Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinic, Islington, London

"Your Feet Are Human Too"

This was the stand-out line in a news article on Woman’s Hour recently (BBC Radio 4). The discussion was with a podiatrist from the College of Podiatry and a Fashion Journalist from a national newspaper who were discussing how trainers have become more acceptable as fashion wear and in modern life generally.

The topic was prompted by recent high-profile ‘posh trainer’ sightings – Emma Thomson being made a Dame at Buckingham palace and the Duchess of Cambridge visiting our very own Islington in the current ‘hiking boot’ trend.

Key points worth sharing were the more general recognition that high heels, while not completely out of fashion, were now accepted as ‘Taxi’, ‘Uber’ or ‘Limo‘ shoes –depending on your transport budget. Trainers and flat shoes were accepted as the norm for general exercise and day-to-day life.

What was also highlighted was how the new developments in fabric trainers and hiking boots are often more comfortable and mouldable for painful feet or bunion tendencies. Brands such as ‘Allbirds’ marketing themselves as ‘the world’s most comfortable shoe’ have high eco-friendly credentials and some can be put in the washing machine. Fabric walking boots are considerably lighter and often cheaper than more traditional leather versions. Dance trainers are often recommended by podiatrists for their support and suppleness.

As physios, this is all music to our ears as we see many people with foot and toe pain and related issues and inappropriate footwear is often a major contributing factor. The biggest objection to comfortable shoes in the past was ‘ugliness’, ‘inappropriateness of a trainer’ for certain age groups, and generally not wanting to be seen as ‘different’ – all of which are perfectly understandable considerations. Having fashion finally on the side of the comfortable and healthier option is a rare but very welcome development!

To listen to the podcast in full click here.

If you would like any advice on any foot issues that you are having for tailored advice please do not hesitate to contact us

"The exercises you worked out for me were wonderful. They had an immediate effect so that by the end of the following week I actually had a pain-free day. Seeing you was really the turning point and I am extremely grateful."


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Established in 1998