If you're seeing a podiatrist to fix problems with your feet or legs, then you may be asked to take a few pairs of shoes along to one of your appointments. Your shoes tell your podiatrist a lot about your feet and how you use them, so they can be a useful diagnostic tool when you're being assessed. How should you decide which shoes to take?
Which Shoes Do You Wear For What?
Your podiatrist doesn't want to see every single pair of shoes that you have in your wardrobe. Typically you need to take along a few pairs that reflect what you wear on your feet in different scenarios or at different times during your everyday life.
For example, if you dress smart for work, then take along a pair of your usual work shoes. While this may cover most of your weekly daywear, you should also take along the shoes you wear most when you're not at work such as the casual shoes you tend to wear in the evenings or at weekends.
If you take part in any sports or exercise sessions, then take the shoes you wear most often for these activities. This may be especially important if your foot or leg problem is exercise related.
How Old Are Your Shoes?
Podiatrists can use your shoes to work out a lot about your feet and any podiatry problems you may have. This works in a couple of ways. On one level, the style of your shoes can tell your podiatrist a lot about what they need to know. For example, if you have problems with your toes and habitually wear narrow winkelpicker shoes that crush your toes together, then your podiatrist has an immediate reason for your problems.
If the fit of your shoes is the problem, then it really doesn't matter if you take along new or old shoes. Your podiatrist can assess any fit issues with the shoes in either case. However, in some instances, it helps to take along shoes that are worn rather than brand spanking new. The wear that your shoes show over time holds a variety of useful clues about your feet and the way you use them. For example, if you take along a pair of old running shoes that show wear in certain areas of the sole but not in others, your podiatrist may able to diagnose a gait or stride issue that is causing your problem.
Remember, if you aren't sure which shoes to take to your appointment, you can always call your podiatrist's office and ask for advice.