By Gabe Sanders PhD, NSCA-CSCS
If you suffer from back pain, sciatica, foot pain, or any issue that can become worse while standing or simply being on your feet, maybe you should consider buying a new pair of shoes. There have been remarkable advances in footwear for people with many different foot and postural ailments.
Shoe technology is now designed to help correct or improve your walking patterns and can even reduce your chances of sustaining a foot or back injury.
For example, there are shoes that can provide you with more stability to help you balance; shoes to make you feel like you are not wearing shoes at all because they are extremely light weight. There are also shoes with ultra-cushioning systems to provide you with the ability to better absorb the impact of your body weight.
Some conditions may require shoes with more cushion
Conditions that become worse with standing or walking may require you to purchase shoes with more cushion. A good pair of shoes that have an advanced cushioning system do work and can change how you feel, especially if you have to be on your feet for any amount of time.
Leading shoe brands have developed state of the art technology to enhance their products and help people like you and me that need a softer-soled shoe. These softer-soled shoes are available mostly as running shoes and can be purchased at any athletic shoe retailer.
My best advice is to go and ask a sales associate for advice and then try on several pairs of running shoes that are designed to absorb shock and are made with a softer sole. You may have to try on a few pairs before you find the size and brand that works for you, but some of the new soft-soled shoes are like walking on fluffy pillows, they are great!
Research supports having a good pair of shoes
Even research supports the fact that shoes can help lessen pain for many different conditions and ailments. While a good pair of shoes will cost you upwards of $100 or more, it is worth every penny.
Remember, you get what you pay for and you cannot put a price on reducing pain or being more comfortable. If a good comfortable pair of shoes can reduce your pain, then you might want be more physically active throughout the day. If a new pair of shoes is what you need to increase your activity levels, then go out and buy a pair…immediately!
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Rome K, Sterart S, Vandal A, Gow P, et al. The effects of commercially available footwear on foot pain and disability in people with gout: a pilot study. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2013; 14: 278.
Burton KA. How to prevent low back pain. Best Practice and Research Clinical Rheumatology. 2005; 19(4): 541-555.