Staying grounded with a good pair of shoes Staying grounded with a good pair of shoes

Staying grounded with a good pair of shoes

Armony in health 5 October, 2018 Maria Clara Restrepo E.

Using inappropriate footwear can lead to problems or conditions that affect the aesthetics and wellbeing of your feet.

Medical Advisor Iván Arroyave – Orthopedic Doctor and Foot Surgeon

More than just a symbol of fashion and beauty, wearing high heels can take its toll on the women that wear them. But tennis shoes and flats are not always an easy answer, as poor shoe choice can lead to more than just simple discomfort.

According to Iván Arroyave, orthopedic doctor and foot surgeon, it is impossible to generalize the perfect shoe for everybody, “The foot’s structure is not designed to bear heavy loads.

It is designed to distribute them. The sole of the feet can bear up to seven times a person’s body weight which is why shoes made with rigid materials that are not very ergonomic can cause pain in the heel, knee or back – for example. This is why it is important to know how to choose well.”

In general, using inappropriate shoes that do not fit a person’s needs, can get their bones and muscles out of balance and make them overwork. They can also cause hammer, claw, and mallet toes, bunions, corns, overlapping toes and posture problems.

Making your choice a good experience

Our expert gives a few general recommendations to keep in mind when purchasing footwear:

  1. The best time to purchase shoes is in the evening, as throughout the day the foot swells and inappropriate footwear can contribute to pressure or pain.

  2. Shoes should generally be a half centimeter longer than the foot. This can help compensate for the swelling that occurs at the end of the day.

  3. There should be plenty of space in the front part of the shoe. Avoid pointy shoes so that the feet can enter easily without pressure. This helps prevent the onset of calluses which are often the product of friction between the shoe and foot.

  4. Flexibles soles are not recommended under any circumstance as they do not protect the feet from the protrusion of external objects. As for the internal sole of the shoe, inserts should be ergonomic and firm so that the midsole protects the heel. The midsole should be a about one centimeter thick to cushion the foot while walking.

  5. With sports shoes, choose a shoe that is appropriate for each sport. The same shoe should not be used to play both tennis and basketball.

  6. A “healthy” heel should not measure longer than three centimeters to make sure that the shoe is comfortable and can be tolerated. However, the specialist emphasizes that there is no one measurement that is right for all. High-heel shoes contribute to lordosis, a large inward arch in the lumbar spine.

Comfort and quality


For people with knee or meniscus issues as well as arthrosis, the use of high heels should be limited. High heels place an extra burden on the knee and increase pressure on the area behind it. As our orthopedic doctor explains, “Using high-heel shoes and bearing too much weight can damage cartilage. While this does not happen from one day to the next, frequent use of these types of shoes can be damaging. In many cases, it is important to understand that the shoe isn’t the only cause of the problem. Other factors can also play a role such as injuries, diseases such as diabetes, and physical deformities.”

For children

While it goes against what parents like to think, walking barefoot is good for children. According to Dr. Arroyave, this helps them develop motor skills, allows them to move their toes and joints and even strengthens their muscles. When they do use shoes, however, it is important to keep in mind that their function is more protective. It is also important to be aware of when the child may need to get new shoes, because as children grow, they need to be replaced more frequently. (You may be interested: Healthy feet).

For men

In general, men’s footwear generally presents no health complications. Dr. Arroyave recommends choosing shoes that can be put on easily, without having to force them on, and that the sole should be neither flat nor flexible in order to prevent future discomfort. “The best shoes are the shoes you feel comfortable with, there’s no general rule.”

Careful with inserts

  • Make sure they are the right fit for you. Not all inserts work for every shoe.

  • If you use them daily, change them every six months on average.

  • Inserts are generally used as a treatment or prevention method when there are areas on the bones or the soles of the feet that receive abnormal pressure.