What is a footwear review?
The type of footwear we use every day and during exercise has a significant impact on the way our foot functions and in turn can affect the likelihood of injury or other problems in the foot occurring.
A footwear review is the assessment of an individual's footwear in order to determine whether they are a contributing factor in a presenting problem or injury. This form of assessment can also be used as a preventative tool to avoid further injury from occurring or in the treatment of specific condition.
Who is a footwear review suitable for?
A footwear review will often be carried out as part of an initial assessment for all patients presenting with a particular problem. Therapeutic and bespoke footwear can be prescribed in the treatment of patients with a variety of different problems including diabetic neuropathy, rheumatoid arthritis and deformity.
What does a footwear review involve?
The podiatrist may use various footwear assessment tools in the review of a patient's footwear. They will look at different factors that will determine the suitability of the shoes. They can include;
- Length and depth of the shoe
- Width and circumference of the forefoot
- The width of the heel counter
- Inside linings of the shoe ' are they soft or rough?
- The material the shoe is made of
- Does the shoe have strappings or laces?
- Age of the shoe
- Are there any wear patterns on the shoe?
What are the benefits of a footwear review?
Footwear reviews are an extremely beneficial tool in podiatry. The following are a list of potential benefits;
- Prevention of falls ' particularly in the elderly population. Avoiding loose fitting or open backed shoes can be effective in preventing falls
- Prevention of ulceration in diabetic patients with sensory loss
- Improved balance and stability
- Prevention of the development of certain foot deformities
- Reduction in pain and increased mobility in rheumatoid arthritis patients
- Appropriate footwear can assist in the treatment of patients with hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating)
- Bespoke footwear can be prescribed to patients with foot deformities
- Protects the foot from damage caused by external factors
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