Ask A Pedorthist #2

Angela asks: My job requires me to work at a number of trade shows throughout the year. Often it involves long hours of standing in one spot on cement floors. Am I better served getting a shoe with a lot of cushion versus a lot of support? Is there a company that makes a combination of both in one shoe?

Irv, Certified Pedorthist:  A great question.  Traditionally a typical person believes they want cushioning when we stand on our feet for long periods of time. I tell people, if your feet, hips, back never bother you, you can wear anything you want……..generally that is not the case for most.

When we stand on flat surface for extended amounts of time there is an extraordinary amount of pressure put on our feet.  If the shoes we wear do not support our feet (so as to keep them in a neutral position) individuals may experience: foot issues, shin splints, back and neck issues and a variety of the above.

As a Pedorthist, I recommend having a shoe that controls the ankle, then if you have an orthotic (or others refer to them as inserts) would be ideal.  Now there are tens of thousands of over the counter orthotics.  Which one is for you?  Well, it depends on your foot.  This is why having a Certified Pedorthist assist you is important.

Shoes will often dictate the type of orthotic that can be most effective.   A cushioned orthotic generally takes up more space in a shoe and usually is most effective in  firm tie shoes.  Firm orthotics fit in most shoes, but are most effective in a tie shoe.

To get to answering your question of what type of shoe is the best.  It just depends.  Brands on the market which support your feet include but not limited to are: Naot, Finn Comfort, Dansko, Mephisto, and Birkenstock.  You must realize the shape of an individuals foot sometimes dictate a brand which is most appropriate for them.

The simple answer is: there are many variables which determine the best fit for an individual.  What is good for some doesn’t work for others.  I hope this helps you out, if you are in the Madison area, please stop into our store in the Hilldale shopping center.  If not, then look for a local Certified Pedorthist to assist you with the perfect fitting.

Thank you,


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