Footwear can play a fundamental role in terms of a successful patient outcome.
Footwear provides an environment not just for the foot to function more appropriately but also often can provide the environment in which an orthotic can work to its maximum potential.
Width, depth and length of footwear
One of the criteria in regard to footwear selection is its suitability in terms of width, depth and length and this can help improve a number of the forefoot problems we see in particular.
The space within a shoe can often be utilised to incorporate a functional orthotic which is designed to reduce physical force going through injured tissues or joints.
Footwear can also provide a foundation in regard to the sole of the shoe itself in relation to incorporating the right mechanical profile. Over the last decade we have looked at how footwear and the shoe profile of the footwear can help improve some of the more obvious trauma related injuries such as ankle fractures, to improve patients walking patterns and also improve their level of symptoms more locally.
Footwear modification is a key role to how we manage a number of our more complex foot and ankle related injuries, and Mark has been involved with a number of commerical companies looking at shoe design and the effect footwear can have on the types of forces acting on the foot, ankle and leg.
The role of footwear within all groups across the board is fundamentally important to the success of a mechanical intervention, whether this is a running shoe, football boot or day to day shoe.
The combination of an appropriate orthotic or insole alongside a shoe with the appropriate mechanical features, whether that be shoe fit or more importantly the mechanical profile of the shoe, often can be a deciding factor in the success or not of mechanical intervention.