A lot of people, especially women, wear shoes that are stylish or designed to wow, without providing comfort and support. Stilettos, strappy heels – sure these shoes are sexy for a night out on the town, but when it comes to comfort they leave a lot to be desired.
Dr. Taryn Rose, a shoe designer, was featured on Good Morning America recently. While she began her career as an orthopedist, she switched to shoe designing after witnessing the many foot problems caused by uncomfortable and ill-fitting shoes. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, one of every six people in America have foot problems, which results in health costs of more than $3.5 billion annually. So, what is the solution?
When shopping for shoes, Rose suggests making sure of proper fit, looking for flexibility, breathability, and cushioning, good arch support, and wearability. Women make up 90% of those who visit the doctor with foot problems such as calluses, hammer toes, bunions, and neuroma.
Proper fit is essential. Shoes should allow for a half inch extra in the toe area, and room for wiggling. Shoes that are too narrow or have pointy toes will squeeze the foot and cause pain.
Flexibility or “give” allows your foot to flex when you walk, so shoe’s uppers should be soft and pliable. Good cushioning is like shock absorbers, cushioning the foot as it strikes the ground. Lightweight shoes are important as well, as they won’t tire your feet as heavier shoes do.
Firm arch support helps redistribute the weight in the feet, so that it won’t be in one point. Essentially, your body weight will be more equally distributed throughout your feet so that no single point receives all the pressure.
Finally, those who have foot problems or who want to avoid future issues should choose two-inch or lower heels; chunky heels are even better, as they are easier to walk on and more comfortable than spike or narrow heels.
When is the best time to shop for shoes according to Rose? In the late afternoon or evening, when feet are usually more swollen. This will help ensure you don’t purchase shoes that are too tight. Also be sure to walk in the shoes before buying, and find a hard floor to try them out on rather than carpet – this will let you know if the cushioning is sufficient for comfort.
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