One of the most common problems that people experience with their shoes is that they can often wear unevenly. This doesn’t just look unsightly it can also cause problems such as foot pain and discomfort. Plus this uneven wear in shoes can prove to be expensive if you need to buy replacements. So if you want to know how to stop shoes wearing down on one side read on as we have answers about why it may be happening and what you can do to stop it.
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Why Does One Side of Your Shoe Wear More Quickly Than The Other?
Uneven wear on shoes is typically caused because of an abnormal foot alignment which means that the foot rolls inwards or outwards causing biomechanical stresses. This additional pressure on certain areas of the foot can be caused by an underpronating or overpronating gait, problems with body alignment, knee or leg pain and medical problems related to the foot.
As the foot rolls more in one direction than the other weight is placed on certain areas of the soles. The more pressure that is placed in this area the more likely it is that your shoes wear faster on one side. Most people have wear patterns caused by abnormal foot structures and the way the body moves when it walks.
For many people, this uneven wear to their shoes is not sufficient to cause a problem. However, if you are having to replace your shoes much faster than normal or are experiencing pain from walking improperly it makes sense to address the issue.
How to Stop Shoes Wearing Down on One Side
If your shoes wear faster than they should because your foot rolls too much in one area and you are not experiencing any pain then it makes sense to try some of our easier solutions first. It is not unusual for most shoes to wear on the outside edge more quickly and there are some simple and relatively cheap strategies that you put in place to stop this happening.
If you are experiencing pain when you walking, irritated nerves or problems with mobility then you can go straight to our more complex solutions.
So what is one of the easiest things you can do right from the start to stop shoes wearing out on one side?
Buy Quality Shoes To Prevent Uneven Wear
The most obvious place to make changes is when you are buying a new pair of shoes from the shoe store. The reality is that not all shoes are made equal and the shops are currently full of cheaply made fast fashion shoes. These shoes are not particularly well constructed and that is going to cause problems.
Cheap shoes are not made from the best materials which is the first problem. Cheaper materials are going to wear significantly faster from foot movement than quality shoes. Disposable fashion might seem like a good idea because the goods are cheap but you will need to buy a new pair of shoes more often to prevent uneven wear on the outside heel or the sides of the shoes.
Low-quality shoes because of their cost are not built to last and could actually cause problems such as knee pain or make any existing foot problems worse.
So stop wearing fast fashion or supermarket shoes and invest in a good pair of leather shoes that are designed to help support your feet when you are walking. Make sure when you are trying them on that your big toe and your little toes at the side have enough room. Ensure they are not allowing your feet to move around too much when you walk and that they are comfortable.
Good quality shoes help your feet to align correctly and help prevent more uneven wear and tear.
If Your Shoes are Leaning to the Side Learn about Gait Imbalance
The reality is that not everyone will walk and have their foot strike the ground in an even manner. A foot rolls inwards or outwards depending on the type of gait that you have. Uneven wear is often caused not by a neutral gait but by overpronation and supination. So what do these terms mean?
A neutral gait is one where when you walk the outside of your heel hits the ground first. As the walking or running action continues your foot may roll a little inwards and then when you push off the pressure on your foot should be evenly distributed to absorb your shoe hitting the ground. If you have a neutral gait then you are unlikely to find that your shoes are wearing unevenly.
The problems tend to be found most in relation to overpronation and supination. With overpronation your foot tends to roll inwardly and that means the inner edge and side of your shoe will get the most wear and tear. Overpronation is commonly associated with flat feet and low arches.
If you have higher arches then the opposite happens. Now the outer part of your foot is touching the floor at a bigger angle than it should which causes too much pressure on the outside of the heel and foot. Excessive supination is clearly going to cause the outer edge of your shoes to wear more quickly than the inside.
Gait Analysis To Assess The Problem
If you want to know how to stop shoes wearing down on one side then getting a gait analysis done by a professional can help. One of the easiest ways to do this is in a running shop.
If you are buying good quality running shoes from independent shops you are likely to find a gait analysis service. Some shops ask you to run on a treadmill and then video it to assess the wear patterns your feet are creating whilst others may ask you to run up and down outside to view your movements. Depending on the gait they see they will recommend the right running shoes for you to wear.
