Is your heel pain because of poorly fitting shoes?
As we rocket towards the one-year mark of being in and out of lockdowns, it has been noticeable in our clinic that there has been an increase of patients coming to us with general heel pain. ‘Heel pain’ is an umbrella term for all kinds of conditions that occur at the heel of the foot.
With over 40 possible reasons for your heel pain, it’s important that we get the right diagnosis so that we can create a rehab plan that works and means you can walk pain free. This process is almost like a jigsaw puzzle, we need to gather all the pieces of your medical history, injury history and any intrinsic or extrinsic factors that might lead to your pain. Intrinsic factors are issues that happen within the body such as your structure and alignment, strength and flexibility. Extrinsic factors are anything that happens outside the body, such as activities you take part in, surface materials you walk on, the weather and footwear.
This increase in general heel pain in our clinic over the past year may be a result of two things. Firstly, people are generally doing less movement. Working from home, one hour of exercise a day and depending on where you live, you may not have access to a garden or live in a big enough space to get moving. This means people are leading much more sedentary lifestyles than they did previously. Consequently, the need to wear shoes has decreased and people are spending their days in slippers, flip flops, socks or barefoot with our unsupported feet taking the strain of walking.
To combat new cases of heel pain, it’s a good idea to try and break this cycle and get those supportive shoes on for a few hours per day. Here are a few things to look out for when checking if your shoes fit well –
1. Make sure your toes are not touching the end of your shoe.
2. Are your shoes wide enough for your feet?
3. Is the depth of your shoes big enough so that your toes do not rub?
4. The gap around the ankle of your foot shoe be about a fingers width when the shoe is fastened.
5. When you are walking, do your shoes slip off at the heels?
6. Do you shoes have a secure fastening? Ideally, your feet don’t want to be moving around too much in your shoes.
This video explains a few techniques you can use to help.
Good fitting shoes will be the solution to many foot related problems, and one of those problems could be your lockdown heel pain. Check your shoes, get them on for a couple of hours a day and remember to see a podiatrist if it gets worse or does not go away.
In this blog we have used information from https://www.healthy-footwear-guide.com/we-are-the-healthy-footwear-group. Visit for more shoe fitting advice.