February 20, 2018

Foot Care from Dr. William Knudson | Understanding Athletic Shoe Design

In his work as a podiatrist, Dr. William Knudson frequently treats foot problems that could have been avoided or mitigated with the proper footwear. In our image conscious society, says Dr. William Knudson, people often chose shoes that are fashionable but unhealthy. Dr. William Knudson reminds his patients that their feet are more important than they think.

When it comes to walking and running shoes, explains Dr. William Knudson, shoe designers produce three categories of footwear. The three types of walking and running shoes, continues Dr. William Knudson, are motion control, stability and neutral shoes. Motion control shoes, says Dr. William Knudson, resist twisting and bending. They generally have a straight shape, adds Dr. William Knudson, and are best fit to people with low or flat arches.

Stability shoes are designed with a slight curve in their shape, points out Dr. William Knudson, and are best suited to people with medium arches. This is what podiatrists usually refer to as “normal” arches. The neutral design, says Dr. William Knudson, is a rigid shoe with a curved shape. Dr. William Knudson adds that neutral shoes are suited for feet with high arches.

Regardless of the style of shoe Dr. William Knudson’s patients end up choosing, there are some basics that apply to all footwear. Choose a shoe with a removable insole, recommends Dr. William Knudson, so you have the option of using your own insole or orthotics to further customize the fit. Make sure the shoes have a snug heel, notes Dr. William Knudson, and a toe box with about half an inch of play, so that it is easy to comfortably wiggle the toes. Another good sizing rule with athletic shoes, says Dr. William Knudson, is to try new shoes on late in the day. Due to circulation, feet expand and contract over the course of a day, says Dr. William Knudson, and they are typically at their biggest by late afternoon.


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