Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shoesday Tuesday

Today I wore these shoes to work:I love these shoes. They make me feel like Dorothy in her ruby slippers. It was a day that I thought would be spent sitting mostly at a sewing machine and/or computer, but instead it was a day spent walking the halls, running up and down the stairs, standing in the wings waiting for a fitting, basically on my feet. All. Day. Long. I got a lot of comments about my shoes- compliments on them, yes, but also remarks on how I can wear them all day. And I wear heels to work a LOT. I used to suffer until I discovered a few tricks to help make it more comfortable to spend the day in high heels. Consider me your own personal Wizard of Oz for shoes. I hope these tips help you as much as they've helped me! First, stock up on the following items:

1.) Insoles
2.) Toe spacers
3.) Heel grips
4.) Moleskin

The sooner you start using these tools, the better, and I'm not talking about just day-to-day foot comfort. I'm talking about your overall health. Wearing cheap, ill-fitting shoes, or even just too many high heels can cause all sorts of health problems. Bunions, corns, bone spurs, and hammertoe are just a few foot-related problems that can develop. Bad shoe choices can also cause problems with your joints, back, and legs. Consider these shoe tips an investment in your health, not just silly tricks to get away with wearing fun and trendy footwear.

First and foremost, your shoes must fit well. If there is a little extra space, use insoles or heel grips (or both) to make sure your shoes are nice and snug. Also, take insoles, toe spacers and heel grips with you when you shop. Try them with a pair of shoes that are a half to full size larger than what you normally wear, or try them on with a wide size. If you go up a bit in size, you'll be able to fit more cushion inside the shoe.

Second, try to purchase shoes that allow enough room for a toe spacer. Toe spacers come in different sizes and when placed between your first & second toes, they help distribute the weight on your foot and stabilize it which helps with balance. Have you ever worn a pair of heels and felt like your big toe was pushed over into the other toes? It's common to feel that when wearing heels, but it's very bad, especially in the long run. The more your big toe is pushed to the side, the more likely it is to move out of its joint and that is what causes bunions. They are painful- trust me when I say you want to avoid getting them! Even worse than bunions are bone spurs- the short explanation of a bone spur is basically the wearing away of cartilage causing bones to rub together, which then causes a growth of more bone along the original bone. One word: ouch. There are surgeries to remove bunions and bone spurs, but wouldn't you rather not get them to begin with? That's what I thought. Try wearing toe spacers and see how much better your feet feel.

Finally, you're probably wondering why you need moleskin. Moleskin is available in different thicknesses and it has a soft, felt-like side with an adhesive on the other side. I like to line my sandals with moleskin. In the summer, when my feet sweat, the moleskin prevents them from slipping and sliding down the shoe. In addition, moleskin can cushion and protect your skin from blister-causing friction. Simply line the sides of your shoes with a bit of moleskin and instead of blisters, you'll have velvety-soft skin.

These are just a few basics- some things that one person might swear by won't necessarily work for someone else, so try different things and see what works for you.

Finally, take the time to pamper your feet- get a pedicure every now and then! You don't have to go to an expensive spa to get a pedi and feel pampered. A once-a-month pedicure is completely reasonable, especially in the summer. Your feet deserve it- they are literally the vehicle to your success throughout the day, so take care of them!

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