How Footwear Impacts Your Overall Posture and Arch Support in Shoes

How Footwear Impacts Your Overall Posture

Who doesn’t wake up with a terrible stiff neck and aching back after a long workday or hours of slouching in front of the TV? Posture is not only about standing straight, but it follows through to affect spinal alignment and confidence in the long run as well. One crucial element that effect this, and that is often overlooked, is footwear. Shoe arch support plays a crucial role on posture. Knowledge about the link between the two (posture and arch support ) is key in improving your overall posture and well-being, and in making decisions about the shoes you wear.

Since it’s always: posture, posture, posture, let’s start by defining posture and why it’s so important.

Posture refers to the alignment of the body parts in relation to each other and the surrounding environment. It is crucial for maintaining stability, balance, and functionality in daily activities, contributing significantly to overall health and well-being. There are several factors that influence posture (some controlled and others that are not). These include, genetics, muscle strength and flexibility, ergonomics, lifestyle habits, and of course, footwear. Each of these factors have an effect on how we carry ourselves and how we move through space.

Bad posture goes beyond waking up with that stiff neck and aching back. It can have serious long-term consequences that can result in chronic pain, muscle imbalances, joint dysfunction, decrease mobility, and may even impact organ function and respiratory efficiency. It is critical to address posture issues to prevent such long-term health problems and maintain a high quality of life.

Now let’s get to a solution (or prevention), and the function of shoe arch support, beginning by defining what shoe arch support is. 

Shoe arch support refers to the structure within a shoe that is designed to support the natural arch of the foot. Its key features include:

  1. its aid to distribute weight evenly across the foot, and
  2. provide stability during movement.

These enhance overall foot biomechanics.

And what is the arch support’s impact on posture?

  1. It is crucial for maintaining alignment throughout the body,
  2. promoting proper weight distribution, and
  3. in the reduction of strain on ankles, knees, hips and spine.

The resulting alignment, feet up, can significantly improve your overall posture and assist in the prevention of issues such as slouching or forward head posture.

So let’s get proper arch support into those shoes!
Depending on the type of shoe and your specific needs, you can try one of the below methods:

  1. Pre-made orthotic inserts:
    This is the simplest method to use as inserts come in different shapes and sizes to fit different shoes and foot arches.
    I recommend: the ECCO Women's Support Premium Insole  or the Pedag Leather Orthotic Insert (both paid links)

  2. Custom orthotic inserts:
    For specific foot issues, you can visit a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist to have custom orthotics made for your shoes. These inserts will be molded to the specific shape of your foot and provide personalized support.

  3. Arch support strips / pads:
    There are strips or pads that can directly be placed in the shoe under the arch area to provide extra cushioning and support to the arch of the foot. They are usually made of gel or foam and can be adhesive-backed or non-adhesive. You can also find options that are covered in leather.
    I recommend: the Pedag Step Arch Support Inserts or the PediFix Pedi-gel Arch Pads (both paid links)
  4. Heel cups or wedges:
    In some instances, heel support can also actually provide indirect relief to the arch. This is because they can align the foot properly and alleviate arch strain and discomfort.
    I recommend: the Inocep Silicone Gel Heel (paid link)
I must also add, before making any significant changes to your shoes or adding inserts, it is crucial to consider your specific foot condition and comfort needs. You can try several options until you find the best one suitable for you, and of course if you have persistent foot pain or discomfort it would be a better idea to consult with a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist for personalized advice and recommendations.

At the end of the day, there is no doubt that posture is absolutely vital for health, and proper shoe arch support can truly help in achieving this. So, if evaluating your footwear comfort and adding additional arch support might get you there, don’t waste any time and get right to it!

And, as always, feel free to reach out for additional guidance or see the rest of our blogs from The Shoe Advisor, such as Everything You Need to Know About Insoles, for more insights and tips on everything footwear!

Signing-off: The Shoe Advisor 
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