Ahhh the sun is shining, Spring is here, and it's time get out and enjoy the warmer temps. Our thoughts are on warm nights, green grass, long walks and gardening in the afternoon - but what if common foot pain is keeping you immobile? Many people suffering from common foot pains often dismiss activity because of the aches and pain associated with being active. However, there are many options out there for those suffering from foot pain (and orthopedic shoes need not be the only answer) and several brands catering to sufferers exactly like you! Let's take a look at some of the most common foot ailments and the brands looking to remedy them:
One of the most commonly cited causes of foot pain is plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the sole of the foot. Plantar fascia begins at the bottom of the heel and ends at the toes. Wondering if you have plantar fasciitis? Pain from plantar fasciitis typically occurs right under the heel, and most often when you just get out of bed, or in the first steps of the day. Another telltale sign is the sufferer has trouble bringing the toes toward the shin, which sometimes leads to knee problems. The condition is caused by a number of things, including an overpronating foot or excessively high arch, overactivity, weight gain or loss, aging or ground surface. As you can tell, it's difficult to pinpoint an exact cause. Treatment can include stretching, icing, arch supports, orthotics or pedorthic shoes. These brands can relieve pain and actually treat the condition:
For those who spend the majority of the day on their feet, look no further. Merrell offers fantastic options from casual shoes and sandals, to hiking boots and dress shoes. Featuring Q-Form® footbeds, supportive Trailspring® technology and innovative sole designs, Merrell really has the bases covered. Check out this testimonial from a happy Merrell customer:
"I can walk again, I can exercise, I can hike with my family again. I feel like I have my life back (sounds melodramatic, I know - but it's true!). I've been pain-free now for 9 months and I appreciate every day. I will never wear another kind of shoes. I've got my casual Merrell’s, my dressier leather sandals, 3 different runners, water sandals, and my hiking shoes. (I just need you to make me a bit of a dressy heel now...... my teenage daughters don't like me wearing my runners to dressy occasions!). Even my students have noticed that I only wear Merrell’s!" - Carol in Calgary
Ecco has long been known for offering shoes that soothe and relieve. In this case, Ecco shoes support the feet and arch in a neutral position and reduces strain and stress on the plantar fascia, which helps it heal quicker.
Bunions are characterized by a lateral deviation of the big toe. The cause of bunions is still unknown, but thought to be genetic, and worsened by some shoes. Bunions most commonly effect women, and tight fitting shoes, high heels, and pointy toes are often the cause. Rheumatoid arthritis can also worsen the situation. Symptoms include pain in the affected area when walking, joint redness and pain and blisters around the site of the bunion. The good news is bunions can be treated by changing footwear, rest, and medication. Surgery may be necessary in some cases. If you suffer from bunions, here are some brands that are made for you:
Naot is known for soft leather and supportive cork/latex footbeds, both important features in finding shoes that are kind to bunions. A unique anatomical footbed contours the foot, just like a footprint in the sand.
Alegria's distinct wide toebox is ideal for those who suffer form painful bunions, hammertoes or corns. They're also great for osteoarthritis patients! Check out the Alegrias with rear foot control or the slip on version if you have trouble putting on and taking off your shoes.
Clarks offer great solutions when it comes to bunions, especially in the sandal department. Those who suffer from bunions say Clarks never fails to offer nice-looking, supportive sandals in all sorts of styles. Clarks sandals feature adjustable straps and nicely cushioned footbeds with plenty of room.
Often called Morton's Neuroma, this condition causes pain in the ball of the foot as a result of enlargement or thickening of a nerve in the area between the toes. The cause is usually poor fitting shoes or awkward foot structure, and the condition is highly treatable. Symptoms include sharp pain, numbness, cramping and that annoying feeling that you're stepping on something or there's something in your shoe. Here are a few brands that make Morton's a little easier to bear:
Birkenstocks are wide, with a large toe box (a must for treating Neuroma) that allows the foot to take its natural shape. A quality metatarsel pad or support is crucial in relieving pressure caused by Neuroma. Birkenstocks are great solutions whether you're looking for sandals or closed toe shoes.
Crocs are great for those suffering from Neuroma because they've got a large, roomy toe box and soft cushy sole. Crocs come in all shapes and sizes, including flats and sandals.