DESIGNING COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR
DESIGNING COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR
No matter the trip you may be planning to go, be it by plane or bus, you’ll at some point have to walk. It could be a vacation at the beach or touring various countries abroad. Walking is expected. Therefore, you need to carry the most comfortable and appropriate shoe pairs depending on the place. Going with the wrong footwear may leave you frustrated with cuts, blisters, ankle or toe injuries, and discomfort. A shoe's comfortability is determined by the designer. That's why any person intending to make good shoes should have adequate knowledge of the human feet' anatomy and physiology. Under the two, considerations on the intended use should help decide the material for use and creation. After all these factors in place, we can now choose the shoe model and trend to impact the external look without tempering with its comfort. What's the need for wearing fashion when the outfit has the worst fitting? Will you be happy going on a journey with such shoes? Of course, not. For this reason, we shall look at everything you should know as a shoe designer. Please keep reading to get more.
Foot anatomy vs. comfort
The feet may be smaller as likened to other body parts but very complex and sensitive. They're also among the frequently used body parts. While they cover a smaller surface area in the entire body, our feet carry the body's weight and giving it balance when walking and running. Hey ladies... Do you ever realize how your body's weight distribution gets disrupted when on heels? Your weight shifts forward, leading to some imbalance. That's why you'll see people in heeled shoes walking as though they'll fall forward.
Our feet have interdependent structures. Generally, it has 33 joints, 26 bones, and 100 muscles. For instance, they comprise the heel joins connecting tarsals to metatarsals that have very limited movement. Metatarsals link with phalanges, and what joins is called the foot ball, which plays a key role in walking. Additionally, the foot contains ligaments and tendons holding the bones together to control the foot flexibility. The heel bone is attached to tendons by the Achilles tendon, enabling one to jump, walk, or run. The foot anatomy features nerves for communication with other body parts. They convey sensations from the brain to the sole and toes, later on controlling foot movement. The blood vessels are responsible for supplying the feet with water and nutrients.
Over 30% of our lives are spent on feet- maybe standing, running, or walking. For this reason, a design for shoes should be done carefully not to interfere with one’s nerves. Designers should ensure that high-heeled footwear doesn't just make you attractive but promotes comfort by distributing your body weight evenly. It'll ease any possible pain and make you free to move from one area to another. Comfort is reached through shoe calculations when designing tennis shoes, casual, official, or heels. The toe spring- space between the toe’s bottom and the ground, is important for accommodating the rocking movement caused by walking.
The over-measure is another vital calculation for designers to consider. It's the allowance between the shoe's end and the wearer's toe tips. It's given a 15mm maximum measurement for enabling easier movement inside during standing, running, or walking. Heel enclosure should properly adjust to one's ankle motion; being extremely loose or tight may lead to blistering or discomfort. The last calculation is on the sole. It should be flexible enough for proper and easier movement. A well-designed shoe is great not only when standing but also walking. They need to be reliable despite being stylish for us to call them good. It's because they directly impact our feet health and that of the entire body.
Shoe anatomy vs. comfort
Unlike the foot structure, the shoe is composed of fewer parts, but very important to note when designing a shoe for safety and comfort. For example, it has the upper section- all sections above the sole. It contains different parts stitched together with measurements for ensuring the foot is properly embraced when inside. They can be from different materials depending on the trend or designer's choice; goatskin, cow leather, or lambskin. Next is the shoe sock, which allows for the bottom shoe attachment. It can be said to shelter the foot web. Most designers would use this area for branding their products.
Another one is the toe puff that puts in place the shoe’s front end and its height and shape. It’s made just like the toe area shape. The shoe lining keeps all the inside upper parts in position by offering support as required. Some companies use pigskin as the lining in their shoes. It's among the less costly materials but will cost you later. Please be warned against cheap designer shoes mainly made from pigskin and other lighter materials as a buyer. Look for ones made of cowhide or goatskin that will last longer, giving quality service to your feet. The ball and heel are supported by the shank. It may be from steel, wood, nylon, or leather.
The part touching the walking surface is an outsole that can be obtained from numerous materials, including rubber and wood. Sometimes, weather outsoles may slip on wet surfaces, therefore, making it uncomfortable in such weather conditions. The better option is a resin or any other non-leather material. It'd be excellent for various weather conditions. On the sole, there could be an added layer at the back. It's the heel. Its height relies on the number of layers added.
Footwear design mistakes
The following are some of the mistakes that need to be avoided by all means to maintain your feet health. They include;
Before buying shoes, it's always essential to measure your fit. Try to find a pair that accommodates the larger foot. Well-fitting shoes with comfortable are ones lacking any irritation or rubbing when putting on for the first time. Overlooking that problem will only intensify troubles later. Your right shoe size is relative, depending on the style and shoe type. A good illustration is fitting properly in high heels size 9, but the same for hiking boot feels tighter or oversize- that means you may have to get a half or full size. Other factors include your age, body weight changes, the difference in brand, and many more.
