During a recent session with a regular client of mine, we ended up having a conversation about what kind of shoes we wear the majority of the time. According to the American Medical Association (APMA), almost 75 percent of people experience foot pain at some point of their lives, and only one out of every six sufferers seek help from? a podiatrist. Research from the AMPA also demonstrates that those who spend 4 or more hours a day working on their feet suffer from chronic pain more than any other group of people. Even more important is the fact that nearly 78 percent of American suffer from foot pain because they are wearing ill-fitted shoes.
So now I?m wondering, have I recently been properly fitted for shoes? In fact, have I ever been properly fitted for shoes? Since we fall into the category of people who stand for more than 4 hours a day , it? is crucial that we pay attention to our feet. Here some tips from the APMA on how to purchase shoes that will both fit you well and serve you well:
- Have your feet measured while your standing.
- Always buy shoes for the larger foot. (Feet are seldom precisely the same size)
- Don?t buy shoes that need a ?break-in? period. Shoes should be comfortable immediately.
- Don?t rely on the size of your last pair of shoes. Your feet do get larger, and shoemaker?s sizing molds also vary.
- Shop for shoes later in the day. Feet tend to swell during the day, and it?s best to be fitted while they are in the state.
- Be sure that shoes fit well? front, back, sides? to distribute weight. It sounds elementary, but be sure the widest part of your foot corresponds to the widest part of the shoe.
- Try on shoes while you?re wearing the same type of socks or stockings you expect to wear with shoes.
- If you wear prescription orthotics-biomechanical inserts? prescribed by a podiatrist physician? you should take them along to shoe fittings.
Strength & Flexibility Exercises
Now that we?ve discussed footwear, I would like to share some stretches with you that I came across on Runner?sWorld.com.? They focus on your foot, ankle, and lower leg, and if done daily, will increase your strength and flexibility, which can help prevent injury in the future.
The Monopoly Game: Put 10 small objects on the floor (i.e. marbles or monopoly pieces) and place a small cup nearby. Using your toes, pick up the pieces one at a time and put them in the cup. Do two sets of 10 with each foot. Compete with your spouse or kids to see who can do 10 in the fastest time.
Toe Tug: Loop one end of an exercise band around a sturdy table leg or bedpost. Sit with your legs straight out in front, and loop the other end around the top part of one foot. The band should be anchored straight in front of you. Pull your toes toward you, keeping your leg straight. Go as far as your ankle will let you. Release slowly, returning to the starting position. Do two sets of 20 on each leg.
I?ve always been selective when it comes to buying shoes, and after researching for this article, I am? certainly happy for that trait. I am also looking forward to staying up on current research regarding footwear and foot health.
I will continue to be mindful as I stand on my own two feet.
?Foot care & footwear: Steps to take for Healthy Feet? USA Today, June 2010
?Footwear? Tip sheet, APMA.org