The wear and tear on your shoe is a strong indicator of foot postural problems. Your shoe wear out pattern could give a sign into problems with the muscles and bones in your foot. Read more.
Any human being, on an average, walks a distance equivalent to the circumference of the earth in his lifetime. That’s around 40000 km. Zoom in deeper and you’ll realize that this narrows down to around 5000 steps a day that a person walks on a normal basis. This includes traveling to work and back, walking around in your office, your morning walk or run, etc. This adds a huge amount of stress on your feet and also on your shoes. Add to this the poor walking surfaces in Mumbai and it’s no surprise that our shoes wear out in a year or two. However, if you notice your shoes wearing out in specific areas sooner than others, or if you find a geographical pattern in which all your shoes normally wear out, it could indicate problems with your feet. And also problems with your knees, hips and back. This is what your shoe wear out pattern tells you about your body:
If you observe that your shoe is getting excessively worn out at the outer edge, more than it’s worn out in the other areas, it is probably because you have a supinated foot. Those who have a high foot arch tend to supinate. A normal walking pattern begins with the heel striking the ground, then the mid-foot makes contact with the arch flattening to absorb shock and finally the forefoot propels the body forward. Those who have supinated feet have very high and strong arches that do not flatten while you walk. Therefore the body weight is likely to fall on the outer edge of the shoe.
Those who supinate are likely to suffer from ankle pain and sprains. Since the ankle isn’t aligned with the knee, faulty biomechanics put excessive pressure on the knees which can lead to erosion of the knee cartilage and bring on early arthritis.
Supination can be corrected by using orthotic insoles that are carefully crafted by moulding them into an impression of your foot cast in its corrected posture.
If you observe the inner edge of your shoe wearing out faster than normal, it means your feet pronate excessively. Foot pronation means your foot arch collapses during walking which leads to your ankle rolling inwards when you walk. This is a very common problem with a majority of people in India. People whose feet pronate experience very little or no shock absorption as they walk. This leads to excessive strain on the ankles and may lead to pain and swelling. Also, it causes strain on the calf muscles and can lead to tightening and soreness in the calves. Over pronation can also lead to an anterior pelvis tilt – the front of the pelvis drops and the back of the pelvis rises since the ankle – knee- hip alignment is ruptured. This can cause low back pain.
Over pronation can be corrected with custom orthotic insoles that provide you with the exact amount of arch support needed for bringing articular alignment between your navicular and talus bones. Contact Podiapro for your pair.
If you find the shoe wears out on the inside below the heel too fast, you are striking the ground too hard while walking or running, putting excessive pressure on your heel. Excessive pressure on the heel damages the fat pad that cushions the calcaneus. This could lead to pain in the heel or pathologies like plantar faciitis and Server’s disease.
Orthotic insoles with heal stabilizers and shock absorbing inserts will take off the excessive pressure off your heels.
4. Ball of the great toe
Ball of the great toe is the big bone below your great toe that pushes against the ground when you lift your great toe. If you find excessive wear in the sole of your shoe below this region, you may be suffering from equinus deformity. A tight Achilles tendon limits the movement of your ankle. The most common methods of compensation are flattening of the arch or picking up the heel early when walking, placing increased pressure on the ball of the foot.
This condition can be caused by keeping the feet pointed downwards while sitting on a high chair or by wearing high heeled shoes frequently. It can cause pain in the ball of the foot region, corns and calluses (hard, dead skin) on the soles of your feet.
This can be corrected by insoles that release the pressure on the Achilles tendon and correct your foot timing. Contact Podiapro if you believe you have this problem.
5. Great toe
If your shoe is wearing out under the great toe, it means you are putting excessive weight on the great toe while walking. This is probably due to over pronation of the forefoot that transfers all the weight on the great toe even before the digitigrade or the toe-off stage. This could lead to corns and calluses under the great toe, can also cause the great toe to deviate inwards (hallux valgus) causing bunions.
Orthotic insoles that correct forefoot pronation and offload the pressure on your great toe should be used to correct such a problem.