There’s nothing worse than when you realise the perfect shoes you tried on in the store, are too painful to wear. I speak to patients every day about this. Here’s a practical guide to assist.
Elements of Best Shoe Choices
Your shoe should be approximately half inch longer than your foot, to ensure your toes have room to move, and avoid any rubbing. Measure the length of your foot to the tip of your longest toe; remember, it might not be your big toe!
The shoe should be snug on your foot in its widest point, to prevent chafing caused by it rubbing your foot; so make sure there are no pressure points. If you can’t wiggle your toes, the shoes are too tight.
The upper should not push down on the top of the foot, especially at the tip. This kind of pressure can cause skin irritation, nail problems, and toe cramps. The depth of the shoe is right if you can flex your foot.
There should be a firm fit around the heel, especially in athletic shoes. An unstable heel lets your foot slide around, and makes your gait unbalanced. This may lead to arch pain and skin irritation.
It’s important to choose an anatomically shaped insole for your shoe, capable of supporting your foot at the right support points. Shoes with removable insoles are very practical; they can be removed to put in anatomical orthotic insoles, or can be made wider to accommodate foot swelling during the day.
The lining of the shoe should be smooth, and free of wrinkles or any raised stitching. This will help avoid any irritation or skin damage.
Whatever the material of the upper, ensure it’s flexible, and doesn’t restrict foot movement. The breathability is important too, so your feet don’t overheat, causing odours.
The sole material should be lightweight, durable and have grip. Try to pick shoes that provide protection from stones, or other objects on the ground that could hurt your foot too.
Our feet are fully formed at age 18, but their size and shape can still change with age or pregnancy. The shape of the shoe and the fit also make a difference. So it’s best to choose a comfortable fit to better facilitate the foot.
When you buy a pair of shoes, remember to try them on with the type of socks you think you’ll wear with them. You can either go shopping in them, or carry a pair in your bag.
Trial and error
Always try on both shoes; most people’s feet are slightly different sizes, so choose the size of the larger foot. Your foot widens when you put your body weight on it, so make sure you stand. It’s always good to shop for shoes in the afternoon or evening, when your feet are a bit larger from the daily stresses.
Make sure you walk around in the shop with the shoes. Even the softest material may not give you the right comfort when your feet are in motion.
Night Time Foot Care
You have a night time routine for other parts of your body, so why not your feet? Whether it’s squeezing them into painful shoes, playing sports, or failing to give them as much attention as they deserve, our feet are sadly often neglected!
By adopting a simple maintenance routine, and using preventative measures to reduce common foot problems, you can make your feet more comfortable. Here’s how to wake up to softer skin and relieved feet, so you’ll be ready to show them off the next day.
Why the night time is the right time
If you’ve been on your feet all day, they’ll probably be ready for a bit of pampering by the time it’s evening. As well as catching your feet at their neediest time, a night time foot care routine is the first step to keeping them healthy, soft, and beautiful.
The first step
Start by washing and drying your feet. They tend to get dirtier and sweatier than other parts of the body, so it’s good to get into the habit of washing them every night to get rid of bacteria. Pay extra attention to your toenails and the spaces between your toes.
Next, you need to remove dead and hard skin. Doing this on a regular basis pays off, as it keeps your feet in great condition, and helps to prevent more severe problems in the future. Once you’re done, treat your feet to a long soak in warm water. This helps to relieve aches and pains, and relaxes your feet after a long day.
Say goodbye to dry skin
To complete your foot pampering, you need to moisturise to reduce any recurring dry skin. As you’re heading to bed, rather than showering or running around, your skin will have an uninterrupted chance to soak up all the hydration it needs.
Note that the skin on your feet is about 10 times thicker than some other areas of the body; so it needs an extremely thick moisturising cream. Help get yourself relaxed, and ready for bed, by massaging the cream into each foot; knead the soles to help loosen tight muscles, and boost circulation. Finally, stretch your toes by gently pulling them back and forth to ease tightness and soreness. You’ll wake up to softer, smoother, happier feet that are ready to face another day!
Your feet mirror your general health . . . cherish them!