With shoes, it pays to start off on the right foot

With shoes, it pays to start off on the right foot

06.03.14
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Check the size You may think you know what size shoe you should be wearing, but the only way to find out for sure is to have your feet measured so you can be properly fitted. Shoe stores provide this service free of charge. You may be surprised to find that your shoes are too big, too narrow, too small or too wide. Wearing shoes that fit you properly will help you avoid unnecessary trips and falls, blisters, and other conditions like bunions and plantar fasciitis. 

Invest in quality shoes

Once you know your proper shoe size, you should invest in quality shoes that will last a long time and stand up well to wear and tear. While shoes can be considered little more than fashion accessories, there are plenty of brands that are creating shoes that are both fashionable and comfortable. The most comfortable footwear is flat, widest at the toes and has a flexible sole. Try on a number of options, as different shoes will fit you uniquely. You can’t always tell just by looking at a shoe how it will feel when worn. 

Put the brakes on heel use High heels, especially those over 2.5 inches, are associated with knee and back problems and can damage the structure of your feet. If you prefer to wear heels, try to avoid extremely high heels, and alternate with lower heels or flats so you can stretch your calves and spread your weight more evenly on your feet. 
Alternate shoes  No matter what kind of shoes you wear, you should be alternating shoes frequently so you’re not wearing one pair too often or for too long. Keeping most of your shoes in rotation ensures they all fit you comfortably and prevents any one pair from wearing out or causing injury or damage to your feet or joints. Consider wearing a different pair every day for each activity, including work, exercise, and leisure. 
Consider orthotic inserts Some people find they need more support than their shoes offer. Orthotic inserts can provide additional cushioning and support to certain areas of the foot, including the arch, heel and other pressure points. Orthotic inserts are available at drug stores and shoe stores but it may be worth asking your doctor for a recommendation first. Those who need additional support can look into getting custom fit orthotic inserts.
Visit a podiatrist If you have foot or ankle pain, and these conservative treatments and solutions aren’t working, you should consult a podiatrist or an orthopedic foot and ankle care specialist. These doctors will work to identify any foot pain or walking problems you may be having, and find a solution that will bring relief. Visit the Mount Sinai Health System website to find a specialist near you. 
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