Free Footwear Health Check
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Which shoe for what?

At Happy Feet Pedorthics people come and they “want!” Fair enough – we all have our wants and needs! The range of people we see at Happy Feet Pedorthics covers a huge breadth from people with an undiagnosed rare disease to a person who simply has bigger feet requiring extra width and depth footwear.


The “want need like” discussion is always on our lips at Happy Feet Pedorthics, and following a close second is the “appropriate for the activity” discussion!


Which shoe for what?


We have all seen it:

  • sling backs being worn on a bush path
  • high heels on a board walk
  • thongs all day
  • wedge sole shoes rather than runners for the walk around the park
  • scuffs or mocs all day at home
  • open toe sandals in the pouring rain


Many of our clients have had to make choices:

  • enclosed shoes all the time, as they give the most support and keep the wearer safe from a fall
  • open toe sandals in all seasons, as sandals with the cushion modification to the straps give the arthritically deformed toes maximum protection
  • black shoes all the time as black matches all the clothes, with the client not having the ability financially to have extensive choices.
  • “what the funding allows for choices” as this is the difference between having shoes or NOT!


At Happy Feet Pedorthics the discussion as part of the assessment and fitting can be quite challenging! There can be an objection to every pair of shoes brought to try – often times before the shoe is even out of the box! So what do we do?


Knowing that our goal is not only a correctly fitting shoe but also one which is appropriate for the activity we ask about the client goals for footwear and foot health in attending Happy Feet Pedorthics. From this we try to find a solution – with the outcome at times being something betting than the client is currently wearing.


The trick is to get over the objections of don’t like, could not wear, like gran’s shoes, too thick, not that old yet, colors, and cost to name a few. My aim as a pedorthist is to get the shoes onto the person’s feet – to have the experience of fit, less pain and comfort! Yes some people at Happy Feet Pedorthics comment on no pain, as soon as they put “better for them” shoes on their feet.


The next trick for me as a pedorthist is to have the client look at the footwear choices being made and whether they are the best choices for the activity intended for wearing the shoes. For example a dressy more fashionable looking strap court is not the same as a supportive athletic shoe for the morning walk, or the higher heeled shoe is not the same as an enclosed shoe when on your feet all day working in the retail industry!


So next comes the plan – the third trick! At Happy Feet Pedorthics we work with clients to make a plan to slowly have shoes in their wardrobe which they like, and will wear, improving their foot health! With every trick we do remember the party shoes!


Clare Nelson CP CM Au


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