Foot abnormalities and difficulty walking are common problems
for people with CMT. Having the right shoes can make a huge
difference! The right pair of shoes can make walking and balance
easier and far more comfortable. But how do you know what type
of shoes to look for?
What kinds of problems do people with CMT experience
with their feet?
People with CMT develop feet with increasingly high arches
and lateral instability (the outside of their feet roll out).
This makes it increasingly difficult for their feet to
adequately fit into shoes, adding to a feeling of greater
instability during stance and in gait; this can lead to
ulcerations, ankle, knee and hip disturbances, balance problems,
postural weakness, and long term deterioration.
What are common kinds of concerns that people with
CMT should have when looking for shoes?
Beyond the usual concerns of style, color, etc., people with
CMT should think of their shoes as an appliance or device to aid
them to improve stability and balance while standing and
walking. This should include the amount and type of
support they receive, particularly along the lateral side of
their feet. They should focus on finding something that
the foot fits into and allows for necessary modifications to
improve balance and gait.
What does a pedorthist do?
A pedorthist is a footcare pharmacist, providing shoes
and related devices to help improve balance, alignment, posture
and gait. Pedorthists are trained to properly fit people with
shoes and orthotics, ready-made and custom-made. Pedorthists
fill footwear prescriptions from physicians. He or she is
trained in anatomy, biomechanics, foot pathology, and the use of
shoes and orthotic based approaches to help people suffering
from mechanical problems that occur in the foot and ankle. A
pedorthist is trained to proactively alleviate pain and
imbalance and help people lead more active lives.
Do people with CMT need custom shoes?
Depending on the degree of deformity, some people require
custom shoes to accommodate their needs. Each case must be
individually assessed and evaluated. Often people with CMT do
best with ready-made shoes that are customized to their needs.