Dr Mark Nelson
Foot & Ankle Specialist
Proper footwear can reduce foot problems
From ancient Egyptian times down through the centuries,
footwear has been designed to meet mankind’s real and perceived
needs—protection, support, comfort, sturdiness, and stylishness.
When a child begins to walk, shoes generally are not
necessary, allowing an infant to go barefooted in doors, or to wear only a
pair of socks, helps the foot grow normally and develop its muscles and
strength, as well as the grasping ability of toes.
Women inflict more punishment on their feet in part from
improper footwear that can bring about unnecessary foot problems. Some of
the problems result from high-heeled shoes (generally defined as pumps with
heels of more than two inches). Doctors of podiatric medicine believe such
heels are medically unsound, and attribute postural and even safety problems
to their use.
The best shoes for men are good quality oxford styles, shoes
ordinarily associated with wing-tip or cap toe designs. Also suitable are
slip-ons, dressy loafers, and low dress boots.
|Shoe Fitting Tips From The APMA|
|Have your feet measured while you’re standing.|
|Always try on both shoes, and walk around the store.|
|Always buy for the larger foot; feet are seldom precisely the same
|Don’t buy shoes that need a “break-in” period; shoes should be
|Don’t rely on the size of your last pair of shoes. Your feet do get
larger, and lasts (shoemakers’ sizing molds) also vary.|
|Shop for shoes later in the day; feet tend to swell during the day,
and it’s best to be fitted while they are in that state.|
|Be sure that shoes fit well—front, back, and sides—to distribute
weight. It sounds elementary, but be sure the widest part of your foot
corresponds to the widest part of the shoe.|
|Select a shoe with a leather upper, stiff heel counter, appropriate
cushioning, and flexibility at the ball of the foot.|
|Buy shoes that don’t pinch your toes, either at the tips, or across
the toe box.|
|Try on shoes while you’re wearing the same type of socks or stockings
you expect to wear with the shoes.|
|If you wear prescription orthotics—biomechanical inserts prescribed by a podiatric physician—you should take them along to shoe fittings.|
For longer service, keep shoes clean and in good repair. Avoid excessive wear on heels and soles. Give your shoes a chance to breathe — don’t wear the same pair two days in a row (you prolong the life of shoes by rotating their use). Never wear hand-me-down shoes (this is especially important for children).
The American Podiatric Medical Association awards its Seal
of Acceptance to a wide variety of shoes (and shoe- related products),
which have been deemed to enhance a consistently applied program of daily
foot care and regular professional treatment.
The intent of such endorsements is to make a significant contribution to the foot health and foot health education of the public.
For a list of shoe companies holding the APMA Seal of Acceptance, visit www.apma.org.
Reprinted with permission from the American Podiatric Medical Association
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