Choosing Shoes

Below is a hand-out I made for selecting supportive shoes. If we are making you orthotics, we’ll discuss the type of shoe you intend to wear most and base the type of orthotics on those.

The correct shoes (and orthotics) should not only help and feel good to the foot, they should help spine alignment as well. It is okay to bring in shoes and orthotics you currently have to assess their effectiveness.


Additional information: athletic shoe manufacturers frequently attempt to correct foot and shoe wear problems by modifying the heel. This usually means making either the inside or the outside of the heel firmer. Avoid this! It acts like a heel wedge and will seldom be right for you, and will clash with your arch supports. Ask specifically for a neutral shoe, and test it by pushing on the heel with your thumbs. The inside and outside should feel the same.

The most common problems I see in patients’ shoes are:

  1. Flimsy
  2. Too short
  3. Too worn (easily hidden on athletic shoes. They should be changed at least once a year)
  4. Too barefoot (sorry, folks, but the “barefoot” moccasin-like running shoe trend doesn’t work for most Americans)
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