What’s in a shoe?
Consider this: the average American takes 5,117 steps a day.* Most people will walk thousands of miles over a lifetime.
With each step, improper footwear can cause degenerative changes in the muscles, joints and connective tissues of the feet. Feet are the body’s foundation—when that’s compromised, everything above may shift. A body out of alignment is a body in pain, one that’s more prone to injury and disease.
Ladies—we hope you’re listening (!), because you, especially, are at risk. A survey on women’s shoes found that 88% of women were wearing shoes that were smaller than their feet (by an avg. of 12 cm!). Is it any wonder that 80% reported “some foot pain” and that 76% of the women surveyed were found to have one or more foot deformity?
What’s more, high heels and pointed shoes especially can cause bunions, knee pain, and lower back pain. Heels also shift enormous pressure onto the fatty pad of the forefoot, which can lead to early breakdown and injury. The higher the heel, the greater the danger.
So here’s a quick reference guide for choosing shoes that are right for you…
Say “YES” to shoes…
- With a square or wide toe box
- With a heel lower than two inches high
- With 1/2 inch of space between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe
- With arch support (for all three of the foot’s arches, ideally)
- With wiggle room for toes–especially the big toe
Just say “NO” to…
- Too high heels (sorry ladies…If you MUST wear them, try to do so for no more than two hours at a time)
- Stiletto heels (awful for balance—if you’ve got to go with heels, choose chunky instead!)
- Pointy toed shoes (heels or otherwise)
- Flat-as-a-board footwear like many summer sandals (if you must, fit them with orthotics)
A few more considerations:
- Don’t go by size alone: different manufacturers size differently, plus the feet tend to grow larger as we age. With pregnancy, you can gain up to a size!
- Because the feet swell throughout the day—by up to 8%—do your shoe shopping toward the end of the day to ensure ample fit
Your body is your vehicle for that great adventure called Life—why risk premature break-down along the road? Wearing custom orthotics in every pair of shoes gives you the support you need for a long and fruitful journey. Shoethotics and Sandalthotics are a great choice too, because they take all the guesswork out of selecting healthy footwear, plus they’re pre-fitted with custom orthotics made just for you.
PS: We’re excited about our new custom orthotic flip-flops for guys and gals alike, which offer all the fashion and comfort of regular flip-flops, ‘cept with healthy three arch support.
Foot Levelers’ new Catamaran custom orthotic flip-flop (cool, casual footwear for dudes).
*7,000-10,000 steps a day is ideal, according to experts.