Shoes serve so many important purposes in our daily lives. A stylish pair of heels adds the perfect finishing touch to a professional outfit, while a quality pair of comfort shoes in Rochester Hills can help us run a race, play basketball or walk the dog with ease.
But shoes do more than support our activities. They are also a strong indicator of potential problems with the way we walk and run.
If you’re wearing a pair of decently worn-in shoes right now, take them off and flip them over, and see where the tread is worn down. This pattern is actually showing us some incredibly helpful information about how our feet are doing—and most importantly, how we can make sure they stay damage-free.
Reading the signs
No two people are precisely the same, but we do tend to exhibit certain similarities when it comes to gait. There are three main patterns that we fall into:
- Normal: If you have “normal” feet, you’ll see a pattern of wear centered in the middle of your heel and the middle of the ball of your foot. This is where you strike and spring off the ground, respectively. It’s normal to see wearing in this area, so don’t worry if you notice the tread getting smoother. What’s important here is the placement of the tread—the center is good!
- Overpronator: Countless people have this type of gait, which simply means that your feet tend to turn inward as you walk. Tread will wear down on the inside edges of the balls of your feet and your heels. If you have a favorite pair of flip-flops and constantly find that the big toe area is wearing down to the ground, you are an overpronator.
- Supinator: As you might have guessed, this type of gait leans outward, so you’ll see wear on the outer edges of the ball of your foot and your heel. On a pair of flip-flops, your pinky toe area will start to wear down to the ground much earlier than the rest of your toe area.
Why does it matter?
An unbalanced gait can lead to a wealth of medical issues. Overpronators could experience soft-tissue damage, tendinitis and hip pain, while supinators could have issues with IT band, shinbones, knees and overall bone wellness—to name just a few examples! Ignoring signs of abnormal striding can lead to a lot of pain or even permanent damage down the road.
What should you do?
You should choose the right pair of comfort shoes in Rochester Hills! An experienced shoe shop, like Haig Shoes, will be able to recommend shoes to counteract your pronation or supination. For example, if you tend to overpronate, extra arch support can be the ticket to preventing injury, since your foot will be corrected back to center position as you walk. Talk to your local shoe expert about any gait issues or other symptoms you experience, and make sure to update your shoes regularly to keep your feet happy and healthy year-round.