When is the last time you checked the bottom of your shoes? No, not for anything unpleasant that you might have stepped on. Rather, pay attention to the wear pattern of your shoes. Depending on one’s lifestyle, some people’s shoes get worn out sooner than others. In this day and age, it is extremely easy to neglect the condition of our foot wear and its impact on our well-being.
I would like to share a personal story from my time as a student therapist. We were being introduced to the concept of assessing a person’s walking pattern (also known as the gait cycle) to determine if there are muscle imbalances in the human body. Students were asked to observe each other for their gait cycle while my teacher walked around and gave helpful insights. She stopped to look at my gait and had a thoughtful look on her face. My teacher then asked me to remove my shoes and walk again. To my embarrassment, she proceeded to call the attention of the entire class to look at the wear pattern of my shoes and how it affected my gait cycle. Upon inspecting my running shoes, the outer portion of the heel was completely worn out. My teacher explained how my shoes were forcing my feet to walk in an awkward position, which put unnecessary stress on my muscles and joints. Once my shoes were removed, my gait cycle was drastically improved. I was taught a very good lesson on the importance of proper foot wear that day.
Since then, I got really curious about people’s gait cycle and its relation to muscle condition. Having poor foot wear can result in pain at the shins and low back region. This is especially the case when one is on their feet for the majority of the day. I’ve also seen in my clinical practice that patients prefer aesthetically pleasing footwear over practicality and comfort. Despite this modern culture of daily hustle, our feet deserve to be nurtured and cared for. Thus, regular massage treatments on our legs and feet, which carry us each and every day, is a very good place to start. But don’t dismiss the importance of a comfortable and practical pair of shoes. This way your legs and feet can do the very best job they can!!
Health is Wealth!!
Alex Yue, RMT