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Good Shoes Are Important For Foot Health

By Paul Rothbart

When buying clothes, the two main factors are generally comfort and style. People tend to lean more to one side or the other. I opt for comfort, but it is a personal choice. There is, however, one article of clothing in which health must be considered first. Shoes can add style and sophistication to any outfit and comfort is certainly of extreme importance. But having healthy feet, and beyond that, knees, hips, and back, should also be factored into the choice of footwear. Poorly made and poorly fitted shoes can cause a number of problems. Here are some of those issues and how to choose shoes that will avoid them.

Foot Problems Connected to Poor Choice of Shoe

Some shoes, however stylish they may be, can be damaging to foot health. High heels and narrow, pointed toes, along with sandals that have no support, are among the worst shoes you can wear. Wearing heels all the time can shorten the Achilles tendon and also stunt the calf muscles. Narrow toes can cause bunions, corns, and hammertoes. Ingrown toenails are also a common issue caused by this style. Shoes without proper arch support can cause or exacerbate overpronation, the turning in of the foot, placing more weight on the instep. This can cause pain up through the legs and into the low back. Poorly fitted shoes can cause blisters and foot cramps. 

Characteristics of a Good Shoe

It's OK to wear something stylish, but shoes that promote good foot health should be constructed with these things in mind. Solid arch support is very important. A good shoe should prevent overpronation, holding the arch of the foot up and balancing the weight over the entire foot. The toe of the shoe should be rounded with plenty of room for your toes. A flat heel is best, but a low heel is still better than a stiletto. A good shoe is firm, but with some flexibility to allow the feet to bend naturally while walking. 

Tips For Buying Shoes

The best time to shop for shoes is the later afternoon. Feet tend to swell up over the course of the day and you want to have your shoes fitted when your feet are at their largest. Wear the same type of hosiery you will be wearing when putting on the shoes on a daily basis. It's a good idea to have the feet measured from time to time as shoe size can change slightly. Stand in the shoes and make sure there is a quarter to a half inch of space from the end of the big toe to the end of the shoe. Walk around to be sure the shoe feels comfortable and the feet don't slide around. Ask for help. A well trained salesperson will have good advice, but make sure the shoes feel comfortable to you. As the person who will be wearing the shoes, only you can make the final determination.

Perhaps the most important part of any outfit is the shoes. Not just for how they look. Sturdy, well made, properly fitted shoes will save a lot of agony. Feet are essential to mobility. You wouldn't drive a car with bad tires, would you?

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Dacula, Ga.

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