My adventures have begun. I’m on a hunt for shoes. Funny thing, my feet seem too big for the Brits! I’m a 10 US, which equates a 9 or 43 here; however, most stores only go up to an 8 or 42. Imagine my despair; it’s been quite an experience…
Tips to Remember
When Shoe Shopping:
· Make sure you can wiggle your toes a little, inside your shoes.
· Try on both sides, and walk a few steps to see if they pinch or rub.
· Choose materials that allow your feet to breathe, and mould well to the shape of your foot.
· Feet tend to swell a little during the day, so buy shoes in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest.
· Buy the right shoe for the purpose – high heels are not for walking distances.
· Buying shoes in a “Sale” may save money, but could cost your feet dearly, so ensure they fit correctly.
Badly fitting shoes can be very damaging to feet. In fact, many adults’ foot problems occur, or can be made worse, because they wear poorly fitting shoes. To help prevent damage to your feet, try to apply the rules I have detailed for making your selection.
Choosing the Best Shoes
What should you look for?
· Heels – should have a broad base, and be no more than 3 and one 1/2 inches for going out, or 2 – 2 and one 1/2 inches for work.
· Soles – should provide cushioning and protection for comfortable walking, and enough grip to prevent slipping. If your shoe doesn’t naturally provide that please buy an insole or be fitted for Orthotics (Arch Supports), to get the necessary comfort.
· Upper shoe – ideally should be made from natural materials such as leather, or breathable fabrics to keep feet comfortable.
· Linings – breathable materials such as leather or fabric that keep the foot fresh; they need to be smooth and seam-free.
· Fastenings – laces or straps with buckles or touch fastenings help to hold the foot securely within the shoe.
· Toe Box – with sufficient depth to prevent rubbing and allow toes to wiggle.
· Insole – preferably removable to allow easy insertion of padding or orthotics.
What Size do I Need?
Many people believe that their feet stay the same size throughout their lives. However, feet tend to increase in both length and width, so it’s important to use the points above to check whether the fit is correct. Also, shoe sizing can vary tremendously between brands and styles, so you need to ensure you shoes fit correctly, rather than relying on the size alone.
Good socks will not only help keep your feet comfortable within your shoes, but will also keep them dry by drawing moisture awayfrom the feet in hot climates. 100% cotton socks can hold moisture against the skin, contributing to painful blistering. Wool and silk are often found blended with the latest generation of synthetic materials. In cold climates, thick, woollen and or thermal socks are needed to keep the feet warm.
If you have problems with circulation or swelling, try to avoid socks with tight elastic tops and seams. There are wider soft-top socks available for such conditions. Regularly check your sock drawer and discard stretched out or misshapen socks. Always check toe seams for a knobbly casting knot, particularly in children’s socks. If you have diabetes, there are socks manufactured from one piece of material without a toe seam.
Proper Foot Care
Proper foot care is essential to healthy, painless feet, and should be as much a part of your daily routine as brushing your teeth and changing your underwear.
Follow these Tips for Good Foot Health:
• Wash your feet every day and dry thoroughly.
• Apply moisturising cream after each bath; not on mornings only, as many clients confess is their routine.
• Trim your toenails regularly, cut straight across and not too short.
• Keep your feet warm and exercise to improve circulation.
• Visit a Chiropodist/Podiatrist/Foot Health Practitioner for advice; and take your shoes with you if you need specific advice on footwear.
Blisters are painful, fluid-filled lesions, often caused by friction and pressure. The following can cause them:
• Ill-fitting shoes
• Stiff shoes
• Wrinkled or stiff socks against the skin, or sometimes the seam in socks
• Excessive moisture
• Foot deformities
How to Prevent Blisters
• Keep your feet dry.
• Wear socks as a cushion between your feet and shoes if you wear sneakers and or boots.
• Wear properly fitting shoes or purchase insoles or orthotics.
If a blister does occur, do not pop it. Cut a hole in a piece of foam or felt, forming a ‘doughnut’over the blister; tape the foam or felt in place, or cover with a soft gel-type dressing. Treat an open blister with mild soap and water; cover it with an anti-septic ointment and protective soft gel dressing, to prevent infection and speed up the healing process.