Shoes and Supports: How They Interact

Ever stubbed your toe? It’s crazy to think that something so small could hurt so much, but they sure can! All too frequently, we forget these important little appendages until they’re sore and sad. But they deserve attention because they’re quite literally the foundation on which everything else stands! The foot is naturally wider at the toes, and shoes should accommodate this width, instead of toes having to adjust to narrower shoes. A wide “toe box” in a shoe makes movement easier and more comfortable and allows the foot to move naturally during day-to-day activities that can range from sitting to standing and everything in between.

The times when our feet are really able to relax is smaller than it seems. Only when we truly “put our feet up,” like when we’re lying down or using a footrest, do our feet actually have the chance to be completely relieved of pressure. Even sitting in a chair leaves feet bearing pressure, if not from the whole body, then from a portion of it.

With all of this in mind, it is essential to have a good pair of shoes. Even though it would be nice to wear fuzzy bunny slippers all day long, it isn’t an option for most of us, and it can harm your feet (not to mention your opportunity to impress friends!). Shoes for activity should be less flexible, more durable, and able to take some impact! Shoes worn during relaxation are typically softer and provide less structure. When you’re wearing arch supports, you want to match the flexibility of the shoe with the flexibility of the support. When wearing Good Feet’s strengthener arch support, for example, you would want to make sure the shoe you are wearing it in is strong and well structured. The strengthening arch support provides the most stability and is designed with a heel cup to further support and stabilize the foot. On the other hand (or foot, we should say), if you are lounging at home, you won’t need shoes that are tailored to activity, so both shoe and support can be more flexible. The strengthener and maintainer inserts support all four arches in the foot, but the relaxer arch support supports just three and allows the unsupported arch some time to stretch and relax.

No snowflake is alike, and it’s the same way with feet. Though most people wear the same shoe size for both feet, each foot differs slightly from each other. When feet are different, our fitters fit towards the foot that is closer to the “ideal” foot, with the objective of building up the foot that needs more work. We want to bring it closer to the foot with better conformation before we help them both get closer to the image of the “ideal foot.”