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Shoe Tips For Women

Let's be honest....most women love their shoes! They are just as important an accessory as their make-up, hair-holders and jewelry. Women will squeeze their feet into shoes that hurt their feet in the name of fashion. Then when nobody is looking, they will take their shoes off when they get to work or at the restaurant to get some relief. Repeat after me: SHOES SHOULD NOT HURT YOUR FEET! Here are a few things to keep in mind when picking out shoes:

1. Try to get a shoe that is the proper length and width- Be able to "play the piano" with your toes. If you have a bunion, consider a wide width. The best way to do this is with a lace shoe such as a sneaker. For dress, I recommend ankle or knee boots which allow you to get a longer size and not “slip out” of the heel.

2. If you must use a heel, try a "wedge/platform" rather than a "stiletto"- This will balance your foot forces better and cut down on injuries due to a narrow heel. Try not to go over 2 inches in height. Look for an ankle strap for more stability. Add an over the counter "ball of foot" cushion to the central arch of your shoes to reduce pressure on the forefoot and heel. Use an open-toe style to reduce nail and toe problems, including fungal and ingrown toenails, corns, blisters, bursitis and neuromas.

3. Use sturdy "flip-flops"- If you can twist the middle of your flip-flop like a pretzel, then find a different brand. The midsole should be sturdy and the bend should be at the "ball" (where toes meet the foot) and not in the "arch" (middle). Look for ones with a heel strap, which will give better foot control.

4. Try to wear sneakers more often- If you can find ones that suit your style, a well-made dress sneaker is great for your feet. Look for shoes that have a firm "counter" (back), a lace closure and a removable insole. That way, you can put your “orthotics” in them for better foot function. If your body is accustomed to using a heeled shoe, you can place a heel lift or orthotic inside the shoe to simulate the height from within the shoe. Incorporate daily “wall push-ups” (feet in line with each other; slowly bring your face to the wall; hold pose for 18-20 seconds; reverse foot positioning to stretch other side; do 3 sets on each side) to stretch your Achilles tendon and counteract the shortening.

In conclusion, I want ladies to break the "love/hate" relationship they have with their shoes: they "love" the way they look but "hate" how their feet feel when wearing them. Shoes can be stylish, but they should NOT cause foot pain. Follow my few simple tips to make your feet happy again and let your shoes be your friend and not your enemy.

Climb aboard the “Wellness Wagon” and remember to "Start With Your Feet".

Walk Strong…with orthotics,

Doc Rick DPM

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