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Could your Footwear choice harm you?

By 25/08/2015Footwear

Skechers and Nike Free. Popular choices- surely they have to be ok- Right?

Podiatrist Jason Bruce helps you decipher the information about Skechers and Nike Frees. The main question asked- what is more important?- Support VS Comfort debate. 

This is Part 2 of 3 for the Footwear Series.940x638q80

The barefoot running trend took the world by storm and in the mid 2000’s.  Nike released its first Nike Free shoe in response to the popular trend. Engineered by Tobie Hatfield and Eric Avar, the Nike Free was designed to allow the foot to have increased freedom – therefore the name.This minimalist style became one of the most popular shoes worldwide. 

Another popular shoe more commonly worn by females is the Skechers Go Walk slip on shoe. This has been described as the feeling of “a fluffy cloud on your feet”. Skechers shoes were founded in 1992 but have recently boomed in the footwear market with new shops popping up all over New Zealand.

There is no doubt that Nike Frees and Skechers Go Walk shoes feel excellent to wear, but are they causing your feet any damage?

First of all, let’s look at the benefits.

  • Very lightweight with “fluffy cloud like” feeling.
  • Breathable materials for good air circulation.
  • Flexibility in all directions therefore less constriction which allows strengthening and stretching of muscles.
  • An overall barefoot style shoe that provides protection on the sole of your foot.

However, due to the flexibility and minimal structure of the Nike Free and the Sketchers Go Walk shoe, you may be more susceptible to developing an injury, and if you already have foot or leg pain, wearing this style of shoe usually will not benefit you. A well supported shoe has multiple features such as a firm heel counter, a firm mid sole and a flexible forefoot region. It also usually has a decent arch support and pronation (rolling in) control. A shoe with these features is often required and greatly needed for many people.

Nike Frees and the Sketchers Go Walk shoes can be very comfortable. They are a style of shoe that is increasing in popularity daily.HOWEVER-  if you have foot pain, or are susceptible to developing injuries, or are just starting out with a new training scheme, this style of shoe may not be appropriate for you. Call us today if you have any foot pain or concerns about your footwear and its effect on your feet.

– Jason