Sentimentality can play a big role as to why we encounter foot issues. If you’ve got some shoes that have been with you for many years, there’s a good chance that the inner and outer soles are worn down and the structure is giving way. Maybe you’ve glued some seams together or even had a patch job done by a shoe repairman. However, we have to face the inevitable – it’s probably time to let them go.
Worn out shoes can carry higher risk for foot problems. Outer soles can lose tread, and if you tend to in-toe or out-toe, one side of the soles are probably more worn down than the other. In this case, balance can be affected and bone and joint-related problems can appear. If inner soles are worn down, you lose the support and impact absorption properties at the ball of the feet and at the heels. Without proper support from the soles and structure of the shoes, you may experience pain in the feet, ankles, knees, and all the way up to the hips. You can suffer from shin splints, tendinitis, and even stress fractures.
So how do you know if it’s time to get rid of old shoes?
Check the following areas of the shoes to see if it is time to say goodbye to your beloved possessions:
- Midsole and Arch: Check for folding lines in the middle of the shoes. Push into the midsole to check for cushion – if you do not feel any, your midsole is worn out. You can also try to twist the shoe at the midpoint – you should not be able to twist the shoe if there is enough support. Finally, you should not be able to fold the shoe in half so that the heel can touch the toes; this indicates that there is not enough arch support remaining.
- Inner sole: Push into the inner sole, where the ball of the feet would be. You should have cushion there, as well as at the part where your heel would be. Without cushion in these areas, you will not have the support you need to absorb impact and prevent tissue strain.
- Outer Sole/Tread (if applicable): Inspect the bottom of the shoe. Is it worn down in a certain direction? If there was tread, is it nearly gone? Is the sole coming apart from the rest of the shoe? These are all signs that it’s time to get rid of your shoes.
Using inserts in shoes with worn down inner soles can work for a while. However, make sure your feet always feel supported. If you begin to feel strain or blisters when wearing your shoes, it’s likely that you need to get a new pair. We can help you with getting the right shoes to support your feet, especially if you experience problems in your feet or ankles. Make an appointment today with our foot doctors at The Podiatry Group. We are happy to serve you at our Jonesboro, AR office.