Every Shoe Tells A Story!
Your shoes can be read just like a book – and they often tell a fascinating story. Read on to find out more about what common wear patterns in your shoes are telling you.
When we look at typical wear patterns in shoes the most common one seen is greater wearing on the outside of the heel and usually the outside of the ball of the shoe (under the base of the little toe).
The most common distortion pattern of the feet is pronation, which is an excessive “rolling-in” of the ankle and foot. This excess motion occurs on both sides (bilaterally) but it almost NEVER occurs evenly (asymmetrical). It is usual to see the shoe with the most wear on the side of the body which has hip, knee, foot or back pain. The reason for this becomes clear when you think about what is happening every time you step on that foot.
With excessive pronation, the ankle rolls in causing the ankle bones (tarsals) to spread and stretch out. This, in turn, makes the long bones of the foot (metatarsals) splay so your foot becomes wider at the base of the toes. This results in a flatter, longer, wider foot but it also means that your foot “scrapes” along the ground as you put your weight onto it dragging the outside of the heel towards the mid-line as well as the outside of the ball of the foot – although not quite as much, which is why the heel of the shoe wears out more quickly than the rest.
You can visualise how this can create heel pain and lead to plantar fascitis. Hawker Chiropractic are your heel pain specialistis in Canberra.
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What Might Your Shoes Be Telling You?
If your foot is functioning properly, the heel should wear evenly on the inside and the outside of the shoe. The above picture shows the heel wear pattern that occurs when a foot is excessively pronating and shows greater wear on the outside of the shoe.
Take a close look at the soles of your shoes – from the heel to the toe. Has one sole got wear that extends closer to the heel? This is an indication that the body is not balanced and again indicates the uneven nature of pronation showing more wear on the foot which has the worst pronation.
What Can I Do About Uneven Shoe Wear?
- Get rid of any broken down, old shoes. The days of getting shoes re-soled are pretty well gone as, if your shoes look like these the heel ‘slops’ around in the shoe and offers your feet ZERO support.
- Make sure your shoes fit properly. The shoe should “hug” the foot. Ensure there is ample room in length so that the toes are not cramped, but also that the shoe is wide enough across the ball of the shoe so that your foot fills the space – not too loose or too tight.
- Inspect the shoes. Apart from the ball of the foot being wide enough, the next most important support in a shoe is the heel area. Not the part that hits the ground, but the back of the shoe that nestles the heel! You must squeeze the heel and rock it from side-to-side – just like you would when selecting a piece of fruit. You are looking for reasonable firmness – not rock hard nor non-existence.
- Get your feet checked and scanned at Hawker Chiropractic.
Custom Orthotics Can Help Fix Your Shoe Wear!
Here at Hawker Chiropractic, we have been checking our patients feet and prescribing custom-made orthotics since 2004. Footlevelers are the world leaders in orthotics as they are the only manufacturers to support all 3 arches of the foot – as described in Gray’s Anatomy over 100 years ago.
We also know that between 80-90% of the population have some sort of foot alignment abnormality either a rolling-in (most common) or a rolling-out (not so common). When either of these occur there is also a concurrent subluxation pattern affecting the movement of the bones of the ankle and foot. As we have seen above this abnormal movement of the foot within the shoe is what leads to the uneven wear patterns on the shoe.
It stands to reason then, that if we correct the abnormal foot movement we will positively impact the shoe wear. Footlevelers custom orthotics support the arches of the foot and prevent over-pronation. This support, along with chiropractic adjustments to the pelvis, feet, knees and hips will allow you to get the longest life out of any pair of shoes.
Call our team today on 02 6255 3711 to have your feet scanned and start saving money on having to regularly replace your shoes!