Take my wife, please!
Or at least take her shoes. My wife has every type of shoe you can imagine and with each pair or style she complains. ‘This hurts my toes, this one hurts my back, that one makes my calves ache.’ You name the shoe, I can describe the ache or pain it produces in my wife’s feet. And yet, if I suggest she throw a pair away if it hurts so much it’s as though I’ve committed a crime.
My wife’s dilemma – and by extension mine – isn’t unique. As women age it’s not uncommon to experience foot problems, even when you are doing the same things you’ve always done. What if a normal walk, or a jog, or even dancing turns into something you want to avoid because of the pain you experience in your feet.
But, the “what don’t you try this, honey” offer of help I give is often ignored. After, all fashion trumps all. To help her and others I’ve done a little research into the matter and found that a few simple precautions can help her – and you – keep on dancing, walking, jogging and enjoying your feet for years to come.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), 80 percent of adults experience some type of foot problem during their lives. However, very few people do anything about their discomfort.
Some of the more common problems involve in ingrown toenails, fungal infections, sweaty feet and foot odors, various injuries, and bunions. Each of the problems has their own cause and cure.
Today’s modern living has produced new types of foot problems that require a different approach. Often that approach means lifestyle changes or modifications – at the very least reconsidering the footwear fashion statement. I know, ladies, that’s asking a lot. But here are the facts ma’am, just the facts.
The Problem With High Heels
While fashion has dictated that women wear higher and higher heels it’s a fashion statement that comes with its own unique set of problems. Many doctors have pointed out that the higher the heel the more problems that can occur. Heels force a great deal of pressure on the foot and toes, creating the perfect storm for incurring bunions and hammertoes. The APMA has recommended that women wear high heels for only short periods and if necessary try inserts that will properly pad the feet and prevent slipping that further harms the toes. When possible try flats or bring a change of shoes to work and dump the high heels whenever you can.
My wife’s reaction to my suggestion? ‘What, and look short?” Oh well.
Problems With Flats and Slides
While high heels have their own set of concerns, the opposite end of the spectrum – flats – also present an issue for incurring arch and heel pain. That’s primarily due to the inadequate cushioning and foot support in flats. The solution is to avoid wearing them for long periods of time and/or using cushioned inserts. Similar problems occur with the popular “gladiator’ style of sandals. In these types of shoes irritation can build between toes as well as callus and dead skin building-up around the heels. To help minimize these effects podiatrists suggest choosing natural materials such soft, supple leather. Making sure the shoe fits well (no toes hanging over the edge of the show) will also help.
My wife’s reaction to my suggestion? “You know what leather shoes cost these days?” Oh well.
Problems With Wedge And Espadrille Sandals
The higher you are the more chance you have of twisting or spraining an ankle, and these types of shoes offer the perfect conditions for these problems to occur. Other than avoiding wearing such shoes try a wider, flatter platform with a rubber sole for good traction, says the APMA.
Problems With Peep-toe And Ankle Wrap Sandals
These types of shoes put a lot on the toes that can lead to painful bunions and hammertoes. Once again the answer is to wear such shoes for only short periods of time. With the ankle wrap shoes you should also make sure the shoe material is something like leather, cotton or satin so the foot can breath easily. Also make sure you don’t wrap too tightly.
My wife’s reaction to my suggestion? “But, they look so good on me.”
While fashion and style may play an important part in your personal style, being fashionable doesn’t mean you have to walk around in pain. These few simple hints can make you fashionable and pain free.
As for my wife, she’ll come around to incorporating some of my suggestions. And when she does she’ll probably say, “If you really loved me you would have told me about all this long ago.”