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Are your everyday shoes your friend, or your foe?

Are your everyday shoes your friend, or your foe?

Doug James, intraining physiotherapist, podiatrist and runner

Running shoes play an important part of a comfortable run. Similar to the tyres and suspension of a car, good running shoes can help provide your feet with traction and offer protection from the harsh impact of running. What many people don’t know is that the shoes you wear during the rest of your day can negatively impact your feet and their ability to function comfortably during a run.

High heels

High-heeled shoes can result in shortened calf muscles, which increases the risk of Achilles tendon injuries and calf muscle strains during running. While wearing high-heeled shoes, the forefoot is also at risk of overuse and impact injuries, due to greater pressure being transferred during standing.

Flat shoes

Ballet flats would seemingly be the safer option compared to high-heeled shoes, however the lack of cushioning and arch support can lead to overuse and strain injuries, particularly in people that stand a lot.

Pointed toe

Wearing shoes with a pointed toe can worsen forefoot issues such as bunions and nerve-related pain. A pointed toe design is commonly found in women’s shoes, but also seen in riding boots (e.g. RM Williams) that are now increasingly popular with men.

Going barefoot

While wearing certain shoes can exacerbate injuries, not wearing shoes can be worse. Walking barefoot on hard surfaces increases the likelihood and severity of the painful heel injury known as plantar fasciitis, which can persist for months or even years.

If your everyday shoes are causing you injury or discomfort, an intraining podiatrist can assess the suitability of your shoes and help you get to the bottom of the issue.


Come in and see us at the intraining Running Injury Clinic. For bookings, Book online, call 3367 3088 today or email [email protected]