Wear Patterns on Your Shoes Tell a Tale

Just as your scrapbooks and photographs can illustrate your life's story, so can your footwear. Your shoes can shed light on your foot and ankle discomfort, and provide us with answers for treatment options. Just as a magnifying glass produces a magnified image of an object, your shoes can help us to see problems in the structure of your feet. Let us take a close look at your shoes and see what type of story unfolds.

What Pattern Suits You

To illustrate wear patterns, think of common articles of clothing. An old pair of jeans, for instance, can be tattered at the seat or have torn knee, whereas a shirt may have thin patches near the armpits. Upon close examination of an old pair of shoes, you may notice similar wear patterns.

The soles of your old shoes will have areas that are worn down and out. For many individuals, the edges of their shoes or their heels are significantly worn down, while other may be show more wear and tear around the ball of the foot. Everyone has a unique gait and foot structure, and even your left and right feet may even be different from each other.

Story Time

The story your shoes tell is crucial to proper diagnosis of foot and ankle disorders. Upon evaluation, Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr. will listen to all that your shoes have to tell. From how you walk to whether your shoes are too tight or too large, he'll gather all the information to help you make educated decisions regarding your foot pain. Which tale best fits the description of your shoes?

  • A bulge on the side of your shoes, near the big toe, will indicate that a bunion is forming. A bunion will press against the shoes here, especially if the shoe is too narrow for your foot structure.
  • Wear on the outside of the shoes, opposite the big toe, indicates supination. When a foot supinates, it does not pronate or roll inward correctly while walking.
  • Wear on the inside of the shoe, near the arch, illustrates overpronation. This means that the foot rolls too far inward while walking.
  • Ridges on the upper toe box appear when an individual has hammertoes.
  • Wear on the ball of the foot tells us that the heel tendons are too tight.
  • Lack of symmetry in wear patterns of both shoes can indicate leg length differences or over-striding on a particular leg.
  • Raised toe boxes show us that the lacing is too close to your toe joints. This may put your limbs at risk for frequent shin splints.

In With the New, Out With the Old

To make educated shoe purchases, bring your old pair in for a closer look! Before buying a new pair of shoes, let us determine how your last pair led you astray. Depending on your wear pattern, we may be able to provide you with a more rigid structure or style with proper support.

Stop in for a visit with Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr. today and let the tale of your shoes be told. Depending on what we see, you may be provided with custom orthotics or insoles to offer proper support to your limbs. Call Delaware’s Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. at (302) 623-4250 for more information. You can also visit us online or stop by one of our three office locations in Glasgow, Wilmington, and Newark, DE.