people complain of various foot problems, the need for therapeutic shoes became more pronounced. What are the benefits of orthopedic shoes?
Orthopedic Shoes And The Benefits
Orthopedic shoes make sure that all sides of the feet—heels, toes, and arches—are supported. People who suffer from chronic foot pain will find great relief from these comfort shoes whether used in standing, walking, or running. If you have no foot problems, these shoes will help prevent the occurrence of foot pains and allow you to maintain the health of your feet in the long run. Here is a list of specific foot problems orthopedic shoes seek to address:
- Bunions or swelling of the bursa
- Sore, swollen, or infected foot
- Arch problems
- Heel pain
- Athlete’s foot
- Acute leg pain
- Diabetic foot problems
Another side effect of wearing orthopedic shoes is increased productivity at home, work, and other environments. Dr. Scholl, a foot expert, claims that when the feet hurt, the whole body suffers. People with no foot problems are found to be more productive and effective at work. Workers who often complain of pain in the lower extremities tire easily and are more prone to developing complications, which inevitably results to less productivity. Orthopedic shoes address this problem by reducing foot pain arising from long hours of standing or walking.
Types of Orthopedic Shoes
- Off-the-Shelf or General Orthopedic Shoes. These shoes are good for people who have simple and chronic foot pain problems. They help relieve discomfort and pain mostly experienced when high amount of pressure is applied to the foot for a long duration of time. These are sold in most online shops and specialist high street stores. Typical features of off-the-shelf orthopedic shoes include more cushioning and padding, more spacious interior, room for extra side padding and items for the toe, ball, and heel, double insoles, and seamless interior fabrication.
- Custom Orthopedic Shoes: Custom orthopedic shoes are personalized shoes. They are designed to perfectly and properly fit the feet of the customer, along with his or her requirements and preferences. This include a full casting done on each foot for a more precise fitting and successful correction of foot conditions. These shoes are prescribed by a physician or a podiatrist and are more expensive than general orthopedic shoes. Fashion-conscious individuals may now look forward to wearing these shoes as the era of drabness fades and shoe manufacturers stared making orthopedic shoes that are trendier and more appealing to the sight.
Orthopedic Shoes Features Are Numerous
Orthopedic shoes largely differ from ordinary shoes. The usual glam shoes are obviously more fashionable and cute but when it comes to functionality and comfort, the former earns a string of plus points. Orthopedic shoes have functional qualities or ergonomic qualities that make them feet-friendly and a better option as regular shoe wear. When you buy shoes—orthopedic shoes—make sure that you know the features that make them special. Below are four major characteristics that you should be well acquainted with:
- Firm Heels: A good pair of orthopedic shoes provides adequate support to the heel part. It creates balance and aids in maintaining correct body posture. Too high or pointy heels usually create imbalance and open more leeways for tripping and falling.
- Wide Toes: One reason why many women, and some men, do not consider using orthopedic shoes is the wide toe factor. Pointy shoes look more sophisticated and glamorous while wide shoes look more cheap and uninteresting. However, the good side to wide toed-shoes is that it lets the feet breathe and allows for movement. Pointy shoes only look cool on the outside but the feet suffer silently from the tight squeeze it gets from the narrow front edges.
- Removable Inner Soles: Most orthopedic shoes come with removable inner soles for easy replacement and adjustment. Some can even be inserted with double insoles. When choosing a shoe, make sure to fit it carefully to see if it fits you well or not.
- Rigid Shanks: Rigid or inflexible shanks is the hallmark of any quality orthopedic shoes. Shanks support the arches, connect the heel to the sole, and give structure to any shoe. As a rule of thumb, the steadier the shank of a shoe, the stronger the support it provides. Custom orthopedic shoes are generally praised for its solid-built shanks.
With the number of foot-related disorders being experienced by millions of Americans daily, orthopedic shoes are just one of the best non-invasive treatments anyone can practically avail of. Considering its plethora of health benefits, orthopaedic shoes do cost more expensive than orthotic shoe inserts, heal seats, and other foot support items. An orthopedic shoe generally costs $50 and above, depending on the specifications and materials used. They have been proven very effective in laboratory and actual tests with a 99% success rate in most cases.
Orthopedic shoes are available in many shoe stores, and a number of online shops as well. Some of the leading companies selling various types of shoes designed to relieve different foot problems are Footsmart, Support Plus, Acor.com, Markell Shoe, and Healio Health. Before you buy any comfort shoe, make sure that the cause of the foot pain really stems from inside and not just because of the awkward fit of your shoes. When in doubt, consult a podiatrist or physician to help you determine whether you need orthopedic shoes or not.