Talking feet

Foot consultation

According to Sports Medicine Podiatrist, Mr Liam Stapleton, many people who’ve taken up running during lockdown are storing up foot problems for the future by buying cheap or ill-fitting shoes for their new fitness regime. He’s urging new and would-be runners to think carefully about the footwear they choose when embarking on running to stay fit.

“During the lockdowns of the last year I’ve seen an increase in foot problems both in the area of recreational running and indoor exercise classes,” said Liam.

“Footwear is often a significant factor in most foot injuries and with running, it can be caused by heading out on the road in a pair of ill-fitting “cheaper” running shoes and in a lot of cases the shoes being worn are not even designed for running, “he said.

Liam says there are many things to consider when choosing shoes for running, such as how the runner’s foot shape suits a shoe, and as well as the shoes being comfortable, factors like forefoot width and heel cup height also need careful consideration.

“It’s important to get the heel height to suit your foot shape and, if you are a forefoot/midfoot or heel striker (the position where your foot hits the ground, while running) will change the type of shoe you need, so you must consider what each shoe offers you when you look to buy, he said.”

Foot problems created by ill-fitting footwear can, if ignored, become long-term problems. Lower limb sports injuries are three times more likely to recur and degenerative changes, often seen in the big toe joint or in adult-acquired flat foot, can be life-long or even require surgery.

Plantar Fasciitis - a common injury

One of the conditions associated with poor quality sports shoes is Plantar Fasciitis, a condition that affects the bottom of the foot, most commonly causing pain in the centre and inner side of the heel. It's caused by damage to the band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which runs from the heel, beneath the arch of the foot to the base of the toes.

Usually, the plantar fascia supports the arch and helps the foot work properly, spreading your weight evenly through your foot, so you can walk, run or stand without difficulty. However, plantar fasciitis can make it difficult and painful to use your foot properly.

Podiatry treatments at Benenden Hospital

Plantar Fasciitis was just one of the conditions covered in our recent podiatry webinar. To find out more, visit our podiatry treatment pages or contact our Private Patient team using our online enquiry form or by calling 01580 363158.

Published on 15 March 2021