Gardening Shoes: Wearing Your Old Shoes May Lead To Injuries

Gardening Shoes and foot problemsThe weather is warming up and the sun is shining, which means the gardening itch will soon start.  For those who like to dig in the dirt and beautify their yards usually put on worn out second-hand shoes to do their yard work –if they wear shoes at all. Sandals, old sneakers, and even flip flops are common shoes worn when gardening, but there are a few reasons why you might want to add a little more support to your feet when working outdoors.

First and foremost, yard work involves quite a bit of physical labor, including carrying heavy pots, bending and lifting, reaching overhead and extensive squatting. Doing all of this on uneven surfaces often found in yards and gardens can create some risky fall situations, especially with weak ankles. Wearing a shoe with good ankle support and firm soles can prevent falls. Firm soles can also prevent injury to the bottom of the foot if you plan to do any shoveling or climbing on a ladder.

Pre-existing conditions such as plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, arthritis and runner’s toe can all be exacerbated in the garden if you wear flimsy shoes such as flip flops or sandals. A supportive shoe will help to evenly distribute your weight on your feet, which will reduce any potential inflammation or pain.

It is very dangerous to wear flip flops, open-toed shoes, or go shoeless when operating machinery such as chippers/shredders, lawn mowers, hedge trimmers or any other gardening tools that are sharp and pointed, such as hoes, shovels, rakes, or pruners. It is recommended that you wear thick canvas shoes to protect your feet when using these tools.

It may seem quite obvious that wearing supportive shoes is important when gardening, but there are a large number of reported injuries that are the result of doing yard work in flip flops or in bare feet. This is especially true when structures are being built in or around a landscaped area, such as a gazebo or deck. Puncture wounds on the bottom of the feet are common occurrences from discarded nails and debris. In addition, individuals that have diabetes can end up fighting an infection from something as simple as scratching their foot on a thorn from a rose bush.

Gardening should be an enjoyable, relaxing hobby. Keeping your feet safe from injury will ensure that your next day picking weeds will be pain-free! If you are experiencing foot pain during or after a day in the garden, request an appointment with one of our podiatric specialists by clicking here or call any of our convenient office locations in the Piedmont Triad.

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