As you age, your tendons and ligaments loosen, the feet reshape due to change in gravity and body weight becoming wider and stretched out. Bodyweight changes mainly when pregnant, make your foot size bigger. Other illnesses like rheumatoid arthritis result in swollen joints. Both diabetes types could cause a change in size and shape because of nerve destruction. Consequently, the condition may lead to pain, numbness, and tingling. The best solution to this problem is having the longest toe from a thumb’s thickness to no connection from the shoe’s end. Ensure you can wiggle the toe. The toes shouldn’t be crowded or move to the sides.
Do you know footwear that matches your foot structure? Yes, we already talked about the need for shoe size. Moreover, the structure is a very imperative element. Using a foot scanner, one can tell the areas experiencing pressure and the arch types in the foot when inside a shoe. There are two arc categories, such as high-arched and low-arched. Those with lower arches have the foot ball and heel closer to a flat surface, whereas the higher ones have the opposite. Some people have ‘flat feet’- very low and flat arch, but they’re a rare species. The shoe curve is relevant for supporting the arch, which will then comfort the whole foot.
Foot structure challenges can be addressed by specialists who know the kind of support you need. For instance, they may advise the use of another insole layer that will bring a significant difference. It comforts either the arc or ball, providing stability to your feet. Another aspect is the socks. Let nobody lie to you that they're similar. It's a stereotype that should be busted to avoid getting red spots and blisters on toes and feet. Avoid exhausted socks and try out the moisture management ones that avoid sweat accumulation keeping the feet dry throughout. You need fresh or new socks. Therefore, avoid buying shoes due to their appearance. It'd be best to get your feet scanned to understand the structure for a better shoe selection. Add extra insoles or shoe socks to achieve maximum comfort and support.
It’s said that much can be said about someone by looking at their shoe. Where they come from or going. One can put on various shoe pairs in a lifetime. However, it doesn’t imply that you should have one to last forever. For this reason, it'd be necessary to comprehend when to release or discard them. While we may not have the exact shoe lifetime, we've got many variables that determine a shoe's end. An example is the frequency and activity level. The storage and use also matter. If you want to extend your shoe life, rotate them based on the pair's activity and usage. Clear any dirt after using and spray with a waterproof substance to prevent water entry.
Deformed, worn out, or shoes having an unusually soft sole should be cleared. You can put the shoe on the table and check from eye-level to see if they’re equal or warped. Again, if they don’t fit perfectly as they used to or are causing sore toes when worn, it’s time to discard. Do it for the sake of your knees and other muscles or joints at the leg. Be watchful to any signs as mentioned and replace whenever necessary.
Are you using your shoes for the right purpose? Your high heels may look good for wearing to a dinner date, but not the best for running a race. It may not be the best choice for walking around the city on vacation. Ensure your shoe serves its function by matching the activity expected to perform. Get shoes with the right arch and adequate cushioning for absorbing shock. High-heeled shoes are riskier as they transfer the body’s weight to the ball. As a result, they cause too much tension on muscles and joints, leading to pain and other serious conditions after some time. On the contrary, flat shoes are dangerous too. They fail to give the required support to the arch, hence little or no shock absorption. In the end, they can result in foot pain. That’s why you should consider getting arched shoes with proper cushioning.
A majority of people can stay barefooted, but some not. Individuals that can’t feel too much stress when standing or walking barefooted on tiles, hardwood floors, or marble need to find a remedy. The same thing happens with thickened heels and balls after wearing out. It leads to a lack of support, making the feet start hurting. If this affects you, it'd be useful for putting on rubber sandals when walking around the home. You may also cover the surface with foam material, mainly in the places you stand most like the sink and kitchen.
The bottom line
Bridegrooms who dance with heels in the hands during their day understand what foot pain is. Maybe they couldn't imagine wearing design shoes vans that properly cover the feet to offer a great time at their wedding. It transcends all footwear, including exercise sneakers, office shoes, or hiking boots. Without care when buying shoes, you might end up in pain. Do you know why? Because of the foot anatomy, we started by looking at. It comprises 100 muscles, 26 bones, and 33 joints with numerous nerves and blood vessels. That means in the absence of proper cushioning and support, they'll start hurting and arise to many other troubles. Improper balance caused by no support can not only affect the feet but also your back and knees. Having said that, it's important to avoid observing the mistakes people make with footwear to prevent the dangers brought by the careless wearing of shoes for fashion and appearance. Refer to the above text to better understand how to care for your feet's well-being by getting your fitting shoes for comfort.