Shoe Functions

Choosing the right shoe can prevent or alleviate foot pain; the wrong shoe can exacerbate or cause foot problems.

Today’s shoes are quite specialized to provide a higher level of performance for specific activities, from walking to running. The various designs, materials and technologies used affect the function and fit of a given shoe. For maximum performance and comfort, these functional elements must be correctly matched with a person’s foot type, body type and activity level. The right shoe can prevent or alleviate foot pain, while the wrong choice can exacerbate or cause foot pain.

Consider the following shoe functions:

Cushion is a term used to describe a specific type of athletic shoe. These shoes use soft material in the midsole and are intended for people with high arches that do not collapse.

These shoes are more generous with space inside the shoe; they are deeper and provide additional room for orthotics or arch supports, as well as for bunions and other fitting challenges.

Intended for people with high arches that do not collapse. Most shoes are constructed on a last; the shape of the last determines the shape of the shoe and the type of foot or function best suited to that shoe.

Intended for people with higher arches and little to no pronation. Most shoes are constructed on a last; the shape of the last determines the shape of the shoe and the type of foot or function best suited to that shoe.

Intended for flat feet or moderate to heavy pronators. Most shoes are constructed on a last; the shape of the last determines the shape of the shoe and the type of foot or function best suited to that shoe.

Fits a wider, rectangle-shaped foot that is extremely flat, with a low or collapsed arch. Most shoes are constructed on a last; the shape of the last determines the shape of the shoe and the type of foot or function best suited to that shoe.

Maximum motion control is a term used to describe a specific type of athletic shoe. The midsoles of these shoes are made with a maximum amount of dense material along the medial side of the shoe (under the arch) to help support the foot. Shoes with maximum motion control are designed for the individual who has flat feet and/or is a heavy pronator.

Many people require additional support in the forefoot, at the metatarsal arch, to alleviate pressure. Some shoes and many over-the-counter arch supports can provide this additional support.

Motion control is a term used to describe a specific type of athletic shoe. The midsoles of these shoes are made with denser material along the medial side of the shoe (under the arch) to help support the foot. Intended for flat feet or moderate to heavy pronators, depending on the size of the individual (height and weight) and intended activity.

Shoes with rocker soles are very stiff in the front of the shoe and often are even a little rounded, creating a rocking effect. This rocking effect helps alleviate foot pain due to conditions affecting the forefoot or ball of the foot, such as arthritis and neuromas. Rocker soles can also be used for walking or standing for long periods.

Stability is a term used to describe a specific type of athletic shoe. These shoes are designed for a more curved foot with a higher arch and little to no pronation. Much of the weight is on the outside of the foot.

Structured cushioning is a term used to describe a specific type of athletic shoe. These shoes have a cushioned base, with light support under the arch. They are intended for people with higher arches and little to no pronation.

For some people tying laces or buckling buckles is just too difficult, but a securely fitted shoe is critical for their safety and comfort. Velcro is the perfect solution.

For some people tying laces or buckling buckles is just too difficult, but a securely fitted shoe is critical for their safety and comfort. Velcro is the perfect solution.

For some people tying laces or buckling buckles is just too difficult, but a securely fitted shoe is critical for their safety and comfort. Velcro is the perfect solution.