The not so great shoe swap

I’m sure we can all agree, at some point we’ve suffered from “shoe envy”.  I get it all the time!  Being a Podiatrist, I’ve got two minds about shoes – there’s the fashionable ones (you know the ones, nice heel, lovely calf accentuation and lengthening effect, may have some foot pain in the morning – but you are going to look great!) and then there are the comfortable ones (make your calves look fat and you look frumpy- grrr but functional and comfortable).

You get that overwhelming sense of excitement when your best friend who luckily has the same size foot as you brings home the newest and most fashionable shoes for the season that cost over $1000.  YES! You have the most perfect outfit for them..

…or there’s an auction site which is listing those same shoes in “pre-worn good condition” for a quarter of the retail price.  You look at the photo’s and judge that they look “good” – the soles are a bit worn on the inside of the big toe, the heels are worn on a small angle and they may be just a little bent out of shape along the outside of the small toes.

Regardless of if you are borrowing the shoes or buying them on this auction site, you’ve got the shoes and ready for your big night.  You are going to look fabulous!

You put on your shoes and they feel a bit uncomfortable even before you have left your house, and you think to yourself – I’ll just have to wear them in, they’ll be fine in a few minutes..

An hour in, you are sitting down on the bar stool praying that you don’t have to walk anywhere, these shoes are killing!  What’s wrong with them?  A few hours later its time to move on to another place, how are you going to do this?

Walking down the street, you feel your usually stable ankles wobbling about and the balls of your feet are burning!  What should be a really easy walk, has turned into torture.  Why me? Why now?  Moving forward to the next venue you trip and hear a snap.. ankle swells up, night over!

The reality is, unfortunately swapping, borrowing, sharing or buying second hand shoes has a number of “painful” consequences.

Every person has an individual gait pattern (walking pattern) which is as individual as a fingerprint.  This gait pattern determines how a shoe is worn and ultimately the pattern of wear on that shoe.  If another person with a totally different gait pattern wears this shoe, their gait pattern will be influenced by the wear pattern on the shoe.  This can cause your foot to move in a different way than what it is used to, making it work in a different way.

Our feet are amazing structures, they move in so many different ways.  Putting someone else’s shoes on is a new challenge for them, so every structure in the foot, leg and even lower back that has to compensate for the new movement in the foot.  The pain and even injury is caused by not being used to the newly influenced pattern.

The bottom line is, wearing some one else’s shoes is not a good idea.  In our clinic we have seen a number of injuries come through the door for treatment including: sprained ankles, foot fractures, calf strains and tears.

It’s only due to an increasing number of these injuries occurring that I felt I had to address the problem.  Yes, there are so many beautiful shoes out there, but its always best to stick to your own shoes!

By the way, to make some of your high heels more comfortable, we do have a range of high heel orthotics you can purchase.  Just follow this link for more info:

These are particularly good for professionals who feel they need to wear high heels to work daily.


or Call us on 03 8645 9888


Melissa Biedak

Melissa Biedak


On Key

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