Healthy feet have a positive impact all overDear Doctor Miller: My teenage daughter refuses to wear good shoes. Can you give me some reasons why proper shoes are important, and what to look for when shopping for shoes?
By: Dr. Carl Miller, Superior Telegram
Dear Doctor Miller:
My teenage daughter refuses to wear good shoes. Can you give me some reasons why proper shoes are important, and what to look for when shopping for shoes?
Good quality, well-fitting shoes are important for people of all ages. Many people experience foot pain and often it can be traced to poorly fitting, or poorly designed shoes. Problems associated with wearing poor shoes are not limited to the feet and may follow you throughout your life. According to the American Chiropractic Association, if you decide to choose fashion over function, you are risking having pain in your hips, knees, and back because the condition of your feet plays a very important role in the function of your joints. Foot discomfort, or even actual pain, can rob you of enthusiasm and energy, and take a lot of joy out of your life. Purchasing good shoes should be a priority for everyone. When shopping for shoes you should decide what activity you plan to use the shoes for, be aware of what type of a foot you have and make sure that you have a proper fit.
First, identify the activity that you will be using your shoes in and try to get shoes that are designed for it. For example, according to the American Chiropractic Association, a good running shoe will absorb shock when your heel strikes the ground, while a tennis shoe provides stability as you move side to side. For many people walking shoes are the obvious choice. Good walking shoes usually provide sufficient shock absorption and when you wear them, your feet can push off and roll naturally. They usually have a stiff heel support for stability as well as a cushioned sole for comfort. Flexibility is important because it allows your foot to move. Even though a shoe must be flexible, it should have a firm midsole and be somewhat resistant to twisting. When you purchase shoes make sure they are the right ones for your particular type of foot and activity.
Before you even begin to shop take a good look at your feet and identify what type of foot you have. According to the American Chiropractic Association your feet could be normal, flat or high-arched, and it is important to choose shoes that accommodate your arch type. If you dip your feet in water and make a footprint on cardboard you can get some clues as to what your arch-type is. If your wet footprint has a flare you have normal arches. If your footprint shows the whole sole of the foot you have a flat foot. If your footprint leaves a narrow band or no band at all between the heel and the forefoot you have high-arched feet.
If you have normal-arched feet look for shoes that have moderate rear foot stability and firm midsoles. If your feet are flat purchase shoes that will help to stabilize your feet. If your arches are high your feet may not absorb shock as well as they should and you should buy shoes with cushioning. If you go to a good shoe store, they will have knowledgeable staff who can advise you and help you to find the best shoes for your type of feet.
When purchasing shoes a proper fit is everything. Try on every pair of shoes before purchasing them; don’t depend on the size marked on the box. Not only can sizes vary between manufacturers, but you need to experience first-hand how the shoe feels when you are wearing it. The American Chiropractic Association recommends that you have your feet measured every time you shop for shoes and have each foot measured. Foot sizes often change with age and often one foot is a bit bigger than the other. When you are having your feet measured stand up in a weight bearing position. It is a good idea to shop late in the day when your feet are at their largest. Make sure to bring along any orthotic devices that you use to try with the shoes and always wear that kind of socks that you will be wearing when you use the shoes. Make sure that you get a proper fit, even if it is a different size than you usually get. There should be an index finger’s width between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Your heel should fit snugly against the shoe’s back, and should not slide up and down as you move around. The toe area should have plenty of room and not feel tight. Buy shoes that conform to the natural shape of your foot. If shoes feel too tight it is not likely that they will eventually stretch to fit your feet.
Proper shoes are essential to the health of your feet and healthy feet can have an impact on how the rest of your body feels. Poor shoes cause many problems, some of which can last for your entire life. If you shop carefully even fashionable shoes can be comfortable and safe. As your shoes are used and become older remember to be aware of the condition that they are in and even if they are comfortable after they reach a certain age check for signs of wear. Worn our shoes may not be providing you with good support or shock absorption any longer. To avoid injuries like shin splints, heel spurs, and others, be sure to replace them when they wear out. Pay attention to your shoes. Buy well-fitting shoes with good support and this will allow you to enjoy all of your activities without unnecessary foot pain or injuries. Healthy feet can have a positive impact on your entire body and help you to enjoy your daily activities even more.
Please send your questions and comments to Lake Superior Chiropractic, 2121 E. Fifth St., Superior, WI 54880 or email Cmill005@yahoo.com