You spend the whole day working on your feet. They’re swollen and tired, and the pain is starting to spread all over your legs. All you can think of is getting home and kicking off your shoes. We often underestimate the damage wearing the wrong footwear can cause, but can shoes cause knee pain?
Whether you spend your workdays on your feet, like to go hard in the gym, or you’re simply a mom who’s always on the go, knee pain is probably something you’re already used to. However, simply ignoring the pain in your legs is never a good call.
It can easily turn into something a lot worse if you don’t deal with it in time. Massages, rest, and pain relievers can stop the discomfort for some time, but those are not the long-term solutions you need.
What you should do is find out why you’re experiencing knee pain in the first place. Although it can be related to the fact that you spend too much time on your feet, there could be some underlying condition(s) that you need to talk to your doctor about.
Can shoes cause knee pain?
Yes, absolutely! Your feet aren’t the only part of your body that can suffer from your poor choice of footwear. Wrongly fitted shoes or even shoes that aren’t made for the specific conditions you’re in, can negatively impact your whole body – knees included.
Of course, there could be many reasons you’re experiencing knee pain. One of the most common ones, however, is your shoes. Most people don’t even consider this as a possible cause, but there’s a high chance they’re the root cause of your discomfort.
You can wear special, well-cushioned shoes with plenty of support, and still experience pain in your knees. The main reason why this happens is that your footwear doesn’t provide the features you need. That’s why it’s so important to find footwear that is a perfect fit for you, especially if you spend a lot of time on your feet.
Finding the right pair won’t be easy but it will change your life. After changing your footwear, you’ll feel less tired, you won’t have to deal with swelling, and you’ll get rid of this annoying pain in your knees. I promise that I’m not joking.
So, if there’s one thing I’m going to ask you then it’s to pay more attention to what kind of shoes you wear. Even if it means giving up your cutest pair.
How can shoes cause knee pain?
Okay, we now know that shoes can be the main cause of the knee pain you’re feeling. But how does it happen?
You’re aware that wrong footwear can make your feet swell up and that you can barely walk when you come back home, but that’s because your shoes directly affect them. I mean, your feet are in direct contact with your shoes, right?
But, how can shoes make your knees hurt? It’s okay, I was just as confused as you are. I thought my shoes could only affect my feet because it was the most logical thing.
Well, let me tell you a few things about shoes and their correlation with knee pain.
1. You’re not wearing shoes with enough support
If you spend a lot of time on your feet, then you need a pair of shoes with good arch support. A lack of it can put pressure on your knees (which sounds painful even from reading about it). Not only that, but it can also cause your arches to collapse. This can lead to persistent foot pain, and even change your gait.
Now, when your feet start to hurt, the chances are that you’ll start walking differently. You’ll do your best to avoid the painful sensation and eventually, put your knees under the strain.
This is especially common among people who wear flip-flops, flats, or high heels since shoes like this lack arch support.
However, if you decide to get shoes with more supported arches, just make sure not to go overboard. Too much support can be equally damaging. The best way to find your perfect arch is to consult your doctor and add custom orthotics.
2. You’re a big fan of flip-flops
I know, I know… It’s summer and it feels like the world is on fire. The last thing you want is to put on your sneakers. Every time you go out, you reach for your good old flip-flops, not even considering how damaging they can be for your feet.
Little do you know that wearing flip-flops is one of the worst things you could do for your feet. I know that they’re convenient and make your life easier during summer. But just bear in mind that they could be the reason your knees hurt so much.
I mean, take a look at your favorite pair of flip-flops. What do they look like?
Do they have any arch support? No! Do they have any cushioning for your feet? No! Do they absorb the shock your feet experience when you’re walking? No! I believe that you now understand how damaging your favorite pair of slides actually is.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to give up wearing flip-flops forever. But what you can do is invest in a pair that’s better than the one you got at the dollar store on your way to the beach last year.
Luckily, you can find ones that have more support, which is a lot better option for your feet and legs. That way, they’ll relieve some of the stress your body experiences when walking, and it will be a much more comfortable experience.
3. It may be time to take a break from heels
This part is for our female audience. We get it. You spend your days in your work shoes, so you dream of the weekend when you can get dressed, put on a pair of heels, and go out with friends. But the pain in your knees may be a sign for you to take a break from your dear choice of footwear.
I know you love the way your legs look when you’re in heels, but let’s not ignore the pain they cause you. Constantly wearing high heels puts strain on your whole legs, not just your feet. That’s why you always have sore muscles after going out as if you’ve had a good leg day at the gym.
On top of that, high heels can shorten your calf muscles, which leads to knee pain. This doesn’t mean you should never wear heels. We could never do that to you. What you should do, however, is to regularly stretch and massage your calves to prevent any unwanted side effects such as pain and discomfort.
Also, you don’t have to go for the highest heels in the store. Try a few different ones out and see how you like them. Wearing shoes with lower heels can do less damage to the knees. And heels with a sturdy platform are always a good choice because they’ll help you feel more secure and balanced.
4. You may have issues with overpronation
If you have flat feet or any other foot-related issue, there’s a high chance you’re also dealing with overpronation. You may think this doesn’t affect your knees, but that’s where you’d be wrong.
Every time you take a step, your knees and legs turn inward. If you don’t deal with this issue on time, it could cause pain, ligament tearing, and other serious injuries and conditions that you definitely want to avoid.
To prevent this from happening, choose shoes that have good support, cushioning, and strong midsoles. That way, your feet will always be in the right shape and facing forward.
Check your soles. If they’re deformed and uneven, it’s a good sign that you should talk to your podiatrist. There are different treatments for overpronation, and it’s best to start with them as soon as possible.
How to choose the right pair of shoes?
If you’re dealing with knee pain caused by the wrong choice of footwear, it’s time to find your perfect pair of shoes. And, no, this quest isn’t about finding the prettiest or the coolest shoes. Instead, it’s all about finding a pair that’s going to save you from pain and discomfort.
It sounds boring but shoes are such an important part of your daily routine and you need to find a pair that has all of the features your feet need.
So, if you want to do yourself a favor, look for flexible footwear that won’t restrict your feet and affect the way you walk. On top of that, remember to look for soles that are wide and relatively thick. They should be able to absorb the shock from every step you take.
When it comes to heels, make sure they aren’t too high.
And, most importantly, you want your shoes to be comfortable, no matter how long you wear them. Choose a model that has a lot of cushioning and arch support, and that fits snugly around your feet.
If you have a chance, try them on. If it feels like they’re squeezing your foot, it’s a sign you should find a different pair.