Your most important clothing is your shoes. Properly fit shoes support the arch, cushion the heel and give room for the mid-foot to spread. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to skin breakdown, create toe and foot deformities and lead to falls. One survey shows that up to 90% of women wear shoes two sizes too small, and of those surveyed, 80% of these women had foot problems, such as bunions, hammertoes, claw toes and neuromas.
Foot deformities, obesity, pregnancy and aging can change the size of one's feet. Bunions increase the width of the foot. A weight gain of 9 lbs. over a 5-year period can lengthen the foot by one full size. Obesity will increase the width and the length of the foot. During pregnancy, ligaments throughout the body become lax allowing the foot to spread and lengthen under the increased weight gain. Gait disorders are of great concern with the elderly and making sure feet are supported in a running or walking shoe is an affordable solution on a fixed-income budget. Get grandma out of her slippers!
A shoe should be wide enough to accommodate the widest part of the forefoot and one half inch longer than the longest toe. It should support the arch and cushion the heel. Slippers, flippers, flats and high heels are NOT supportive and people with foot, ankle, knee, hip or low back pain should stay away from them. If the shoe fits, wear it and if it doesn't, order it in the correct size!
SF Sports Med & Rehab, Inc.
Free 15 minute consultations, by appointment. 992-4995
Information from Orthotics & Prosthetics in Rehabilitation, 2007.