Do you suffer with pain in your feet during the work week? Are you often wondering if there is a better option for the type of shoe you wear to work? In honor of all of our workers, here is information on the type of shoe you should be wearing to support your busy lifestyle!
Why is it important to wear the proper shoe to work?
Wearing the proper shoe not only gives you the best support you need for the type of work you do, but sometimes what’s more important is protection. If construction workers wore flip flops on the job, Podiatrists would have a never ending line out their door. Here are some questions to ask yourself to determine the importance of wearing the proper shoe to work. Do you work in an environment that is really cold or often hot? Is there a risk of heavy objects falling? What is the likelihood you could step on a sharp object like an instrument or nail or have one fall and pierce your skin? Are you standing or walking a lot during the day? All of these answers are factors that play into the decision for the what the best shoe is for your environment.
What is the best shoe for my situation?
There are many different occupations so we won’t be able to cover each one individually. However, many occupations can be combined in terms of the type of shoe individuals should be wearing. More details are listed below.
Construction workers or anyone who works in an environment where they are around machinery, heavy equipment, heavy moving parts, etc. should be wearing shoes that are very supportive of their arch AND protecting their foot completely. This often means wearing steel toe boots. Don’t forget how fragile the ankles are and how many tiny bones are in your feet! One thing falls or runs into your foot or ankle in the wrong way and you are possibly facing a major surgery! Let’s avoid this by wearing sturdy, supportive, and protective shoes if working in that industry. It’s also important to feel very comfortable in the shoes you are wearing, when working in construction, so you feel stable on ladders or places where balance is necessary to avoid falls.
Healthcare workers are often on their feet while standing or walking for long hours each day. However, it’s more than just a comfortable pair of Chacos or Birkenstocks they will need. Healthcare workers need to wear shoes that are protective as well. When working around blood and other bodily fluids, it’s very important to wear shoes that are not easily pierced by falling sharp objects and that are also fully covering the surface of the foot. If a healthcare worker had an open wound and then was exposed by a splash of another fluid, this could have life altering effects. This is another reason why most healthcare workers choose not only to cover their feet properly but their arms and legs as well. Lastly for healthcare workers, support is absolutely necessary! Using an orthotic insert or having custom orthotics made for your work shoes is life changing! Give every part of your foot the support it needs, allowing you to provide the best support to each patient.
Teachers, desk jobs, and formal or informal business settings, it’s your turn! You often aren’t able to get by with a comfortable and supportive pair of tennis shoes. What’s the best way to choose a shoe that will give your feet the support they need while standing for extended amounts of time or walking to and from important meetings (all while maintaining a professional look)? Here are a few guidelines: look for a more rounded toe, make sure you are supporting your arches, find a breathable shoe, and look for a sole that isn’t really hard. Men and women (more women than men) often find a stylish business shoe has a pointed toe. When you look down at your bare feet, do your toes naturally squish together to form a point or do your toes like to be spread out and have some wiggle room? Finding a shoe that allows your toes to move during the day will prevent a lot of foot problems for you in the future. Avoid heels! If you are going to be in the shoe for more than a couple hours, you want to avoid a heel. Your feet aren’t naturally made to walk like that and they can provide a lot of strain in your achilles tendon and the arches of your feet. Wear orthotic inserts, or even better, have custom orthotics made to be used in your business shoes. Orthotics provide support and relieve areas that are common pressure points. Your feet won’t feel tired after standing for a long period of time if pressure points are balanced and the shoe is comfortable to wear. Lastly, find a shoe that is breathable and wear breathable socks. If you wear a shoe that is supportive but your feet are always sweating, it’s time to look for a different pair. The material of your socks contributes to this as well. Look for 100% cotton socks or bamboo works for some people as well.
Do you have more questions about proper footwear for your career? Tell us what we missed! If you have concerns about your feet and needing better support during the day, don’t hesitate to contact us! We are here to help!
At Howard County Foot and Ankle, we treat everything from warts and ingrown toenails to flatfeet and heel pain. Many people come to us for diabetic foot care or simply because they have foot pain or ankle pain and don’t know the cause of it. We handle emergencies such as fractures and infections as well. Dr. Bui performs a wide variety of surgeries and specializes in reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle. You won’t find a better foot doctor than our highly skilled and highly qualified, Dr. Christina Bui! We would love to be your go-to Podiatrist!