Could your shoes be causing you heel pain?


We all love showing off a new pair of shoes. A fresh pair of training shoes can add an extra bounce to your morning run, and there’s nothing like that extra inch of confidence that comes with a new pair of high heels that you’ve bought for a job interview. However, fashion isn’t the only factor to consider. Thinking  about your feet when you’re looking to buy new shoes is equally important. If your shoes don’t fit you correctly or don’t give your arches enough support, it can eventually lead to heel pain. This can negatively effect on your day-to-day life, like preventing you from staying active or having a good time on the dancefloor. Read on to discover how different types of shoes can cause heel pain and what you can do prevent this.


Walking and Running Shoes

When it comes to sports shoes, different styles are specially designed for specific activities like long-distance running or going to the gym. These can also vary on your level of training as well as the type of terrain you train on. Good walking and running shoes should give you extra support to minimise the stress exerted on the muscles beneath the heel and provide cushion that can prevent heel pain or ‘plantar fasciitis’.[1] The best sports shoes to address heel pain are ones that support, align and distribute stress evenly across your feet that minimise the stress exerted on the heel.[2] Remember, there is a wide variety of styles to choose from and a good sports store is well-informed on these and can help you find the right pair to help you achieve your fitness goals.


High Heels

It is official-high heels are here to stay! Unfortunately, countless pairs of high heels spend more time hidden in the wardrobe instead of adding extra inches to your confident stride. While these can be a proud purchase, many women are discouraged by the idea of tired or aching feet. Regardless of which pair you choose, it is important that they fit correctly. When you are shopping around, remember to try on both the left and right shoe (most of us have one foot bigger than the other![3]) and make sure there is enough room to wiggle your longest toe while you walk.[4]


Sturdy Work Shoes

From police officers to those working in the construction industry, many of us spend hours on our feet during working days. For some, especially those working outdoors, this means wearing sturdy footwear that protects the soles, sometimes featuring a heavy steel toecap. The pressure of these sturdy shoes can often result to tired and aching feet at the end of the working day. While these shoes should be solid on the outside, it is important to choose a pair with a cushioned interior that acts as a shock absorber every time your feet make contact with the ground. For walking and running shoes, it is important that your work shoes have good arch and heel support to minimise the risk of inflamed heel.[5]

Whether you are working, dancing or going for a run, even the sturdiest shoes will eventually start to wear and will provide less support to your heels. Some recommend switching trainers as often as every five to six months to serious athletes.[6]  Therefore, if you rotate your daily choice in footwear, your favourite shoes will last longer. Remember that finding the correct shoe size is very important when it comes to new shoes, and it is always a good idea to try on both the left and right shoe. Insole is also a great way of providing a little extra cushion between your foot and the ground, and add extra comfort to your feet.