Your feet, your shoes & the workplace!

Your feet, your shoes & the workplace!

Workplace Footwears Point Cook

It’s the beginning of October and that means it’s the beginning of Foot Health Month! We’ve teamed up with the Australian Podiatry Council to spread the word of actively keeping your feet healthy and at their best – and what better place to start than where you spend half of your waking hours many days a week – your workplace!

Regardless of whether you’re running heavy machinery or walking from meeting to meeting, your feet will take on everything you throw at them – or more like under them! They work to absorb the shock from a variety of surfaces, adapt to uneven terrain, absorb up to three times our body and weight and all while often crammed into whatever shoe we and our workplace deem appropriate. And our feet keep doing this every day!

So what can we be doing to help our feet manage the work day better? We thought we’d start with the one thing that goes hand-in-hand with feet – Footwear!

The real impact of footwear in the workplace

Footwear can make or break our feet – literally. Having the right footwear is a crucial component of maintaining good foot health. While footwear at work is typically viewed as a professional necessity, we’d like you to view it in another way too – as a device that can either help protect, cushion and support your feet, or one that can cause pain, instability and facilitate the progression of changes in the alignment of the feet which may the become permanent – just like bunions.

At work, high heels can place a massive load through the ball of your foot that can lead to injury and pain. So can narrow dress shoes that cramp up and place pressure your forefoot. Workboots can do much the same with placing high loads through different areas of the foot, especially when they are often worn on hard surfaces. The key is to choose shoes with features that help support your feet and reduce the risk of injury. These include:

  • Getting the right width- Many shoes these days come in various widths to allow for the various widths of our feet! Make sure you check this when buying shoes. If you feel the shoe is a bit tight when trying it on, avoid the age-old thought of “it’ll stretch” – you don’t know exactly how much it’ll stretch by and it’s not worth the damage to your feet until they do! Make sure you have enough room in that toe box for your toes too.
  • Getting the right length – Don’t worry, we’re not saying this to be obvious. We’re saying it because we still see many patients who buy shoes at the same size they always have without realising that the sizing could’ve been a little off in the first place or that their feet have changed over time. We’ve also seen patients take the size of their foot off their left foot whereas the right one is actually longer, or they measure the space between the end of the toes to the end of the shoe from the big toe where the second toe is actually longer and bumps against the end of the shoe!
  • Checking what lies beneath – It may surprise you to learn that when you take the shoe liner out of many shoes (usually the cheaper ones), what lies beneath may be a cardboard material or a flexible plastic-like material that will wear down quickly and won’t be doing any good for your feet. Take the time to inspect and feel the shoes and chat to the shop assistant. While often these shoes may also be cheaper, they won’t be overall when you have to buy a new pair in less than 6 months.
  • Comfort and cushioning – A big feature of cushioning other than the lovely feel is that cushioning helps to absorb and dissipate ground reaction forces when you walk to reduce the impact on your feet and legs. So check your level of comfort when you’re trying on shoes!
  • Stability – A shoe has the ability to either cradle and support your ankle and give your feet even more stability, or leave the ankle unsupported, free to roll around and even sprain. If you feel unstable in your shoes – and this is particularly relevant for high heels – avoid them. You can still have a heel in your shoe and have greater stability – you’ve just got to choose the right shoe.

If you haven’t done so in the last couple of years, we highly recommend going to a shoe retailer that will take the time to accurately measure your shoe size today so you can be certain. More than that, they can give you the best information and advice on their available stock that will do the best by your feet. We often get asked of local stores that we recommend for good business footwear, so here’s a few of our favourites:

For work boots we like Totally Workwear at Hoppers Crossing
For office shoes we like Hicks Shoes in Altona, Sestoshoex in Altona Meadows and Betts in Point Cook

Your foot type and your foot biomechanics can also play a large role on what footwear is best for your feet. For a biomechanical foot assessment, book in with us at Sole Motion Podiatry. We provide a comprehensive biomechanical assessment of your bones, joints and muscles and will thoroughly assess and diagnose any issues you may be having.

If you’d like a workplace foot health check for your business and staff, get in touch directly with Managing Director and Podiatrist Justin Kalopa and we can get your staff seen to as part of your workplace safety scheme. Read more here:

Give us a call today on 1300-FX-FEET

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