The importance of having healthy feet for overall health and well-being is often overlooked. After all, our feet carry us through life so it is important to look after them and wear the correct footwear. Sore feet and unsuitable shoes can often result in what seems like unrelated problems such as back pain or knee ache. Here are some tips to ensure you select the right footwear.
Support Poor foot support can often cause back problems as well as sore feet. When buying new shoes, give them a good workout first by walking around the shop to make sure they bend or flex in the right places. The best support shoes should have a fresh cushioning feeling all around the foot and especially under the arches. If not, then you may have selected the wrong size or if this is not the case, then you could consider trying support insoles.
High Heels In general, feet do not like high heels! More women are wearing higher heels and for longer periods and there are fears that this can result in long term damage to the overall body. However more and more shoe manufacturers are realising this and taking comfort into account when designing stylish high heels. When looking for a high heel shoe, try to stick to heels no higher than 3cms. Luckily on the market these days, there is a wide range of modern high heels available but with the addition of a hidden thicker sole offering more stability. This also reduces the arch of the foot and puts less pressure on the ankle and legs whilst also giving the sophisticated stiletto look. Wedge high heels are also a popular option as they provide more support and a more stable platform.
Flip-Flops or Thongs In recent years, this style of footwear has become very popular worldwide. Flip-flops or Thongs are loved because they are light, comfy and inexpensive however they are not the best choice for your feet. Due to their flat style offering little or no support, they can cause serious foot problems such as arch strain. To counter this, look for styles such as FitFlops, which claim to offer more support along with additional overall health benefits. If you love your flip-flops and can’t part with them, try to only wear them occasionally and not for long walks or standing for extended periods.
Heel Strap If you’re looking at summer footwear, try to purchase those with an adjustable heel strap for extra comfort and support. A heel strap ensures the sandal stays in place meaning your feet or toes do not have to arch or strain to keep the sandal on.
Fasteners Research has shown that shoes that fit well are better for the feet and a good fastener is a critical factor. Shoes with laces, buckles or Velcro fasteners are shown to give the best fit however many shoe styles do no allow for this. If you choose to wear footwear without fasteners, try to wear them for limited periods if possible.
If you suffer from back pain or muscle ache, then have a think about what footwear you use. Having stiff joints or sore muscles in your feet can cause problems all the way up to your back or neck. Replacing your shoes even for a few hours a day can help improve this or help avoid it in the future. Your feet are important to your overall health so look after them – no one else will!