|How do I know if my shoes fit properly?|
Proper-Fitting Shoes: A Step in the Right Direction
An estimated three out of four Americans experience foot problems in their lifetime. Women have about four times as many foot problems as men.
Heels and your feet
High heels have been known to cause knee pain, back pain and foot problems. Heels shorten calf muscles, and prolonged wearing of heels cause changes to the shape of the feet and may impair normal foot function. Wearing of high-heeled shoes causes increased pressure buildup in the forefoot area. This results in forefoot pain and the formation of corns. Wearing a lower heel shoe helps to distribute the pressure experienced by the foot.
Pregnancy and Pronation
Due to the natural weight gain during pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity is altered. This causes a new weight-bearing stance and added pressure to the knees and feet. Two of the most common foot problems experienced by pregnant women are over-pronation and edema. These problems can lead to pain at the heel, arch or ball of the foot. Over-pronation, also referred to as flat feet, can create extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia. This makes walking very painful and can increase strain on the feet, calves and/or back. Edema, also referred to as swelling in the feet, normally occurs in the latter part of pregnancy.
Picking the right shoe
• Buy shoes in the afternoon, as feet tend to swell during the day.
• The length of your shoe should be a thumb’s spacing from the longest toe to the end of the shoe.
• Buy shoes with a fastening (laces, velcro, buckle), with a wide heel base and no more than 1 ½ inches in height.
• An arch shape that supports your foot.
• The widest part of your foot should correspond with the widest area of the shoe.
• Shoes with firm rubber sole and soft leather upper are preferable.
• A smooth lining with no rough seams.
• Take foot health seriously; if you suffer from dry skin or brittle nails and want your feet to look and feel better, visit a podiatrist to learn more about preventing and treating foot problems.
Finding Your Fit
Bring your foot outline to the shoe store. Find a shoe with good features. Turn it over. Does the shoe shape match your outline? If so, place it on top of your outline. A proper shoe should cover the outline. (if you have a bunion, the shoe may not cover the bulge on the outline. Look for soft leather shoes to stretch over the bunion.) Once you have found a proper shoe, walk around. Be sure the shoe does not rub or pinch. If the shoes feel good, you’ve found your fit!
Steps for healthier feet
• Wear properly fitting shoes
• Keep your feet cool and dry
• Avoid wearing the same shoes two days in a row
• Always wear shoes in public areas, including hotel rooms and health clubs, to avoid getting an infection
• Use a disinfectant spray regularly to kill germs in your shoes
• Use only sterile pedicure instruments