Weird Wear Patterns: what your shoes might be telling you

Because you walk on flat surfaces most of the time, the wear pattern on your shoes truly becomes a reflection of your foot and body mechanics.  A podiatrist experienced in recognizing the wear pattern can with reasonable accuracy tell you what kind of pain and dysfunction you have or may soon be getting.

Reading wear patterns on shoe soles answers a lot of questions about how a person walks, for example, how hard or soft is the heel strike?  Is there a strong push off, or does the person literally pull themselves forward by the heels?  Do they favor one side over the other?  What is the pattern of pronation and supination relative to where they are in the contact gait cycle?  Are the feet steady or unbalanced?  Do they walk with their feet pointing out, straight or in?  How significant are the shear forces against the ground?  Are the feet trying to twist with every step?

All these characteristics have direct implications about present and future musculoskeletal dysfunction and pain.

One of the most telling signs is excessive and angled heel wear. When this happens, it’s usually a sign of patients who have hyperpronation.  These individuals have abnormal heel breakdown, which shows as angled and uneven wear patterns to the heel due to the abnormal biomechanics of foot. Typically the foot with the worse hyperpronation will have the more obvious heel breakdown. A good way to test this with your shoes is to take the two shoes and push down on them- they will rock back and forth because of the abnormal heel wear pattern associated with hyperpronation and chronic Talotarsal dislocation.

Usually patients who have hyperpronation have abnormal heel breakdown which is angled due to the abnormal biomechanics of foot and uneven wear patterns to the heel. Usually the foot with the worse hyperpronation / deformity will have the worse heel breakdown. If you take the two shoes and push down on them they   Will teeter tauter back and forth because of the abnormal heel wear pattern associated with hyperpronation and chronic Talotarsal dislocation. A simplestent surgery can correct this condition, relieving pain and ensuring proper foot strike for what is often the first time in years.

Are your shoe soles wearing down in a strange way?  If so, contact Dr. Weinert’s office in Troy at 248-362-3338 or his Warren office at 586-751-3338.  You can also get more information on his website at www.stopfeetpainfast.com, where you can also request a copy of his book Stop Feet Pain Fast.

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