Cards on the table: orthopaedic trainers don’t exactly have a reputation for being stylish.
The first image that springs to mind is probably something unnecessarily layered – and we’re not talking Balenciaga Triple S style – in an odd colour combination that you’d never reach for.
The trick with finding versatile, lifestyle-friendly orthopaedic trainers is to look a little further afield from specialised brands and focus on a few key features instead. Support, structure and comfort are three of the most important things to keep in mind when shopping for orthopaedic-friendly footwear made from durable materials that won’t lean inwards with each step.
Mr Nicholas Cullen, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at The Stanmore Foot & Ankle Specialists, says: “Supportive trainers help to absorb some of the increased stresses that come from running or walking by distributing weight more evenly across the foot.
People who have slightly flatter feet, otherwise known as ‘overpronation’ and those with heel pain may benefit from more support under the arch of the foot while those with higher arched feet are better with a neutral trainer with a more cushioned sole to absorb shock more efficiently.
For example, during the running cycle, loads of greater than 2.5 times your body weight are absorbed through the foot and these increased forces are absorbed by the various bones, ligaments, joints and tendons within the foot.
When you’re buying new trainers, try to replicate the same socks you would tend to use with them in order to assess the size and comfort. If your feet tend to swell, try on shoes later in the day to make sure they can accommodate you throughout the day.
There are many specialised running shops which have the facilities to assess you through walking or running on a treadmill and can offer