Finding the right shoe is just as important as finding the right pair of jeans – the wrong fit and you’ll be uncomfortable all day long. As the feet carry the weight of the body (with little distribution while standing in one place) a comfortable shoe is extremely important.
Women tend to suffer from more foot problems than men because of the difference in how their shoes are made. Women’s shoes are designed for fashion while men’s shoes are designed for functionality. Though, in recent times, male shoes have crossed the functionality barrier and stepped into the trending fashion spotlight. A shoe should still however fit according to the shape of your foot, whether flat across or round at the top, always leaving a half an inch at the top measured from the longest, not the biggest toe.
Have you ever noticed a woman with a pained looked in her eyes trying to keep it together while she hurries over to the nearest seat to ease the pain she’s feeling in her feet? Not surprising if you have. Women put themselves through a lot for beauty but beauty does come with a price. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to a wide variety of foot conditions, from bunions and calluses to nail infections and ankle pain. Two of the biggest culprits of foot problems are high heels and narrow, pointed toe shoes.
High heels over time can cause back pain, a tightening and shortening of the Achilles tendon and plantar fasciitis, a condition that causes severe heel pain. Narrow toed shoes lead to blisters, nerve pain and hammertoes. What’s a hammertoe I hear you ask? It is a deformity usually in the three middle toes causing them to be permanently bent. They resemble a hammer but you can also visualize chicken feet. Not so pleasant if you have a foot fetish.
But before all blame is put on high heels and pointed toe shoes, flat shoes and flip flops need to be examined. Flat shoes offer very little support for the foot and can lead to a painful arch. And not only do flip flops offer little protection against splinters, they too are a cause of plantar fasciitis. This is why it is important to choose the right shoe for your foot, seeking comfort and support first and foremost.
To help you find the right shoe here are a few tips that will help you avoid some the problems mentioned above.
Quick Tips to Choosing the Right Shoe:
- Make sure the shoe bends at the toe box
- Choose a shoe with sufficient arch support
- A chunky heel, less than two inches high is best
- Walk around in the shoe for a bit to make sure they are comfortable
- When buying ballet flats, you may want to consider an insole which will reduce foot pain
- Purchase shoes that are the right size. Note that one foot is usually bigger than the other so buy based on the bigger foot
- Shoe shop closer to the end of the day because your feet tend to swell throughout the day
- Wear heels on days that do not require a lot of standing
- Stretch both your calf and heels and feet to reduce pain and tightening of the muscles
- If possible, alternate between heels and flats throughout the day or from one day to the next
- Do not buy shoes that need to be stretched
Remember that your feet carry the weight of your body so to at least make their “job” a little easier, you be kind to them when choosing your shoes.