When you’re dealing with knee pain, a good pair of shoes can make all the difference. Your knees move your feet, and a good pair of shoes can go a long ways towards offering support and excellent walking form. WebMD has a great article where they interviewed Matt Minard, a physical therapist and orthopedic specialist on some of the basics behind buying shoes that are easy on your knees and feet.
First, You’ve got to know the specifics of your feet because different walking shoes exist for things like high arches, flat feet, etc. Numerous studies have shown there’s no difference in knee pain between adults who wear enhanced running shoes and those who wore regular shoes. Instead, it’s important to know what type of foot you have, and match it to the proper kind of shoe. Simply because it has lots of cushion or really thick soles doesn’t mean it’ll be good for the ankles and knees. (in fact, thick, rigid stability shoes make it worse)
The best way to learn what shoes fit your feet is to shop at a specialty shoe store with staff who can measure your feet and walking patterns. This way you can make informed decisions that will make a difference in your joint health.
Flexibility is also important. If you can bend the toe of a shoe upward toward the laces easily, you probably have a flexible shoe. If it’s difficult to bend, the opposite is likely true. Also check the soles of the shoe. The flatter, the better. WebMD’s experts advise that heels on a shoe can shift and bend the knee forward, putting extra stress on the joint. Instead, seek a shoes with a minimal heel, if possible.
A good shoe should feel comfortable. Uncomfortable shoes will press on areas of the feet in ways that can restrict movement and alter how you walk. This affects how a knee bends, creating abnormal walking patterns and making knee pain worse.
Keeping these tips in mind will make treating any knee issues you have much easier. Your feet are your foundation, especially to your knees. If you haven’t already, check out our knee braces if you’re dealing with chronic knee pain. They’re often covered through most insurance programs, meaning you’ll save money that could go towards buying a new pair of walking shoes instead.