• Hannah Foster-Middleton

If The Shoe Fits...

If you have ever had a good pedicure, I am sure all of us would agree that when your feet feel good and relaxed, so does your whole body. Most of us don’t spend too much time thinking about our feet unless they hurt - but we probably should as they bear our entire body weight and work hard to keep us mobile and stable in whatever activity we are undertaking.


Whether you are a runner, a walker or exercise in other ways, or just go about your daily business, you need to keep your feet strong and healthy just like any other part of your body. So what you wear on your feet is important for mobility, stability and ultimately avoiding potential foot injuries. Although it’s tempting in a hot climate to wear thong sandals they should really be kept for the beach as they are not good for your feet because they offer no support for heels or ankles and no substantial cushioning for the soles. And you surely should not be driving in them as your foot can easily slide out and off the pedals causing a reaction with might precipitate an accident.


If you are into any kind of athletic activity, sports or regular visits to the gym, you know that you must choose the correct shoes and the myriad choices are not just a marketing ploy to get you to spend money recklessly. Wearing the right shoe will not only help your performance but provides protection and comfort. You should research which kind of shoe will give you the best protection from possible injury for your particular sport or use. The science behind the design of an athletic shoe is based on which part of your foot hits the ground first and therefore has to absorb the biggest impact.


Edie Grace, writing for livestrong.com suggests the following: A variety of sport shoes are on the market for every type of exercise. Running shoes that have inbuilt shock absorbers are available for joggers, and lightweight walking shoes are available for walkers. Aerobic shoes are lightweight and shock absorbing to prevent foot fatigue and to cushion the ball of the foot, which is put under pressure from aerobic exercise. Tennis shoes have flexible soles to protect your feet from the quick side-to-side movements of tennis. Thick-soled, high top basketball shoes provide extra protection against ankle and foot injuries caused by jumping. Cross-training shoes are suitable if you perform a variety of sport or exercise types in your workout.


Choosing the appropriate shoe will help to protect you against common injuries associated with different types of workout or sports. A good shoe can lessen the impact of your step and cushion the foot from heavy landings. In addition, sport or exercise specific shoes can improve your performance, enabling quicker directional changes or speed. Improper or poorly fitting footwear can cause a number of injuries. The more obvious injuries are ankle strains and fractures, torn tendons or ligaments, bunions and corns. According to Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,

other lesser known injuries are also common. Metatarsalgia is a condition which presents as pain in the ball of the foot, and can be exacerbated by badly fitting shoes.


Lastly, replacing your shoes is important for those of you whose regimen includes regular sporting or exercise activity. Worn out sport shoes do not provide your feet with adequate protection during your workout. Runners please take note: according to Michigan State University Extension, running shoes should be replaced after every 350 to 500 miles. If you run 20 miles a week, this means you should replace your shoes every 20 to 25 weeks. And Netwellness advises against judging the wear of your shoes just from the treads on the bottom. Instead, check the mid-sole section of the shoe that will show damage sooner.


Movement in any form as we have said repeatedly is essential to maintaining mobility and good overall health, so keep up the good work if you do exercise and if you don’t, now that you know how to choose shoes and prevent possible injury, no time like the present to start.


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