What Footwear Can You Best Wear to Relieve Foot Pain?

Your feet play an important role in your overall health. They support your weight while providing stability and balance when you are walking, standing or running.

Considering that they do so much work, the feet are also prone to various overuse injuries. Infections and diseases as well as biomechanical abnormalities can also lead to foot pain.

Whether you are experiencing painful feet due to an infection, a disease, injuries or biomechanical abnormalities, wearing proper footwear can help to minimize that pain or even eradicate it completely.

If you want to eradicate or minimize foot pain, you should look for shoes that have the following features.

Strong Arch Support

Whether your foot pain is the result of age, injury, or a foot condition like plantar fasciitis, a pair of shoes with great arch support can help to alleviate the problem and ease the pain. Shoes with proper arch support will minimize the pain on your feet. Also, they will make standing and walking more comfortable. Shoes with arch support will help to distribute pressure exerted on your feet while providing balance, stability, and support. It’s important to note that shoes provide varying levels of arch support. Therefore, the severity of your problem and the structure of your foot will determine the level of arch support that you need. For instance, people with raised arches will definitely need more arch support, compared to those with flat feet. People with aggravated cases of plantar fasciitis should focus on shoes with thick, solid arch support. If you have low arches, then you should get yourself a pair of motion control shoes. Motion-control shoes provide added stability, thus preventing inward rolling. If possible, you should visit a podiatrist, who will examine your foot and advise you accordingly.

Flexibility

Shoes for painful feet should also be flexible. If you have plantar fasciitis, arthritis or any other foot condition, you should avoid chunky, heavy shoes as much as possible. Instead, you should go for a pair that is flexible, lightweight and comfortable enough. Both the outsole and the upper should be flexible enough, to allow your foot to move naturally. If your pair of shoes is not flexible, your feet will be forced to work harder, leaving you with more pain and fatigue. There is a common misconception that flexible shoes don’t provide ample support. However, that is not true. It’s very easy to find a pair of lightweight and flexible sneakers, with thick cushioning. The amount of flexibility will vary from person to person, depending on their job as well as walking speed and style. For instance, if you are a nurse, then you can either choose a pair of nursing sneakers (see my reviews) or nursing clogs (check out my reviews). Apart from being flexible and lightweight, both types of shoes also provide adequate arch support. They will keep your feet light as you run your errands while providing your feet with ample arch support.

Ample Shock Absorption

Proper shock absorption and cushioning should be a priority when you are buying shoes, especially if you have painful feet. If the shoes you are wearing have ample padding and cushioning, they will give your feet a comfortable resting platform, thus helping to relieve the pain. On the other hand, if they lack proper cushioning, then they might end up with continuous pain and discomfort. If you love a certain pair of shoes but you feel that it doesn’t have adequate cushioning, then you can enhance its shock absorption using custom orthotics or inserts. Apart from providing cushioning and shock absorption, custom orthotics can also help to realign the ankles and feet, redistribute your weight more uniformly, and help to relieve pressure on sensitive areas of your feet. Also, custom orthotics can correct common foot abnormalities such as supination and collapsed arches. They can also improve foot function and help to prevent common foot injuries, which translates to less pain on your feet. Also, make sure that the shoes you are wearing have heel support.

Proper Fit

Wearing ill-fitting shoes can aggravate your foot pain. On the other hand, a pair of well-fitting shoes can help to minimize the pain you are experiencing on your feet. When buying shoes, you should first measure your feet. Don’t rely on measurements that were taken 5 years ago. As you grow older, the ligaments in your feet tend to stretch and relax, thus leading to a change in shape and size. You should measure both the width and length of your feet. It’s advisable to take the measurements later in the day when your feet have already expanded. If you take the readings in the morning, you might not get an accurate measurement. Also, make sure you take the measurement when you are standing. Don’t worry too much about the size number indicated on the shoes, since different shoe manufacturers use different lasts. For instance, a size 8 Nike might not fit the same as a size 8 New Balance. When you are trying out the new pair of shoes, make sure that you can stick a finger between the heel of the shoe and your heel. Your toes should also wiggle comfortably. Also, you should walk around with the shoes in the store to determine their feet. Shoes for painful feet should be comfortable straight out of the box. If you experience any pitching or discomfort when trying out the new shoes, you should return them right away.

Good Breathability

Considering that your feet will be active throughout the day, you should make sure that the shoes you buy have adequate breathability. Shoes with good breathability will promote the free circulation of air, thus creating a conducive environment for your feet. Apart from helping your feet to remain cool, they will also prevent the build-up of odor-causing bacteria. Leaving sweat to build-can lead to blisters and hotspots, thus worsening your situation.

Final Thoughts

Investing in a pair of high-quality footwear is one of the best ways of alleviating pain on your feet. A good pair of shoes will provide support, shock absorption, and cushioning, thus helping you to live a normal lifestyle.

Sarah Shawman

is the webmistress of Footwear 4 Workers.

She started this website out of displeasure with the fact that there are so few good online resources especially dedicated to the 99%: working people. Having suffered from work related plantar fasciitis herself, she set out on a mission to help others.

She updated this page on and will continue to update it as time goes on.

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