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House Call: Choosing the Right Shoes & the Impact of Improper Fitting Shoes

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Choosing the right pair of shoes to wear on a regular basis plays a major role in avoiding injury and ensuring the long-term health of your feet, as well as your entire body.

Several components factor into picking the proper shoe such as gender, body weight, activity level, history of injury, and body and motion mechanics.

Many running and athletic focused websites provide resources for finding the right shoe for running, walking and other activities based on important components, such as the Shoe Finder on

When purchasing a running or walking shoe, pick one that bends right behind the toe area, not at the arch.  Also, a proper shoe should not be flimsy enough to easily twist side to side, or pinch the back sides of the heel inward—it should be firm.

For runners or other athletes, it is best to purchase shoes from a shoe fitting specialist, who can properly measure your body mechanics and fit.

Wearing shoes that do not fit or support the feet properly increases your risk for injuries, such as ligament strains, stress fractures and shin splints. It can also lead to conditions such as plantar fasciitis, flattening of the arch and weakening of the bone.

If you are experiencing any of these conditions or pain in your feet, it is important to get them checked out and properly treated by a podiatrist.  Our community is fortunate, as Cone Health has an exceptional network of podiatrists and related healthcare providers dedicated to educating individuals about proper footwear, and caring for patients with foot problems or conditions.

Spokesperson Background:

Dr. Richard Sikora is a podiatrist at Triad Foot Center and a member of the Cone Health Medical Staff.  Dr. Sikora received his medical degree from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, and completed his residency training at the Central Carolina Residency Program. He has been in private practice since 1990 and is certified in Foot Surgery by the American board of Podiatric Surgery.