Choosing the Right Footwear
If you’ve ever been running in jogging shoes that are a little too worn down and don’t quite fit your feet, you know how badly your feet can hurt. It’s not just running shoes that can cause pain, however. If you don’t have the right shoes for your feet, you increase your risk of injury, bunions, ingrown toenails, hammertoes, and corns. Follow these tips, and choose the best footwear.
- Heels: Stilettos higher than 3 inches wreak havoc on your feet, calves, shins and knees. Heels strain the muscles in your legs and can even shorten them in some cases, causing problems if you ever stop wearing heels. They’re fine once in a while, but if you want to wear heels, opt for a lower-heeled commuter shoe, and switch to the stilettos once you reach the office.
- Pointy Toes: Pointed toes might be in style, but they squeeze your toes together, causing callouses and corns. They also increase the risk of hammertoes.
- Flats: Flats are easier to walk in than heels, but that doesn’t mean that they’re good for your feet. Flats with no support can stretch out the ligaments and tendons along the bottom of your foot, causing your arch to collapse. If they don’t have proper padding, flats can cause severe pain in both the heel and ball of your foot.
- Old Shoes: Old shoes have the same problem as shoes that come with no initial support. If you like to hang onto your shoes until they’re literally falling apart, reconsider for the sake of your feet. Old shoes with worn-down arch supports can put the same strain on your feet that flats do.
What to Wear
Sometimes, choosing comfortable, supportive footwear means sacrificing some of the “in” styles. But you don’t have to give them up completely – just be wise about what shoes you wear for long periods of time and switch up your footwear regularly.
Proper Size: Before you purchase a pair of shoes, have a sales associate measure your feet. Many people wear the wrong size or width just because they don’t know any different. Additionally, many people’s feet are different sizes, which means purchasing two different shoe sizes.
Support: Even if you are purchasing a pair of flats, make sure that the instep follows the arch of your foot. Any shoe should feel comfortable. Make sure there is cushioning around the ball, arch, and heel. Your heel should not slide around in the shoe, and your toes should have plenty of wiggle room.
Higher Quality: Don’t skimp when it comes to your shoe budget. Cheap shoes will wear out faster, offer less support, and do more damage to your feet than expensive shoes will. Pricier shoes might be a bigger blow to your check book initially, but they will last you longer, support your feet properly, and reduce foot problems.
Choosing the right shoes doesn’t have to be a chore. It can still be fun, even if you’re looking for more specific shoes. Just because a shoe is comfortable and supportive doesn’t mean that it can’t be stylish at the same time.