Dr. Rajani Patil

PICKING YOUR 'Solemate'

October, 2017
The Master Responds

My friend was once jogging with me and the sole of her shoe came off. This with what we refer to as ‘branded’ footwear, and I was quick to give her a scolding. Her response to my agitation was backed by an excuse that she had bought the pair of shoes during an online sale a few months ago. This is one of the many reasons why I believe buying shoes online can go wrong. I know my patients, friends and even family who prefer buying their shoes online just because it is convenient and cheap. But let me elaborate why this might be the most dangerous thing you can do for your health. Shoes should be picked based on Function, Fit and Feel.

Function

This simply means picking your shoes based on your foot/walking/running biomechanics (determined through a gait analysis). Everyone has different types of feet, which have a high, medium or low arch. You could be flat footed, which again is classified into a number of types. You could have a rigid, semi-rigid or floppy foot. You could be an over-pronator, neutral type or a supinator. Each of these foot types should be fitted in the right kind of shoe. There is no way that the shoes that are a magical fit for your friend will also be right for you - unless you are twins and don’t know it! Only a well-trained Gait Analyst/Sports Physiotherapist will be able to shed light on this. When you pick up shoes online, you have no idea about how the shoes will fit you functionally, and this can lead to injuries.


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