Comfortable and Comfort: a world of difference
Mathijs Mestdagh, shoe technologist.
21 September 2021
In the world of shoes, comfort is an important factor in the search for new shoes. Certainly for persons who have difficulty in finding shoes that fit properly. When trying shoes on, it is important for these people that the shoes aren’t too tight anywhere, that they aren’t too heavy, that they are easy to put on, in short that they are good for walking and feel comfortable.
If shoes feel comfortable, people often think that the new shoes must also be good shoes. This is, however, not always true. A comfortable shoe is not per se a comfort shoe. Examples here are shoes such as Uggs, Crocs, flipflops, light sports shoes, etc.
We often find with patients that their comfortable shoes don’t fulfil the characteristics of a comfort shoe, i.e.: a good roll-off, sufficient rigidity or stiffness in the length, a removable insole, an adequate strong counter or heel reinforcement, a good fastening (preferably laces), etc.
But the danger of comfortable shoes lies in the fact that they are worn very frequently, also often for longer walks or longer loads and, because of the lack of support, they do more damage than good. As a result of this, comfortable shoes can make problems worse or even cause them. It is important that people with foot problems are informed properly about this.
Of course, feeling comfortable is important when choosing a pair of shoes, but this should not be confused with comfort. Comfort shoes provide stability and support the foot more under load. This kind of shoe is also important for people who need an insole. A good insole in a poor shoe can only do half its job.
Finally, we can conclude that the ideal result in the search for good shoes is a comfortable comfort shoe. Comfortable for the person in question, comfort for the foot.
The danger of comfortable shoes lies in the fact that they are worn very frequently
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