Avoid back pain by choosing the right shoes

Back pain may be directly linked to foot problems caused by uncomfortable shoes, according to one of the country’s leading shoe companies, Barker Footwear, which has re-launched a leather, soft-soled and stylish range for men who spend long periods on their feet.

“Standing throughout the day may damage your feet if your shoes are not a comfortable fit. This may affect the rest of your body, causing fatigue as well as leg and lower back pain”, said Barker Footwear sales manager, Gary Gilder.

Gilder said Barker had revived and improved the top four selling styles of the Softred range due to popular demand. He said the range, characterised by genuine leather uppers, provides maximum comfort for those who spend their days on their feet or who are seeking gentle-fitting leisure footwear while maintaining a stylish look.

“The Softred offers a full poron foam sock for added comfort. Some of the range have a padded topline and they all have a soft and flexible sole which moulds to the foot. It’s the perfect shoe for comfort for feet which are exposed to hard, unyielding floor surfaces for long periods,” said Gilder.

Barker has been producing handmade quality welted and stuck-on leather shoes for over 80 years and is part of one of SA’s largest shoe companies, Bolton Footwear.

Gilder said men often ignored foot and ankle pain or problems which could have a negative knock-on effect on the rest of the body, including the legs and lower back.

“There are 26 bones in your feet — about a quarter of all bones in the body. The feet also contain 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. Your feet have to bear your full body weight daily so taking good care of them and selecting a soft and comfortable shoe is vital,” he said.


How to fit shoes:

  • • Shoe size may change as you age, fit your shoes carefully.
  • • Shoe sizes may vary depending on make and style. Running shoes may not be the same size office footwear. Try on your shoes before buying them.
  • • One foot is often larger than the other — ensure your shoes fit the larger foot.
  • • Walk in the shoes to make sure they feel right. The heel should not slide up and down when you walk. When standing, there should be about one centimetre between your toe and the end of the shoe.
  • • Choose a shoe that is shaped like your foot.
  • • Don’t buy shoes that are tight in the hope that they will stretch.
  • • Soles should give solid footing and not slip. Thick soles cushion your feet when walking on hard surfaces.

The Barker Softred shoe range is available nationally from (15 July), at selected independent retailers at a recommended retail price starting at R1199.


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