When you make an appointment to see a podiatrist for the first time, you may be asked to bring a few different pairs of shoes with you to your initial assessment. Although podiatrists are primarily interested in looking at your feet and legs, they may also get useful clues about the problems you're having from your footwear.
Are Your Shoes Right for Your Feet?
The shoes you wear can affect the health of your feet and legs; in some cases, they may cause some of the problems that led you to make your podiatry appointment in the first place.
Being able to assess the shoes you wear most regularly can be useful during your podiatry assessment as they help the podiatrist identify areas of concern. For example, according to the Better Health Channel, shoes that don't fit well may give you problems such as corns, calluses and general foot pain. If your podiatrist thinks that your shoes aren't quite right for your feet, you'll get advice on how to choose better fitting or more foot-friendly types of shoes. Alternatively, your podiatrist may recommend that you wear insoles to make your shoes fit more comfortably.
What Do Your Shoes Say About Your Body?
Even if you're wearing the right kinds of shoes, your podiatrist may still find it useful to take a look at the pairs you wear most often. The patterns of wear on your shoes can give podiatrists clues about your feet, posture and gait. This can be useful during your assessment, as it may reinforce the findings the podiatrist makes when examining your feet or legs.
For example, if you have flat feet, you may be experiencing pain or problems because your foot rolls in to the side when you use it rather than distributing weight evenly across all of the foot. This may cause your shoes to wear out more on the inner side of the sole rather than the outer side, giving the podiatrist visible evidence of your problem in action.
Tip: You don't need to take every pair of shoes you own to your appointment. Take a few pairs that you wear regularly rather than new shoes that you've not worn in yet. For example, it's a good idea to take in a pair of shoes you wear for work, a pair you wear for leisure purposes and, if you exercise or play sports, a pair of those shoes.