They can make or break an outfit. They are necessary to enter a store, restaurant and most places of business. They protect you from the heat, the cold, the water and rough surfaces. They are definitely something you never want to leave home without or be without. They are SHOES and they are so important to you, your well being, and your overall health. Primitive shoes have been found with remains leading back to the Stone Age and many are familiar with the sandals that were known to have existed in ancient Egypt. How far we have come since then! As we will see and discover here, shoes are more than a fashion accessory, they are essential to us for many reasons.
Positive Elements That Good Shoes Provide
Shoes affect more than just your feet. Your knees, hips, legs, neck and back are all directly impacted by the quality and kind of shoes you wear. Crazy, right? Some good, positive effects that good shoes give you are:
- Aligns your body correctly to walk, protecting your joints
- Gives you good balance and motion control
- Brings pain relief to those who suffer from joint and muscle problems
- Prevents long term damage to your feet and ankles
- Improves performance for athletes and those trying to be physically fit
- Supports your feet and ankles during walking, jogging, and long periods of standing
- Helps to prevent calluses, corns, bunions and helps those with high arches and flat feet
What Constitutes A “Good Shoe”?
Many specifics merge into what makes a “good shoe.” Just because a shoe is expensive doesn’t always mean it is ideal for proper foot wear. As you look for the best shoes for you, identify what your specific needs are and what support is most commonly needed:
- Arch support - The underside of your foot, in the middle, is your arch. They help you to safely bear weight and safely enact the force of walking. Make sure the shoes you buy have adequate arch support. Too little arch support is a problem and too much arch support is a problem. It’s an important balance and exhibits why trying on shoes before buying them is essential
- Heel height - Shoes with high heels force your weight onto the balls of your feet which can affect your balance, put stress on your knees, and raise the compression level for your spine and hips. The heel of a shoe should be not raised higher than half an inch and the shoe should be made in such a way that it is a continuous raise toward the heel
- Toe box - The toe box is the part of the shoe where your toes reside. It should be roomy enough to comfortably house all your toes with extra room for them to move around, and the shoe should be able to bend in the toe box area. The shape of the toe box should not only be able to comfortably fit all your toes but also have enough depth to it to fit the width of your foot well
- Shank - The shank is a long, thin piece of material that runs from the heel of a shoe to the ball of the foot. You want to make sure in the shoes that you buy, the shank itself should not be flexible, it is the foundation of building support for the shoe itself
Shoes You Should NOT Wear And What Effects They Cause
We all have at least one pair of shoes we know we should have never bought. They don’t fit correctly, they are too tight, too big, give you blisters, they are beautiful to look at but painful to walk in, we all can identify with one or more of these statements. What shoes should we NOT be wearing? Get ready, it's a LONG LIST:
- High heels - This one is a no-brainer. There is no high heeled shoe I've ever found that was the least bit comfortable. High heels are a leading cause of ankle sprains, foot pain, heel pain, back and neck pain, plantar fasciitis, spinal deformity, and short Achilles tendons, to name a few
- Pointed shoes and shoes that are tight can cause a long list of problems, such as bunions, corns, claw and hammer toes, and ingrown toenails
- Flip flops - Flip flops offer no arch support, no protection for feet making your feet susceptible to cuts and splinters, and they can aggravate plantar fasciitis
- Ballet flats - These simple, little flats offer no arch support and can lead to hip, knee and back problems and can also cause plantar fasciitis
- Wedge Heels/Platform Shoes - The hard, inflexible soles of these shoes throw off the correct mechanics of walking. Your foot tries to bend as you walk, but these shoes don’t allow the normal bend which can throw off your balance and doubles your chances of falling and ankle injuries
- Wearing the wrong size shoe is just as damaging to your feet as wearing shoes that aren’t good for your feet
- Shoes that are too short or too narrow press down on your toes and can cause ingrown toenails
- Foot conditions, foot pain and shoes that don’t fit can lead to falls, limit the way you get around, and a loss of being to walk and move independently in senior adults
Happy Feet, Happy Body
A saying gets passed around how if your feet hurt, your whole body is miserable, and I concur with that statement! Confession time: I have constantly bought shoes that I KNEW were not good for my feet. What can I say, I’m a sucker for a beautiful shoe! But as time goes by, I’m no longer able to spend hours and hours in shoes that hurt my feet and, if I try, my body makes me sorry! It’s a lot of information to process but so important for your overall health. Shoe buying does not have to be stressful, just remember how important finding the right shoes are for the wellbeing of your body. If your feet are happy, your body will be too!!
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