If you suffer from knee pain, choosing proper shoes for knee pain that provides good knee support is essential. Read on below to discover how to find good support shoes and knee-friendly footwear.
First, though, why is it so important to choose appropriate footwear so far your knees are concerned? Well, the type of shoes that your wear affects the load placed on your knee joints, which in turn will either improve or worsen your knee pain. To minimize pain to your knees, look for footwear that has the following features:
- It should be well cushioned: so that your shoes absorb the impacts of your foot hitting hard ground, preventing most of the shock from getting up to the knees.
- Choose shoes with firm soles: this will help prevent overpronation, in which the lower leg and the knee rotate inward every time your foot smacks against the ground whilst walking. That inward rotation, repeated continually over time, will cause pain and strain to the knees. Think about wearing athletic shoes: they have extra cushioning, and many of the latest versions also have stability and motion control features to prevent inward rotation of your feet and knees. Such features include heel cups, side posts that provide lateral support, and midsoles which are designed to keep your foot in the proper alignment when walking. Normal shoes don’t generally possess such features. A useful tip to determine if your workaday shoes are allowing you to overpronate whilst walking is if they have excess wear and tear on the inner sides, or the heels tend to tilt inward.
- Avoid heels: whilst stylish and fashionable, high heels are NOT good for you knees. In fact, they can place sufficient force to your kneecap to generate serious knee pain and trauma. One study showed that the force applied to the kneecap was almost 25 percent more in women wearing high heels compared to those without.
- Wear ‘pumps’ sparingly; even mildly heeled shoes like pumps can cause excess stress to your knees. Another study showed that when women wearing shoes having heels were compared with those wearing flat shoes, the pressure to the knees was 15% greater in the former contingent.
- Wear inserts: molded shoe orthotics or inserts can also add extra cushioning to your shoes, thus allowing your feet to absorb heavy impacts and reducing stress to the knee. Some types of orthotics are also designed to hold your foot in position and reduce inward rotation, which as we have seen is really bad for your knees. One recent study showed that lateral shoe orthotics helped to alleviate symptoms and pain for people with advanced arthritis. Check out your local shoe store to see what’s on offer in the way of orthotics. Or pay a visit to a podiatrist if you have pre-existing knee problems – they may be able to design personalized shoe inserts for you.
Conclusion: the bottom line is that by treating your feet with kindness, you also benefit your knees as a byproduct. As we have seen, choosing the right shoes prevents inward rotation of your knee, and cushions your knees against heavy impacts generated by your legs hitting the ground. So that you can go on enjoying your day to day activities unburdened by knee pain and swelling, be sure to choose the appropriate footwear.