Everyday the average American walks 8,000 steps a day, so it’s no surprise that our shoes and feet can get worn down. Looking at the soles of your shoes can tell you a lot about your individual feet, like how you walk.
When you walk, the weight of your body naturally shifts from the outside to the inside of your foot. This movement is typically described as pronation.
- Neutral pronation: A sole with neutral pronation will demonstrate wearing on the middle to outer edge of the heel, as well as on the ball of the foot and the big toe area.
- Over-pronation: Over pronation occurs when your body weight is transferred mostly to the inner part of the shoe, which leaves wearing on the middle to outer heel, inner edge, and large area under the big toe and forefoot. This pattern is typical in people who have flat arches and flexible feet and can be related to issues in the knees, hips, and back.
- Over-supination: The opposite of pronation is supination, which occurs when weight stays towards the outside of the foot. The sole will typically have wearing on the outer edge of the heel and forefoot area towards the pinky toe. People with high arches, who are unable to flatten their feet as they step, commonly develop this pattern and are at higher risk for ankle injuries.
For those who have abnormal pronation or supination, it is important to address the way you walk to minimize potential injuries. It is possible to adjust your gait and foot structure through the following common treatments:
- Custom orthotics – custom inserts created for each foot can create support where needed and create an optimal foot structure.
- Proper fitting shoes – finding a comfortable shoe that allows for ample toe room, a snug heel fit, and appropriate flexibility is important to reduce strains on your feet.
- Physical therapy – Strengthening and stretching your feet through physical therapy exercises can greatly improve your gait, balance, and overall foot health.
Whether you need help determining your foot type or need custom orthotics or shoes to address your abnormal gait, talking to a board-certified podiatrist is the first step to a healthier foot! At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal helps patients of all ages address common foot issues such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, toe deformities, fungal toenails, arthritis, diabetic foot problems, and ankle sprains and fractures. Together with a committed staff and advanced technologies, Dr. Samofal works with you to create a customized treatment plan to get you back on your feet! Please contact our Wayne, NJ office online or by calling (973) 925-4111 today!