The season is so short this year. Imagine in less than a month’s time it would be Carnival Monday. It is also serious recessionary times, so playing mas or attending a number of fetes isn’t on many persons’ agenda. Certainly it isn’t on mine! I would love to, but need to focus otherwise. Would you prefer spend money on a costume, or fete ticket, over investigating the cause of that pain in your feet, or that sciatic nerve problem? Some persons would; but I think the choice should be health first. In 2017 a number of persons suffered heart attacks and strokes, this year has not started any differently. So doing your health checks should take pride of place… From head to toe literally. Maybe you have never made the link; however if you do a simple thing like walk, you would be surprised the impact it has on your heart health, as well as your circulation.
As health professionals, podiatrists focus loads on footwear, lots more than other professions. That said, style tends to win the battle over comfort for feteing and masqueraders. It is critical to focus on your footwear to ensure your after Carnival trials are minimal, if any at all. Each day I stress not wearing ballet flats, or overly high heels to patients. With holiday parties, New Year’s celebrations, and now Carnival, our feet may begin to feel like they are working overtime in our fancy party shoes.
For those of us who run around all day, and are stiletto-ready by the evening, that extra bit of dancing or mingling may take quite a toll on our little toes. Here are some tips and suggestions to get keep those feet swaying through the Carnival.
Find a shoe that fits: As obvious as this may sound, how many of us buy the wrong size shoe for the sake of fashion? Improper fitting shoes (too wide or large), can cause feet to slide, increasing friction. This can lead to corns and callouses. Shoes that are too tight may cause blisters, and in the long term contribute to bunions and hammertoes. There is nothing cute about a woman who is limping in her heels. Also, remember to buy shoes toward day’s end, to accommodate for swelling.
Pad and cushion: As we age, we lose fat; unfortunately I’m referring to the fat in our feet. Our natural padding starts to wear away,and we have less natural protection from ground forces. If you are wearing heels, invest in a pair of silicone metatarsal pads. This can be placed under the ball of the foot and can help to simulate your natural cushioning.
Switch shoes: Another obvious tip is to switch shoes throughout the day. For daily commutes, wear sneakers or a supportive cushioned shoe. For evening wear, choose a shoe that has built in padding or add a thin insole. Keep the high heel wearing to a minimum, carry an extra pair of flats, and switch, switch!
Choose the right heel: The heels are getting higher and higher. The higher the pitch, the more strain we are putting on our feet, ankles and other joints. Many high heels have raised platforms in the front of the shoe. This platform actually decreases the pitch angle. If high heels are the only option, try choosing one that has one of these front platforms. In general, platform shoes provide more stability than a regular high heel.
We all want to look our best for feteing season, wearing fabulous outfits and equally glam shoes. But while heels or high wedges may look good, usually after a couple of hours, we’re left fighting a burning sensation in our poor feet. The late nights and early mornings of the feteing season can take their toll. Bunions, hammer toes and burning soles are foot conditions that can be brought on by improper shoes too.
I don’t wish to be a kill joy… so do enjoy your Carnival. Be foot-wise though; your feet will certainly appreciate the extra caring on your part post Carnival.
Your feet mirror your general health . . . cherish them!