the right footwear

Wearing the comfortable footwear can make a huge difference to restless legs.

We do thousands of steps in a day


What does a typical day look like for you?

Are you on your feet at work all day? Or a stay at home parent with barely a moment to sit down? Perhaps you have a more leisurely lifestyle.

No matter what your life looks like, I bet most of you are doing thousands of steps in a day. Just think about that for a second, thousands of steps!!  That means tens of thousands in a week!

Each step we take affects our feet, ankles, shins, achilles, calves, knees, quads and gluts.

One of the best things I’ve done to help my restless legs is to be wearing the best possible shoes all the time.

The best shoes

The best shoes for your feet are sports shoes – shoes designed specifically for running or walking. These keep your feet in an optimal position for movement, with arch support and cushioning which acts like a shock absorber for your legs.

If you wear sports shoes most of the time that you’re on your feet, you will notice a big difference in your legs. This means starting early in the day, getting out of bed and straight into sports shoes.  Not slippers, and definitely not bare feet.

Sports shoes provide the ultimate support. Your feet could hit the ground 1500 times before you even leave the house for the day – how much better are they going to feel doing this in a cushioned shoe vs the jarring of bare feet.

Shoes for work

If you’re happy to be in sports shoes all day then great, keep them on all day. If there is a certain standard of dress where you work and trainers aren’t suitable then your next best option is some comfortable sneakers.

Sneakers are pretty mainstream now.  Men can wear them with dress pants and even suits. For ladies, sneakers go beautifully with skirts and dresses. Look around and see how everyone is wearing them or check out the internet for inspiration.

Choosing a sneaker

When you’re choosing your sneaker, beware as not all sneakers are created equal. Check out the cushioning inside and on the sole.

If the sneakers idea isn’t going to work, you can get leather dress shoes and boots that have the trainer type sole on the bottom.

If there are occasions you have to wear high heels, wedge heels are a good option as they are more stable to walk in. With the heels though, if you can possibly walk to your destination in more cushioned shoes, make it a habit to do this.

Wear good shoes consistently

When you get back to your home in the evening, I really recommend getting back into your sports shoes.  Between getting home and bed, you’re going to do a couple of thousand steps and I think it is worth persevering and trying to keep your sports shoes on, at least while you’re getting your restless legs under control and especially if you are missing out on sleep!

In any case, try to avoid bare feet.


Holiday time

If you’re wandering around in 30 degree weather, you don’t want to be wearing trainers. But there’s one type of footwear that is really not helpful for legs and that’s flip-flops. They don’t provide any support, but the biggest issue is that you need to move your legs and feet slightly differently to keep them on and this is often taxing on your muscles. Test it and see if you agree.

You can get sandals that have cushioning and arch support. Some are in the style of a flip-flop but with a back strap and are very comfortable. Crocs and Birkenstock both have options in this range.

Try it

You might be thinking, my restless legs is not going to be solved with a change in footwear and I agree with you. It’s just part of the plan and I am certain it is worth doing.

Just think – in a week your feet are striking the ground 10’s of thousands of times. Imagine if you were pushing your feet against a wall thousands of times, what kind of cushioning would you want to be between you and the wall?!

Getting the footwear right is a big step for doing the absolute best by your legs. It might not be easy, but then it’s not easy going without sleep. The goal is to limit all the stress on our legs and make them as comfortable as possible.


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