Shoe shopping can be a nightmare! The wrong shoes can cause or aggravate foot ailments. The right shoes can often prevent – but cannot correct – problems. So wearing the right shoes is vital to foot health. Follow these simple suggestions when picking out shoes. If problems persist, visit your podiatrist. They will be happy to help you.Construction:Leather is best because is breathes like skin and molds to your foot. But cheaper canvas is fine for fast-growing children. Breathable mesh is also good especially in athletic shoes. Soles should be strong and flexible with a good gripping surface.Insoles should be cushioned to absorb the jolts of walking on hard surfaces, but have enough arch support for your foot type. Some people require custom insoles for good foot health and comfort. Arch supports distribute weight over a wider area. Rigid shanks also give added support.High heels can be fun and look good, but they should not be worn too long at a stretch or for much walking. Besides cramping the toes, they change the biomechanics of your whole body making back pain, foot strains and aggravation of foot deformities more likely.Thongs and ballerina flats with no support are just as bad and can cause and aggravate many foot ailments.Fit:Only you can tell if shoes fit. If they aren’t comfortable, don’t buy them! Many podiatrists and certified pedorthists have a digital fitting system that can scan your feet and suggest the proper shoe size. This can help! Don’t be surprised if you are wearing two shoe sizes too small. Most people wear their shoes at least a half a size too small! This includes men as well as women.Don’t plan on shoes stretching with wear. Many times shoes can be stretched if you find that the ones you own are too tight. Better advice would be to replace them.Because feet spread with age, have your feet measured every time you buy shoes. Especially if you have had recent weight gain or pregnancy. Always measure both feet: they are often slightly different sizes. Always buy shoes for the BIGGEST foot.Go shoe shopping late in the afternoon. Feet swell to their largest later in the day. If you must buy shoes in the morning, buy them slightly larger.Size depends on shoe make and style, too. The number is just that…a number! Don’t insist you always wear one size if the next feels better. Remember the size is merely a suggested number and changes with brand and style.Wiggle your toes to make sure you have enough room in the toe box. You should have one thumb width from the end of your longest toe to the end of the shoe. Remember this may be your second toe not your great toe.Your forefoot should NOT be wider than your shoe. Look to see if your foot is spreading out over the sole of the shoes at the sides.Unfortunately, most shoes today are narrower in the front than the foot is. You can check this by standing on paper and tracing around your bare foot. Compare the outline of your foot with the sole of your shoe. If your shoe appears too narrow, you may be inviting foot problems. Choose only shoes that feel comfortable – you are the best judge of that.The heel should fit snugly and the instep should not gape open.And finally, if the shoe doesn’t fit – don’t buy it!
Are you addicted to heels? Do you love the way your legs look when you wear them? Could you not live without them?Ok, would you like to spend one quarter of your life in your glamorous heels and one half of it in agony with really ugly feet? That’s what you could potentially cause to happen if you rely on your high heels on a daily basis during your most active, on-your-feet years.High heels displace the weight of your body onto the ball of your foot. Over time, feet can develop calluses, unsightly bunions and corns. With those kinds of feet, you’d better hope that Manolo Blahnik starts designing slippers!High heels also direct the centre mass of your body forward and your spine has to bend backwards to compensate. “Oh my aching back” will be your daily mantra.Calf muscles shorten and tighten when you wear high heels and if you wear them constantly for a long time, say more than six months, your calf muscles can remain permanently shortened. Your body will naturally try to compensate by lowering the arches of your feet or your knees, hips or back will be painfully affected.How to enjoy your high heels but not do long-term damage1. Wear shoes with heels no higher than 4cm for day-to-day wear.2. Save your sexy high heels for special occasions.3. Avoid wearing backless shoes too frequently as they make you claw your toes when you walk.4. Stretch your calf muscles at regular intervals.5. Alternate your shoes over a long day of standing. Keep a second pair at work so that you can switch heights during the day and give your calf muscles a chance to adapt.6. Never walk long distances or over uneven ground such as pavements when wearing high heels.7. High heels that feature a strap or lace across the instep are more beneficial than slip-ons as they help to stop your foot from sliding forwards.8. See your podiatrist or chiropodist once a year for checkups on your foot health.