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Choosing the Best Footwear for Your Foot and Ankle Health

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Have you ever walked out of the house wearing two different shoes?  Many of us have gotten in a hurry from time to time and caused this to happen; however, this May 3rd, you may have noticed some people wearing two different shoes.  It’s possible they made a mistake when leaving the house, or they may have been celebrating National Two Different Colored Shoes Day.  Dr. Arlene Kaiser created this unofficial holiday to celebrate diversity and people who dare to be different.  Whether or not you choose to wear different colored shoes every May 3rd, you probably make several considerations every time you pick your footwear. 

Weather, activities, and work all factor into our footwear choices, but have you ever thought about your foot and ankle health when picking out your shoes for the day?  At Resurgens Orthopaedics Foot and Ankle Center, we believe you should always be thinking about the health of your lower extremities, and your choice of shoes is part of that. 

Here are some health considerations to take into account when picking out footwear:

Avoid High Heels

High heels are fashionable and they are often worn in office settings.  Unfortunately, they are horrible for your foot and ankle health.  Not only do they pinch the toes into an unnatural position, they’re also hard on the muscles and tendons that make your lower extremities operate properly.  Luckily, today’s formal styles don’t necessarily require high heels.  Try wearing flats at work.  If your office dress code requires high heels, think about wearing sneakers during your commute and lunch break so you can minimize the damage being done to your feet and ankles.

Think about Arch Support

If the arches of your feet aren’t supported, you may end up suffering from one of several foot conditions, including the very painful plantar fasciitis.  Many popular styles of footwear don’t come with built-in arch support (like flip-flops and other types of sandals).  Only wear those types of shoes in appropriate situations, like going to the beach or pool.  Of course, close-toed shoes can lack arch support as well.  For these shoes, consider fitting them with arch-supporting insoles.

Nix Platforms and Wedges

We’ve all seen platform heels in our favorite movies from the 70s.  They quickly went out of style (for obvious reasons) but today’s equivalent is known as the wedge.  The problem with wedges is that, because of their thick soles, they force your foot to stay rigid while walking, disrupting the natural movement of the foot and ankle.  Opt instead for a shoe with a flexible sole.

Whether you wear sneakers, cowboy boots, or two different shoes, your footwear choice has a big impact on the health of your feet and ankles.  Next time you pick out shoes, think less about fashion and more about function.  Not only will you be more comfortable, you’ll also reduce your risk of developing a painful foot condition.  If your shoes are causing ongoing pain, book an appointment online today to talk to a specialist about the health of your feet and ankles.