The age of the max-cushioned shoe may be very a lot upon us. And if you happen to’re as a lot of a fan of a tall stack of froth underfoot as I’m, it’s attainable that you simply’ve lovingly described carrying your favourite sneaks as feeling such as you’re “strolling on pillows.” However as we enter the period of super-soft footwear, it begs the query: Can footwear be too comfy?
Sadly, cushion lovers, it might be time for a actuality test. “The issue with strolling on pillows is that our physique was not designed to [do that],” says Liza Egbogah, DC, DOMP, a posture knowledgeable with her own collection of orthopedic shoes. “If you concentrate on strolling on an precise pillow, your ankles are going to roll in, it’s exhausting to steadiness, and also you’re going to really feel a pressure in your knees and your again. As a result of most individuals are overpronators, the very last thing they want is a shoe that appears like a pillow as a result of that’s going to intensify the [rolling inward of your foot toward your arch].”
Encouraging overpronation is just the start—listed below are the downsides of carrying footwear which might be too comfy
The human foot is designed to stroll barefoot on surfaces like soil, says Dr. Egbogah. In our trendy age, cushion is vital to behave as a shock absorber when strolling or standing on tougher surfaces, however an excessive amount of of it, and you start to lose the help and stability you want underfoot for correct steadiness.
Specialists In This Article
- Liza Egbogah, DC, DOMP, physique and posture consultants, guide osteopath, chiropractor, myofascial launch therapist, clinic director of the[fix], designer of dr LIZA shoes, and visitor lecturer at OCAD College.
- Suzanne Fuchs, DPM, podiatric foot and ankle surgeon at Luxe Podiatry in Jupiter, Florida
You additionally run the danger of dropping strength in the muscles and ligaments on the bottoms of your feet. “After you have these actually cushioned footwear, folks begin to depend on them as a result of your individual physique isn’t doing the work to stabilize or strengthen,” says Suzanne Fuchs, DPM, a podiatric surgeon in Florida. “The foot muscle tissue turn out to be weaker over time, which may trigger a lower within the top of the arch of the foot.”
When these weakened toes discover themselves not in cushioned footwear—like strolling barefoot on hardwood flooring—they are going to be extra inclined to plantar fasciitis, a painful irritation of the tissue on the underside of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes, says Dr. Fuchs. Although placing these sneakers again on could briefly relieve the ache, Dr. Egbogah says that the dearth of help could cause the plantar fascia to twist and pressure, resulting in extra irritation.
An excessive amount of cushion also can compromise our management, steadiness, and proprioception (your skill to sense the place your physique is in area), says Dr. Fuchs, which may result in an elevated danger of ankle sprains. (Dr. Egbogah says she noticed an uptick in ankle and foot fractures in the course of the pandemic, which she attributes to folks forgoing their extra supportive formal footwear in favor of carrying cushiony sneakers on a regular basis.) The exacerbated overpronation that may include super-cushioned footwear also can put stress on the within of the knees, and trigger hip and again ache additional up the leg, says Dr. Egbogah.
Given this, it isn’t shocking to find that overly cushioned footwear will be particularly problematic for many who already overpronate. Dr. Egbogah says even these with an ideal gait may see points like metatarsalgia, weakened arches, and misalignment. “It may possibly push your entire posture ahead since you’re sinking into the footwear,” she says. “You would have the identical points with again ache and knee ache, even if you happen to don’t have overpronation.”
Find out how to inform in case your footwear are too comfy
Not all cushioning is unhealthy—in actual fact, you very a lot want some cushion for shock absorption, particularly if you happen to’re working or leaping, standing on exhausting surfaces, or have high arches. However how a lot is an excessive amount of? There are a couple of straightforward methods to inform: For one, whenever you put your foot into the shoe, it shouldn’t really feel like your foot is sinking into it—it’s best to really feel some resistance and help, says Dr. Egbogah. (She likens it to the sensation of sitting on a agency mattress with a mushy topper.)
If you happen to really feel extra unstable or unbalanced after placing on the shoe, or like there’s an elevated load on both aspect of your ankles, that’s in all probability a purple flag, too, says Dr. Fuchs, as is a shoe that’s each tremendous cushiony and heavy, as that mixture can result in much more instability.
You additionally shouldn’t have the ability to simply bend your shoe in half, or twist it like a towel. And if you happen to push your thumb into the insole for a couple of seconds and it leaves an imprint reasonably than retaining its form, that’s an indication the froth is just too squishy, says Dr. Egbogah.
Whilst you can typically decide a shoe by the thickness of the cushion, the high quality of the froth is what’s actually essential. “The cheaper foams are those the place you actually sink in, versus a high-density, good-quality foam that has spring-back,” says Dr. Egbogah. Most working shoe manufacturers—Nike, New Stability, Brooks, Asics, Saucony, and so forth—are usually a secure guess, she says, since these corporations use higher-quality foam (like EVA) that’s been performance-tested. However these guidelines apply to any sort of shoe, not simply sneakers. As a basic rule, something that’s labeled an orthopedic shoe can also be an excellent choice, Dr. Egobogah says, as these are designed to supply ample help.
And cushion addicts, worry not. Carrying your pillowy footwear each occasionally in all probability isn’t going to harm you. “It’s completely okay to put on your pillowy, fluffy footwear if you happen to’re simply in your toes for 10 or quarter-hour—they’re not going to trigger everlasting injury.”