Law enforcement officers are required to stay in tip-top shape so they are able to chase down anyone who attempts to flee on foot. However, even the most physically fit officers with strong cardiovascular systems can have difficulty running in their footwear, especially if they have a foot or toe condition, such as ingrown toenails or flat feet.
If you are a law enforcement officer, it is crucial for you to take good care of your feet. One way to do that is to wear the correct footwear. Here are several tips to help you find the right footwear for duty and to prevent foot conditions.
Inspect the Soles of Your Current Footwear
Take a close look at the soles of the footwear you currently wear. If the soles are worn unevenly, particularly from side to side, it's a red flag that your feet pronate, which means they roll inward. If your feet roll inward too much, this is called overpronating. Overpronation can result in flat feet, which can become painful and cause you to be unable to perform necessary work duties, particularly when you are on foot patrol.
Overpronating can also lead to bunions, calluses, and plantar fasciitis. If you find that you do overpronate, you'll need to either purchase footwear that has additional support on the insides of the soles or use inserts with arch supports. If you have pain in your arches or elsewhere in your feet, speak with a podiatrist about the possibility of using orthotics to help.
Buy Footwear After Work
It's a fairly well-known fact that feet swell a bit over the course of the day. The reason for this is because gravity pulls the fluids in your body to your feet, which is what causes them to swell. Of course, since law enforcement officers work varying shifts, your "day" may be in the middle of the night. Because of this, it's important to try footwear on after you've been on your feet all day (or night if you work night shift).
Have your feet sized by a salesperson while you stand up. Be sure to have both feet measured as 60% of people have one foot that is larger than the other. If this is the case and the size difference isn't too much of a difference, go with the larger size. If there is a significant difference, you may be better off ordering custom made footwear.
Keep Your Feet Dry
Keeping your feet dry is important in keeping your feet healthy and pain free. Excess moisture in your footwear is the perfect environment for fungal organisms, which can lead to fungal infections. A fungal infection in your feet can cause cracking and peeling skin, itching, burning, redness, and blisters, all of which can make it difficult for you to comfortably perform your duties.
Since you are exposed to varying weather conditions, your footwear should be waterproofed with a protective barrier to help keep your feet dry. There are silicone sprays and acrylic copolymer sprays that will give you the water resistant protection you need. You can find these sprays in shoe stores and through online retailers.
It's also important to know that feet can produce as much as two cups of sweat in a day. While this seems like an outrageous amount, it is quite possible for law enforcement officers. Even if your feet sweat just half of that amount, one cup of sweat still can lead to wet, sweaty socks and feet that are prone to fungal infections. Therefore, wear moisture-wicking socks. If you choose to wear regular socks, change them at least once during your shift to help keep your feet dry.
If you end up having problems with your feet in spite of taking care of them, reach out to a local podiatrist or visit a site like http://www.camdencountyfootandankle.com for treatment ideas.
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