Be nice to your feet!


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After reading this blog To Wear High Heels or Not To?, it reminded me about how much I hate shoes, especially heels. I think I may be the only person who hasn't found "the most comfortable shoe ever." My friends have told me about TOMS, Sperry's, Nike, UGGS, etc. I've tried them all and I don't find one to be more comfortable than the other.

I just listed a few of the worst shoes you can possible wear if you're looking for supportive shoes. Sure, they may be stylish, but they aren't doing your feet any favors. After learning this past summer I have plantar fasciitis, I would know those shoes are bad for your feet when worn in excess. Basically, plantar fasciitis is when you strain one of the ligaments under the arch of your foot. Constant strain on these ligaments (because of unsupportive shoes) can cause tears, which are extremely uncomfortable. Personally, it felt like someone was stabbing me in the bottom of the foot when I walked. It was not pleasant at all!

Penn State's campus has taught me a very valuable lesson: wear supportive shoes. Students here do a lot of walking from class to class, and frat to frat. Wearing the wrong shoe for your foot for extended periods of time does more damage than you may initially think. Don't let it go on for too long. My advice is to go to a sneaker store like New Balance and get someone there to take an exact measurement of your foot and buy proper shoes. I kick myself every day for thinking TOMS was a good investment. I'm almost positive those shoes ruined my left foot.

Interestingly enough, I came across an article on New York Magazine called "You Walk Wrong." And who would have thought? It's one thing to wear the 'wrong' shoe, but to actually be told you walk wrong...that's a whole other story. Sure, there are people who are pigeon-toed where their feet face inward as they walk. Also, there are people who walk duck-footed and it's just the opposite where their feet face out as they walk. The way I see it, they're walking and that's a privilege so what's wrong with that?

The article focuses on a study called "Shod versus unshod: The emergence of forefoot pathology in modern humans?" A basic outline of the study can be found through the link. Essentially, the study looked at and compared 180 modern human feet among three different population groups, and then compared them to 2,000-year-old skeleton feet. Believe it or not, the people who lived 2,000 years ago had healthier feet. Also, one of the modern populations who usually go barefoot had the healthiest feet out of the three. Do you think as time and evolution go on, we're going to destroy our feet because of the shoes we wear? Through science, it appears we already have.

So, the moral of the story is to walk barefoot...plain and simple. Of course, that's not realistic by any means. We live in a world where we walk a lot. If you go to New York City, you're walking everywhere. Ask anyone who lives there and they will tell you it's true. For us, we walk everywhere on and off campus. Shoes are necessary, but remember to pick the right ones. Have you heard of any shoes that are supposed to be great for your feet? As my physical therapist told me over the summer, walk around at home barefoot because it's strengthens your feet.

1 Comment

Picking the right shoes can be really difficult. Whenever I go on vacations that require a lot of walking or even here on campus, I get chronic blisters. From my first day at Penn State to today I have constantly had blisters on every part of my feet. They heal, peel, and come back again. I still haven't found a solution (and believe me, I've tried everything from a preemptive strike using bandaids all over to wearing two pairs of socks at the same time) but everyone seems convinced that my shoes are the problem. I don't buy it. My shoes are comfortable, some with great arch support, and they're all broken in so that I don't feel them rubbing anywhere in particular.

I guess what I'm saying is that feet are sensitive and you're completely right about picking correct shoes. Here's an article that discusses the best shoes for different types of activity:http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/top-10-best-new-walking-shoes/best-walking-shoes-for-hiking
I don't think they'll fix my problem but they very well might help with yours.

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