Great Shoe Advice – It’s Not Just About Style

How many times have you bought shoes just because of how they look?  They may not be comfortable but they match perfectly with some outfits, or they are needed for a special occasion.  People often look at buying a pair of shoes like buying clothes, but it should also be a health conscience decision!  Unlike clothes, your choice of shoes can cause many problems and not just in your feet.  Everyone knows about callouses and blisters, but they also can change the way you walk.  This change in your gait can cause muscle aches, knee pain, and back pain.  Unfortunately many shoes today are made for their appearance and not their functionality.  There are many important factors to take into account when buying knew shoes.

Many shoes are made with narrow toe boxes.  Your forefoot should be narrower than the shoe.  The toe box should also be roomy enough to completely move your toes. This easy measure can reduce callouses and blisters, along with the long term effect of hammertoes.  The heel should always be snug and have cushioning to absorb shock.  Without proper heel support, heel pain and arch pain can flair up.  Arch supports can help spread the shock. 

Always try on shoes!  Every shoe is different.  Make sure to get the pair that fits your bigger foot.  This also includes buying the same tennis shoe that is a newer model.  Also as people age, their feet actually flatten and spread out causing an increase in shoe size, so it is important to continually check your size.

I know high heels can’t always be avoided, but they should be worn for short periods of time and not on a long and consistent basis.  They are best on occasions when you are not required to stand around for long periods of time.  And bringing a pair of shoes to change into is always a good idea when possible.  Remember, the taller and narrower the heel, the worse it is on your feet.  It can bunch up your toes more, and makes it easier to sprain your ankle. 

During the winter, wear shoes applicable to the conditions with a proper grip to avoid falls. 

For your kids, hand me down shoes can cause problems because they are already molded to the previous owner’s foot.

For active people and runners, the decision can be critical, especially if you are increasing your workouts.  There is no best shoe for everyone.  Running shoes can be broken down into neutral, stability, and cushioning.  Cushioning is primarily for heavier builds and high mileage.  Stability shoes are for people that overpronate or supinate.  People with flat arches tend to overpronate and people with high arches tend to supinate.  Many of the better running stores will have employees that can help determine what would benefit you most depending on your workouts and foot type.  If you have had your workout shoes for a long time, and they start to feel flat or you’re getting aches and pains, it is time for a new pair.

Most importantly, you can tell when a shoe is comfortable and sized right.  Try on shoes until you find what feels good!     

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