Okay, wait up. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were strutting around in our sexy heels and feeling all brazen about it? We certainly weren’t hunched over at the end of the night, moaning, Oooohhhh my achin’ back! And more bad news: It’s not just our heels that are the culprit these days, either. Come to think of it, when did summer flip flops become instruments of mild torture?
Maintaining back health has been one our top priorities for awhile now, and why we take our advice from the experts at the Ontario Chiropractic Association. Not surprisingly, the OCA warns that poor footwear can cause problems not just for your feet, but your knees, hips, low back and spine as well. So pay attention to their tips on how to make sure your killer shoes don’t turn into body killers.
HOW TO MAKE SURE YOUR SHOES DON’T STRESS YOUR BODY
1. DELAY YOUR SHOP
Shopping for new shoes? (Of course you are!) Well, you may want to consider the time of day you’re going, as not all hours are the same when judging the fit.
Always shop for new shoes in the afternoon or evening, as your feet tend to accumulate fluid and swell throughout the day. If you do your buying in the morning, you just may buy shoes that are too small, and that would be a real shame. PS. If it’s summer, there’s likely to be a drastic swell, so be warned before you score those babies on the sale rack.
2. REMEMBER YOU’RE NO HOUSEWIFE OF BEVERLY HILLS
It’s important to give your feet a fighting chance! No matter how often you wear heels, you’re not superwoman or a housewife of Beverly Hills who removes her stilettos for sleep only. Whether it’s just for a night on the town or a full day of meetings, you need to give your back a breather.
3. CUSHION THE BLOW
Need a shoe pro tip? If you’re wearing shoes all day, or they’re not as comfy as they look, do yourself a favour and stick those padded cushions in the front. These will help provide added support for the balls of your feet and keep your toes from getting squished. No one will know they’re there but you. Oh, and you can get them at the drug store. Genius, huh?
4. BRING FLAT FRIENDS ALONG
If you’re wearing new shoes, or something that you know can cause you aches and pains, why plan ahead? Carrying a purse? Bring your favourite spare pair of comfy flats in there. Your feet will thank you for the breather and the support.
5. DON’T BE BIASED
Hey, you may think it’s only sky-high heels that can be painful, but you’re wrong. In fact, poorly chosen running shoes and sandals can also do damage to your joints and lower back. Back pain is one of those equal opportunity menaces.
6. FORGET THOSE FLIP FLOPS
Flip flops may give your feet some relief from the summer heat, but they’re flimsy in the support department. Really flimsy. Think about it. Wearing shoes with little (or no!) arch support can result in the overuse of muscles and tendons not only in your feet, but in your hips, ankles, knees and back. Oh, so that’s where the stress and pain comes from. Um, yeah.
7. GET ASSESSED
If new sports shoes are what you’re looking for, consider getting an assessment before investing in new footwear. If you’re a regular runner or jogger, it’s even more important to make sure you’re wearing shoes that will give your back and joints the support they need. A Chiropractor can assess your step and gate to recommend the best type of shoe for your stride.
8. CHECK YOUR ARCHES
Your arches act as shock absorbers and prevent force from being transmitted to other joints in your body. You can test to see if you have low arches or “flat feet” by wetting the bottom of your feet then walking across the floor to reveal your footprint. If you have flat feet, you’ll see the outline of nearly your entire foot, with no space between the heel and forefoot, and you should buy shoes with ample arch support.
9. DON’T BE FOOLED BY RUNNERS
Your running shoes may seem comfortable in comparison to some of your high heels, but it’s important to choose the right runner for your foot. They type of shoe you need depends on whether you have high or low arches. Pro tip: The top three things to keep in mind are shape, construction and midsole.
10. REMEMBER SIZE MATTERS
When trying to find a shoe that fits you well, remember, it’s not just about the right length, but also the right width. Size matters—a lot. Wearing improperly fitting shoes won’t just leave you with blisters but can also compromise the biomechanics of your feet, reduce stability, and trigger joint issues and back pain. No thanks.
To find a local chiropractor and more info on how to take care of your back, bones, muscles, joints and central nervous system, check out the Ontario Chiropractic Association website.
This post was generously sponsored by the Ontario Chiropractic Association. All opinions are our own.