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How to protect your feet while working from home

Remember when it was normal to get dressed up and go out to work? Since many of us have started working from home, the idea of wearing shoes during the work day is probably not in the routine anymore. Clearly our work attire has significantly changed as a result of the pandemic; but, our feet still need some love and attention.

If you spend a lot of time on your feet, chances are you’ve invested in supportive shoes and even orthotics to counteract any discomfort. But, now that you’re working in the comfort of your home you’re probably enjoying being barefoot or in comfy slippers. Contrary to popular belief, even though you’re not going out to work you still do a fair amount of walking around at home. Whether you’re doing the dishes, keeping up with the kids or other family members, you’re likely on your feet more than you realize. While you may feel comfortable in just socks, slippers or being barefoot, this could lead to major challenges.

Combined with the large amounts of time spent sitting down in front of your computer, there is a considerable risk of developing common issues like Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendonitis, or Metatarsalgia.

Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation and pain in the fascia (similar to a ligament) that runs across the bottom of your foot in a triangle shape from the 1st toe to the 5th toe and then to the heel. It’s often worse after rest (such as, first thing in the morning). It can be caused by over-pronation, high arches, unsupportive footwear, walking or running on hard surfaces for long durations and being overweight.

Achilles Tendonitis is inflammation and irritation of the Achilles Tendon which runs from the bottom of your heel to the back of your knee. It can be caused from overuse of the calf muscle, over-pronation or changes in daily activities. This can be caused from any repeated activity or exercise that strains the Achilles tendon.

Metatarsalgia is pain and inflammation in the ball of the foot. The pain gets worse when walking or running and gradually progresses over the course of several months. It can be caused by repetitive stress, impact on the ball of the foot, foot injuries, over-pronation (foot falling inward), over-supination (foot rolling outward) and wearing high heeled shoes. Additionally, as we age, the ‘fat pad’ under the ball of the foot shifts and as a result, there is less cushioning of the feet.

Your feet affect your entire body!

Even if you don’t have consistent discomfort, any sort of biomechanical inefficiency in your feet translates into problems right up your entire kinetic chain. These challenges affect your ankles, knees, hips, and back.

​Your feet are the foundation of your body and support your weight. Whether you’re standing, walking, and especially while running and jumping, your feet are hard at work.

Kinetic Chain

What type of shoes should I wear indoors?

As comfy as those fluffy, furry bunny slippers are, that’s where their benefits end. Wearing supportive and stable shoes at home is a practical way to avoid long term work related strain. When choosing quality shoes, make sure the sole only bends at the same place where your toes bend. It should have a firm heel counter (the area behind your heel should not bend much, or at all). Your indoor shoes should have sufficient cushioning, but not at the expense of the other qualities.

Both your indoor and outdoor shoes should be chosen based on your foot type. Generally, there are two types: high arch and low arch. Higher arches require more cushioning since those foot types tend to be more rigid and absorb less shock. Lower arches require some help to lift the arch, ideally in a manner that’s specific to the individual’s foot. While some athletic shoes have features that prop up the medial (inner) side of the foot by using higher density foams in the midsole, the most effective way to properly support a low arch is with custom made orthotics.

Looking for supportive sandals? Try something from Birkenstock. Their sandals are made with a firm and supportive cork-based material which provide sufficient cushioning.

Looking for an athletic shoe? Try something from Asics, Saucony or New Balance. Many of their shoes have the recommended qualities previously mentioned, so make sure to look carefully at the shoes you’re going to buy.

Want to learn more about what shoes to wear?

Learn more from Registered HealthCasa Chiropodist Simone Orlan.

Should I wear my orthotics at home?

Wearing supportive shoes at home is great! But, if you’re accustomed to wearing orthotics outside of the house, you should really be wearing your orthotics in your indoor shoes as well. Your feet need the same support regardless of where you're walking so remember to switch your orthotics between your shoes. If you don’t currently wear orthotics but you’ve been experiencing pain in your feet, now is an ideal time to speak with a Registered Chiropodist or Podiatrist about your foot pain.

Keeping your feet healthy is fundamental to your overall health and wellness.

Learn all about what you can do to keep your feet, and the rest of your body, healthy by watching our on-demand webinar on The Importance of Proper Foot Health HERE.

Experiencing pain in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, or back? Not sure where to start?

Book an appointment with one of our Registered Chiropodists or Podiatrists and get a better understanding of your specific needs, your foot type and some individualized footwear recommendations.

To learn more about our full suite of health and wellness services, visit: In addition to fully customized orthotics, discover all of the benefits of Chiropody, Podiatry, Physiotherapy and Registered Massage Therapy in the comfort and safety of your home. If you live in the Greater Toronto area, certified practitioners are available 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for your personalized appointment with Covid-19 precautions in place.


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