Posted on October 27 2015
Everyone knows a good shoe can make or break an outfit and that, sometimes, pain is beauty. Work shoes, dress shoes, and, for women, our favorite high heels can all be uncomfortable, impractical and detrimental to our podiatric health.
Yep, our feet need healthcare too, and one of the biggest ways we work against them is by jamming them into shoes everyday.
Our feet are perfectly designed for us: they can walk, jump, skip, run, lunge, and sustain pretty much every other leg-powered activity you can dream up. And they can do all those things all on their own without any help from footwear.
When we force our feet into shoes (albeit, often a societal and hygienic necessity), we force them to walk differently, and, ultimately, force them to walk incorrectly. This change in our natural walk leads to misalignment, “flat feet,” or “fallen arches,” and other problems with gait and movement. For those of us that willingly wear tight or uncomfortably shaped shoes for the sake of fashion (looking at you, stillettos), we risk permanent long-term issues such as nerve damage and overworked leg muscles.
Ditching shoes is an option sometimes, but it comes with its own risks, especially in unclean or unfamiliar places. Fortunately, there are ways to minimize damage from footwear without going barefoot, and it starts with learning about the types of shoes that work with you instead of against you.
So...What Do I Wear On My Feet?
When you need athletic wear...try brands like New Balance or Brooks. Both retailers offer many different styles of athletic shoes for men and women. Choose a shoe with minimal cushioning and without a stride-correcting design so that your walk or run will be as close to your natural form as possible.
When it’s time to get ready for work...look for shoes labeled “slip resistant.” For women, clogs are a style that will provide both comfort and the closed-toed professional look you need in a work environment. For men, clogs and slip-ons will both work, as long as they are slip resistant.
When you want to keep things casual...go for orthopedic sandals from brands like Vionic. Healthy, podiatric-approved sandals will keep your feet ventilated but offer comfort and protection from injury.
When it’s cold outside...slip your feet into some cozy boots, and for women, consider feet-friendly styles from Naot. Men can check out boots from Drew and p.w. minor to keep healthy feet at the forefront of personal style all winter long.
Shoes are a necessity in our everyday lives, but we don’t have to make ourselves uncomfortable to outfit our feet. Look for orthopedic, expert-approved brands the next time you’re shoe shopping, and avoid possible long-term damage caused by ignoring the health of your feet.