Why Aren't Your Shoes Tied?

It seems like it has always been a problem. Kids just don't like to tie their shoes. Sure, it only takes a few seconds, but look at all the time is saved by just slipping them on. Even kids who have Velcro closures on their shoes still don't undo them...they just slip them on!

A shoe is meant to provide stability for your foot. Tying your shoes daily will make them secure and prevent your foot from slipping around. When a shoe is untied for a period of time and just slipped on and off (you should see the size of some of the knots I see!), the laces loosen and the foot slips around in the shoe. This causes the foot to have to work harder to stabilize itself, often leading to overuse injuries.

Does this really make a difference? Absolutely! I've seen kids with infected ingrown toenails because they are hitting the ends of their shoes. Others who developed shin splints because of wearing shoes that are too loose. Still others with Achilles tendon pain or Sever's disease because they don't tie their shoes. The more active a kid is, the more important it is for them to tie their shoes well.

The same goes for adults. In fact, I am constantly on the case of my trainer (who tortures me twice a week) for not having his shoes tied. Not such a big deal when he's working, but I've seen him the same way when he's working out! Think about how much stability your body needs when you're lifting weights! I'm finally getting through to him after he started feeling some foot pain. Now, I'm a really nice guy so I certainly didn't tell him "I told you so!" Well....of course I did!

It is important to tie your shoes and to make sure your kids' shoes are tied every day. If you're running late, resist the urge to tell them to just slip it on...If you give them permission once, they'll do it always.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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