Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sole Searching

Did you know that your feet contain one quarter of all the bones in your whole body? Did you know that women are nine times more likely than men to develop foot problems because of their shoes? Feet have to endure tremendous pressures of daily living. An average day of walking brings a force equal to several hundred tons on them. They are subject to more injury than any other part of the body, which means we need to protect them with proper footwear. Here's some interesting info on shoe styles.

*High-heels--If you frequently wear high heel shoes they can tighten and shorten your Achilles tendon. This will lead to pain when you walk in flat shoes or no shoes. Wearing high heels can also cause permanent damage to the calf muscles. If you must wear them (my sister loves heels!) only wear them for about 20% of the time. Wear them to work, out on the town but change into comfortable shoes at home. Alternate with good quality sneakers or flats for part of the day.

*Peep-toes--If your toes are getting crowded in the narrow tops, the edges of your toenails can get pushed into surrounding skin tissue which can cause pain and possibly infection. Always cut your toenails straight across and not too short.

*Ballet flats--These shoes very definitely do not have much arch support. This can lead to plantar fasciitis, inflammation of the shock-absorbing tissue in your arch. You'll feel sharp, stabbing pain. If you must wear these shoes, add over-the-counter arch support inserts or get made-to-fit your feet orthodics. (I love mine!) They will help to distribute pressure more evenly.

*Flip-flops--You see them everywhere, in every season, on every age. The gripping action of your toes means your foot works harder than normal. It can eventually lead to problems such as tendonitis and can cause hammertoe, a permanent buckling of the toe. (Sounds awful!) You shouldn't wear flip flops for more than two hours a day because the seemingly comfortable spongy soles provide little support for your feet.

Activity should have a bearing on your shoe considerations; wearing the right shoe for a particular activity is probably as important a factor in your choice of shoes as any. If you go to you'll find more info on shoes. This site also says "Perhaps the best shoe for women is a walking shoe with laces (not a slip-on), a polymerized composition sole, and a relatively wider heel with a rigid and padded heel counter, no more than three-quarters of an inch in height." Sounds like my kind of shoe!

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