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The Best Shoes for Obese People

author image Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell
Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.
The Best Shoes for Obese People
Close-up of man working out with sneakers on. Photo Credit: Halfpoint/iStock/Getty Images

Obesity is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat. The Mayo Clinic says obesity increases your risk of health conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

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Obesity can cause foot problems or make existing foot issues worse. According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS), extra pounds put additional stress on your plantar fascia--the band of tissue that extends from the heel of your foot to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation and irritation of this stretch of tissue that causes heal pain.

The use of proper footwear and/or certain shoe modifications can help relieve the stress placed on your feet when you are carrying excess weight.

Shoe Quality

When shopping for shoes, look for material that is strong but not restrictive. Also select footwear that has a thick sole. Look for shoes with good cushioning and flexibility in front of the shoe that allows your toes to bend back easily. It is beneficial to have your feet professionally measured to ensure a proper fit.

Arch Support

The ACFAS says wearing supportive shoes with a good arch support and a slightly raised heel reduces stress on the plantar fascia. This can relieve some stress on the ligament. Inexpensive arch support inserts that are available over-the-counter lift the tension off your foot tissue and act as shock absorbers.

Padding and Strapping

Placing pads in your shoes softens the impact that occurs while walking. The ACFAS also says strapping devices help reduce strain on the fascia. Strapping helps support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia.

Custom Orthotic Devices

According to ACFAS, custom orthotic devices are made from impressions or images of a patient’s foot by a foot and ankle surgeon. They are inserted in supportive shoes to maintain the correct and aligned position of the foot. Custom devices may require adjustment following a break-in period.

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