If you’re looking to impress, step up your shoe game!
Shoes 👞 for Men👨 & Women 👩
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“Give a girl the right pair of shoes, and she can conquer the world,” said Marilyn Monroe. While it may be appealing to pick the highest, pointiest stilettos you can get your hands on, do spare a thought for what you might be putting your back and feet through. A survey conducted by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) in 2009 showed that 42 per cent of women admitted they’d wear an uncomfortable shoe if it looked good enough, and of these, 73 per cent already had shoe-related foot issues. These can start off as minor aches and later lead to serious injuries or chronic pain. To avoid these, pay attention to a few small details when you go shoe shopping.
Pick PM over AM
While shoe sizes are standard, sometimes brands have small differentiators. Also, most of us have
been wearing the same shoe size for several years and take it for granted that this won’t change.
With age, ailments and circumstances, however, there could be changes in your foot size. The
first step to choosing the right shoe is picking the right size, and for this, you have to get yourself measured every single time. Also, avoid try-outs in the morning. Opt for them in the late
afternoon or evening when feet are a little tired (so you’ll choose the most comfortable footwear) and also tend to be larger. Get your orthopaedic shoe inserts along, if you use them, or bring socks if you plan to wear them with the shoes. Walk around for a bit to test waters, and
if it’s even the slightest bit uncomfortable, leave it. Likewise, if a shoe feels right and fits well, ignore the size — go with how you feel. Hillary B. Brenner, a podiatric surgeon and spokesperson, APMA also suggests women pick shoes with heels that are no more than two inches high, if they can’t do away with them entirely.
Check your schedule
We’re all not Carrie Bradshaw, and we can’t walk or chase our dogs in the park on 4-inch heels! So first, figure out what you intend to do in your shoes before you buy them. For walking, running or even trips to the supermarket, invest in a good pair of athletic shoes. Jyotsna John, fitness instructor and founder of The Unit, a group personalised training studio in Chennai,
says, “If it’s an activity like running or hiking, go for shoes with good comfortable soles and lots of room for your toes. Don’t pick shoes that have large, unbalanced soles that claim to help you lose weight by making you work harder. They only throw you off balance and put you at a risk
for ankle injuries.” If you’re weight training, then go minimalist on the soles. “The flatter
it is, the better. When lifting weights, it’s best to have maximum foot contact on the ground for maximum balance and better activation of muscles. Barefoot shoes are great for this too,” he adds. Check out if there are enough shock absorbers on the heel— air cushions are especially good. For office, pumps work well. They add a bit of heel, and are comfortable to walk around on intermittently for three or four hours. If you have a job that requires you to constantly be on your toes though, classic lace-up oxfords and boots are ideal. For an evening out, ditch the stilettos for
a comfortable pair of platforms, or even a pair of wedges with little difference in toe and heel heights. John says, “Keep all heels and hard-soled shoes for events that last no more than one-two hours. If you’re standing for longer, prioritise function and comfort over form, or you’ll end up with tight calves and pain in the shins and heels. If you must wear these often, foam roll and stretch your calves out regularly.” At home, stick to a pair of rubber slippers or comfy flip-flops.
Love thy arch
One common misconception is that flats are good for you, while heels are not. But truth is, lot of flats don’t offer enough arch support, and this can take its toll on your feet, keeping them from functioning optimally and leading to knee, hip and back problems. Poor arch support is also associated with a foot condition called plantar fasciitis, which leads to acute pain around the heels. If you must own that pair of arch-less shoes, opt for orthotic inserts that reduce pressure on sensitive areas.
Spare the toes
As far as possible, avoid those pointy heels no matter how pretty. Shoes that restrict the natural shape of your foot not only lead to toe crushing, they also cause the entire weight of your foot and body to gather at your toes. Choose your heels wisely, since they can also lead to bunions, corns and calluses. Some doctors may suggest foot injections to combat the effects of bad footwear. Don’t fall for it; the effects are temporary and you’ll increase your risk of nerve injury and infections.
“Wearing shoes is like dieting… You have to count the hours you wear them. You can wear a bad shoe, just like you have dessert, but you don’t need dessert at every meal!” says Brenner. So if there’s a special occasion and you want to pick that fabulous-looking but unhealthy pair of shoes, go ahead — just don’t make a habit of it!
Wear silicone metatarsal pads if you’re going to spend hours on your feet.
If you must wear heels, choose the thickest possible ones, so the pressure on the heel is distributed evenly.
Choose shoes that let your skin breathe. Pick natural material over synthetic as far as possible. Constant use of poor quality shoes can cause shrinkage of the Achilles tendon, which runs from the back of the heel to the calf. This can cause severe pain — even when you’re not wearing heels!
Celebrity trendsetters are the main culprit. Lady Gaga’s 12-inch sparkly heels in the Bad Romance video? Yeah, do not try that at home.
Avoid shoes with a drastic incline that has your foot positioned almost vertically. A more gradual slope is the way to go.