We spend about 235 days of our lives on our feet, so it’s no surprise that 80% of us have experienced foot pain. Foot pain can hold us back from doing everything our daily routine requires, let alone doing those extra things we love. Luckily, there are a couple of really easy ways to keep foot pain away.
Women who have worn uncomfortable shoes in the past can often tell if a pair of shoes is going to be comfortable just by looking at them. No matter how cute they look, shoes that are constructed with tight plastics, ones with very thin soles, and ones with high heels will probably end up causing you foot pain. Shoes that don’t give your feet enough room, support or cushioning will ultimately cause more problems than they solve.
It can be a little harder to evaluate men’s shoes for comfort just by looking at them. Dress shoes all tend to have a similar look. It’s the same with running sneakers as well. That’s why it’s so important to spend some time inspecting how the shoe is constructed, what materials are used, how thick the sole is, and what level of support they offer.
While the cause of your foot pain may be unique to you, there are some very common foot issues that could be the reason for your discomfort:
Whether your foot pain is the result of one of these issues or not, there are certain things you’ll want to pay extra attention to when you’re selecting footwear.
Before you buy a pair of shoes that promises to “cure back and foot pain,” you’ll want to do some research to make sure you’re getting the greatest comfort for your feet and lifestyle.
It’s always better to have the opportunity to try on shoes before you buy them, especially if it’s a brand you’ve never worn before. There’s just not substitute for spending some time walking around in a pair of shoes to see how your feet feel.
Harvard Medical School offers some helpful advice for shoe shopping:
When you’re trying on shoes, you may feel like none of them give you the right amount of arch support. This is because shoe manufacturers tend to put in minimal arch support so that they can appeal to the largest number of people. For example, if a shoe manufacturer put a medium arch in a shoe, people with flat feet would probably find them terribly uncomfortable to wear.
Expect that you’ll add an insole to your footwear to make them comfortable for your feet. When considering what kind of shoe inserts you need, think about the following:
For sufferers of plantar fasciitis or bunions, comfort and stretch that conforms to your feet are important details when buying shoes. Sonoma offers half sizes as well as a choice between wide, narrow, and even extra wide fits. Most of Softwalk’s shoes have removable inserts so you can add your own orthotic insoles for added support. Some shoes even add stabilizing features to ensure your walk is as soft as possible and doesn’t add strain to the rest of your body.
Some of the most popular men’s dress shoes that get a thumbs-up for comfort are Rockport’s DresSports collection. They’re so comfortable that Rockport once sent a team of marathoners to run 26.2 miles in them. Rockport ensure comfort in this series with a padded collar and tongue to help prevent blisters and lace bruising, a polyurethane outsole that reduces foot and leg fatigue through shock absorption, and shock-absorbing heel cushioning.
New BalanceFresh Foam 1080V9
New Balance shoes are often cited as great for people suffering from foot pain. The Fresh Foam 1080V9 Running Shoes for men and women are stylish and comfortable with their mesh uppers. They have a wide toe box that helps to stabilize your feet and their ample cushioning helps with shock absorption.
Allbirds Tree Runners
Called the “world’s most comfortable shoe” by TIME magazine, Allbirds are beloved not only for feeling great on your feet, but also for their attention to using materials that are eco-friendly. With a focus on renewable and recyclable materials, Allbirds has styles for both men and women. While you’ll probably need to add arch support insoles to your Allbirds, the flexibility of the fabric will be a relief for anyone suffering from bunions or hammertoes.
It can be so tempting to throw on a pair of flip-flops when the weather is warm, but if you already have foot pain, they’re not going to help. Having used almost the same sole design for almost 250 years, Birkenstock (and the millions of people who wear them) swear by the simple science behind their shoes. These sandals are designed with an arch support that molds to your foot over time, providing a natural and comfortable walk that prevents foot pain.
No matter the footwear you end up with, the most important thing your shoes can do is keep your feet comfortable and pain-free. It may be that the best shoes are just a start, and you need to add arch support insoles to get them perfect for your feet. Once you figure out what works best for you, you'll be amazing at how far you can go when your feet feel great.
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