A Happy Fit
At Happy Fit Footwear we understand the difficulties many people face getting shoes to fit. We stock footwear in larger and smaller sizes, and shoes designed with wide or narrow feet in mind. Our orthopaedic footwear range caters to adults and children with more complex needs.
Bunions are one of the most common foot deformities, and are most prevalent in women. Our staff will help you select footwear least likely to irritate the bunion, and also shoes that can help conceal the deformity. If you wear orthotics this should also be considered, and our staff will direct you to shoes with removable foot beds or our more stable shoes.
Hammer toes are toes which bend excessively causing the joint to buckle. They are frequently associated with bunions and may affect multiple toes or occur in isolation. The 2nd toe is most commonly affected. Hammer toes can cause a lot of pain, especially when ‘breaking in’ a new pair of shoes. Shoes which have extra depth in the toe box, and made with soft leather uppers are generally recommended. If it’s sandals you are looking for, let us help you find a pair which minimise pressure over the affected toe(s). Sometimes an adjustment can be made to the manufacturers inner sole to increase room in the front of the shoe.
Mid foot arthritis or high arched feet
People with a high arch or arthritic deformities on the top of their midfoot often prefer low cut footwear to avoid irritation. Strategic lace techniques can also be beneficial. Styles which contour the arch of the foot and have plenty of depth, are recommended.
If you have diabetes, you have an increased risk of developing any or all of the following complications:
Foot deformity is more common due to changes in soft tissue distribution and muscle imbalances. Hammer toes and an increase in arch height may create new footwear fitting challenges. Pressure points on and in-between the toes and under the balls of the feet are more common.
If you have diabetes, you may have reduced sensation in your feet (‘neuropathy). It is therefore even more important to ensure your shoes fit correctly when you buy them. If a shoe is rubbing you may not be able to feel the early warning signs and this may have serious consequences. Podiatrists always recommend people with loss of feeling in their feet to gradually wear their shoes in, and check their feet at regular intervals to ensure there is no unnoticed trauma.
Diabetes can also affect the blood flow to your feet and legs, in a similar way to cigarette smoking. If your circulation is poor, any trauma to the feet is potentially serious as healing may be affected. All the more reason to make sure your shoes fit properly.
Lastly, those with diabetes have an increased risk of infection. This includes bacterial and fungal infections. Any breaks in the skin or infections should therefore be taken very seriously and not ignored.
Please remember all people with diabetes should visit a podiatrist at least annually for a full foot screen and education session. Medicare may be able to help you with the cost of this, but the referral is needed from your GP.
One of the more common causes of forefoot pain is a Morton’s neuroma, a benign enlargement of one or more of the nerves in the forefoot. Symptoms, which are exacerbated by wearing tight or high heeled footwear, may include burning, shooting pains and numbness of the adjacent toes. We recommend shoes with a wider toe box and lower heel profile for people with a Morton’s neuroma. Shoes with a thicker and less flexible sole, and those with anatomical foot beds work well in many cases.
Heel pain is often attributed to going bare footed for prolonged periods or wearing footwear which are ‘unfit for purpose’. Wearing footwear which offers adequate support or cushioning usually forms a major component of treatment for heel pain. Your podiatrist will recommend what you need to look for in a shoe, and whether support or cushioning is the most important consideration.