Box Me Up A New Pair Of Feet, Pleazzzze!

May I have a new pair of shoes? Easy enough to take care of, right? Too easy. Compared to May I have a new pair of feet? No such luck. Even living in a Cut & Paste driven society, a brand new pair of feet are not yet on the surgeons list. We get one pair for a lifetime. And they best last.

We've talked about what can cause foot issues, and what's on the cutting edge of surgery (pardon the pun again). Let's discuss what our personal responsibilities might be in foot care. What organic steps we can take. After all, the expense would be cleaner financially as well as greener with our health.

Why not start young? When I asked my five year old grandson what do our feet do? He quickly said, They help you kick, walk, stomp, run, and jump!!!! With each word came a visual description with his little feet. That lead into a deeper five-year old discussion.
How are your feet, Reid? I asked.
Why, Gran, they are Happy Feet!
Uh-huh. We know where that came from. While it is important to teach our children, we need to teach ourselves first. You know, you best get oxygen to your own lungs, if you plan on saving anyone else.


Just for starters, most of us don't give much thought to the heavy job demand. If we did, we would take better care of our feet. And I don't mean a fancy pedicure.

Consider the job-description my grandson gave me. They kick, walk, stomp, jump, and run. That in itself should get our attention.

Is there any other part of our body that takes that much pounding?
Here's an example. Did you know if you walk only one mile, you generate more than 60 tons of stress on EACH foot? Sure you did. NOT. By the way, that equates to more than 120,000 pounds.
OK, so we are more aware than ever that our feet are bigger than we ever imagined. And I don't mean size. We understand that while they may be head-turners, we have not given them the right kind of attention.

Let's Take A Deeper Look Behind The Scenes
  • The American Podiatric Medical Association stated according to a survey in 2007, more than half of Americans (men and women) say they regularly experience foot pain that interferes with regular day-to-day activities. How about you?
  • The APMA reports that women have more issues. Eighty-four percent report that they have some type of foot ailment. Why are we not surprised? Not very many men are cross-dressers.
  • We know that obesity creates problems with feet. Consider 135 million Americans are obese. The numbers on how many of those people suffer with some type of foot issue are probably just as alarming. Dr. Darryl Haycock, a foot and ankle surgeon states obese children are suffering permanent damage to their feet.
  • Like no other generation, young athletes today are experiencing more ankle and foot setbacks. Think about it, even 20 years ago, children were not starting major sports at such an early age. Pretty soon, parents will be birthing them right onto the soccer field, basketball court, etc..
  • Moving on to another population of people. The elderly. Many of them are not able to adequately take care of their toenails which in turn causes a variety of issues. Speaking empirically, my 86 year old mama can no longer take care of her feet. I've become her pedicurist.
We have discussed the problems shoes are bringing to our burden bearers, but it never hurts to revisit. Review previous Foot Series articles. Without question, ill fitting shoes cause most of our foot/ankle problems.
So what are we going to do about it?
  • Shoes higher than 2 inches cause not just F/K dilemmas but knee and back injuries, shortened calf muscles, aching feet, poor posture, and general discomfort.
  • Open toe shoes create as many issues. Injury to the exposed foot. Lack of arch support. And I personally have found most people trip more easily in shoes like flip-flops. They flip you, then flop you.
    ****Which comes confession from yours truly. Most of you know I have a major rotator cuff issue. How did I get it? Playing soccer with, yes, ffs. Yes, I flipped, then I took a big old flop. While I made the goal, I lost the point.
  • Then we have the wickedly pointed toe shoes. Our toes, ladies, we not made to become one. Yes, they come in handy in fighting our aggressors off, but really. Mace would make a better point.
  • Shoes too big or too small. Sorry. I had to mention it. I know we see those cute little shoes but we can't find our size. While we never compromise on important things, this is one time we don't blink. We squeeze, melt, and pour. Or we stuff and go. Our feet, that is. We make the shoe fit. Hummm. If the shoe fits, wear it? Well, great advice in more ways than one.
Expert's Advice On Purchasing Shoes
  • Look for a good quality shoe. Which by the way, does not always mean it has a larger dollar sign on the box. It's best to go to a shoe store like Luke's where they observe your walking stance to see if you pronate or supinate
  • A shoe should breathe. That means using a natural product. Leather if you are not opposed to an animal dying for it.
  • Have your foot measured most every time you purchase a shoe. Your feet do grow and change, with age, hormones amok, pregnancy, etc.
  • Try wearing the shoe at home for a few hours.
  • Change tennis shoes at least every 6 months, if you use them regularly. Once you break down a shoe, it begins to brake YOU down.
  • Last but not least: Don't buy any shoes! Give your feet a break. Go barefoot as much as possible, at least around your house.
What's a Gal To Do? Does all this mean you should never wear fashion shoes again? Probably. But that's not likely to happen. So let's find balance.

Most foot specialists will tell you to wear your cute little stilettos but not for extended periods of time. For sure, not while working. I've asked people who wear them and are on their feet all day, Are your feet not killing you by the end of the day? I always get an emphatic, YES. Then I know what's coming. Their but. I didn't say butt.

But....I want to look good, but they go with my outfit...but my husband likes them on me....the list of buts goes on. And they all end up cracked.
Please know I'm not picking on any particular group of people. Most of us are shoe fashion-challenged. We've all been guilty of putting style first, not foot first. Foot-health, that is.
So indulge yourself in a cute little pair of shoes for short stints. Very short. Like on a date where you are not standing or walking a lot. But, please don't work in them all day.

NOTE!!!!  EXERCISE those tootsies: Pilates offers a great foot workout. More on that later.

Emancipate your feet. Men don't suffer their feet such atrocities. Why should we?
By the way, speaking of men, there are healthier ways to keep them interested. Our minds for starters.

**** 2nd Publishing  This was part of a series. Updated: My mother has since "passed." =(
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