Other places such as podiatrists have machines that can look at your wear pattern by taking an impression of your foot and where it is touching the ground most. By viewing the results the experts can suggest what kind of gait you have and recommend products in order to prevent foot pain and stop shoes wearing out too quickly on one side.
Using Custom Made Orthotics From a Podiatrist
A podiatrist is the best person to see if you are having problems with your feet. They have the knowledge and equipment to be able to help you understand your wear patterns and to correct supination and pronation.
The typical way this is done is either through giving you something like an arch support if you have flat feet or creating a custom made orthotic for you to correct supination and pronation.
The only issue is that custom made orthotics are not cheap. If you are experiencing foot pain then yes they might be well worth the expense but if you are just seeing a podiatrist because of shoe heel wear then there are cheaper solutions. This is especially the case if the podiatrist is able to give you information about your gait so that you can buy the right products to fit your shoes from an online store.
So what products could help?
Buying Orthotics Online
Where once upon a time you could only buy a good orthotic from professionals now most chemists and big online stores sell products to place in your shoes.
Once you know what you are buying there are different orthotics out there that will suit your particular problem. One of the best places to start is looking on Amazon as they have a huge number of products that are suitable.
Whilst a custom made orthotic can cost anywhere from 200 to 800 dollars online stores sell hundreds of different types to stop shoe wear for a fraction of the price.
These Powerstep Pinnacle High Arch Support Insoles have hundreds of positive ratings and may be perfect for what you need. If they aren’t quite what you are looking for search the site for your particular problem and there are plenty of alternatives that will help to properly align your feet in your shoes.
Use Pedag Correct Heel Pads
Whilst orthotics tend to take up your whole shoe there are alternative products to help shoe wear such as these Pedag Wedge Heel Inserts.
This is a unique product in that it can help you to support your heel and correct over supination by placing the wedge in the heel section of your shoe. It is supposed to help with your foot alignment, help reduce stress on your joints and stop the uneven wear on your shoes.
As this is made from leather it also can breathe and prevent moisture build-up which can cause sweaty feet. This product is available in a number of different sizes so you should be able to find a heel insert that will fit your shoe size.
If Your Shoes Wear on The Outside Heels Use Heel Taps and Plates
An even cheaper solution to save your shoes and protect your outside heel is to buy some heel taps or plates and hammer them into the heel area.
These devices come in different sizes and materials but they all do a similar job which is to protect the existing heel of your shoe. When the taps or plates are placed onto the heel area they help to protect the original material with a harder wearing product which takes the strain of the constant pressure in that area.
The great thing about these is that you can take them off as they start to get worn down and replace them with another one so that your shoes last for considerably longer.
Heel Caps for High Heeled Shoes
If you are a woman and want to know how to stop shoes from wearing down on one side then heel caps may be the answer you are looking for.
High heels are much more vulnerable to these wear patterns because the heel only has a relatively small surface area. If your heels wear too quickly on this type of shoes it can ruin them completely. So it makes sense to buy heel caps and place them on your heel to protect them from damage when you are walking.
Heel caps are not particularly expensive and can be easily replaced making them a great solution to stop your heels from wearing down.
Visit A Shoe Repairer
If you find your shoe heels wear too quickly and you don’t feel confident to try some of the self-help methods that we have recommended then it makes sense to visit your local shoe repairer or cobbler.
Shoe repairers are able to replace or change parts of your soles and heels to a more hard-wearing material. Synthetic materials are not always the best at being able to withstand wear and tear from walking which comes back down to buying better quality shoes. However, if that isn’t possible then you can alter parts of the shoes so that they are less likely to deteriorate too quickly.
See a Chiropractor or Osteopath
Finally, if you want to know how to stop shoes wearing down on one side then our last option may seem an odd choice but it may help if you are experiencing problems such as pain because of your gait.
Some people may not be walking correctly because of their posture or misalignment in their bodies. The way we sit, move and walk can be impacted by long hours at a computer, injuries and muscle problems. A trained chiropractor will check to see if there are problems and then recommend a course of treatment to help where possible.
Gentle massage, manipulation and realignment can really help some people change their posture and gait which can make a big difference to how you walk.
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