This past year, I have renovated the kinds of shoes that I put on my feet because I have learned that shoes are one of the major reasons for foot pain and problems.
How Shoes Contribute to Foot Related Problems:
- Foot wear increases the incidence of knee osteoarthritis, back pain and hip degeneration.
- An elevated heel of any height alters the biomechanics of the foot and body.
- Normal weight distribution is 50% over both front of foot and back. High heels change weight distribution to 90% over front of foot and 10% over the back.
- For every inch one’s heel is elevated in a shoe, the position of the body is altered 20%. This means that the body falls forward 20%. To compensate for this, we push our pelvises forward, our shoulders back and our heads hang down.
Tips on Finding Shoes that Promote Healthy Feet
- Was designed to protect our skin from punctures and abrasions.
- Originally was thin.
- Now soles can be thick, thin, contoured, and have height.
- The thicker the sole, the less the intrinsic muscles of the foot can do, less communication happens between the brain and feet and the movement of the ankle is increased (Increased ankle injuries anyone?)
- The top material that connects to the sole of the shoe.
- Flip-flops, mules, and slide-on sandals require more work to keep them on, which creates toe tension. (This can result in hammertoes).
- Laces affect constriction, which impacts circulation to the feet.
- The front of the shoe where the toes go.
- Too tight of toe box can decreases toe mobility, which results in muscle atrophy (toes are being squashed together).
- Chronic toes squeezing can also result in increased joint stress, bone str
- ess, and soft tissue deformation. (This can create bunions).
- The heel of the shoe aligns itself with the heel of the bodyThe higher the heel, the more pressure on the front foot.
- The bones at the front of the foot are small and often become angled and compressed.
- A positive heel causes a displacement of alignment (often resulting in the pelvis pushed forward and tailbone tucked).
My Shoe Renovation:
I swapped all my flip flops for sandals with straps around the heels.
I swapped my tennis shoes to minimalist shoes (I personally switched to Kigos).
I swapped my every day shoe to TOMS.
I swapped my 3-inch heeled brown boots to…well, that is a whole other story. I was not able to find any brown boots that did not have a positive heel for less than $100. Yes, I believe healthy feet are very, very important, however I also believe in spending wisely for the health of my family and marriage. So I finally settled for ½-inch brown boots.
It has taken me over a year to renovate my shoe collection. Just this last week, I pulled out some old tennis shoes to go walking in because of all the mud puddles and ice, and my hips, knees and feet hurt for three days afterwards. Lesson learned: stick with my new shoe regimen and ditch the old ones.
Will you join the shoe renovation with me? For those of you who like to shop, this is the perfect excuse to do so.
For a list of foot-friendly shoes, visit this list by Katysays.com.
“The only natural or “normal” feet are those of shoeless people” (Podiatry Management, October 2011).