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Feet Hurt? 5 Mistakes That Punish Your Feet

2015_08_20_Foot Pain

Your feet are the foundation of your body. They support you, transport you, keep you balanced, and affect the rest of your body from your ankles up. The health of your feet has a big impact on your overall mobility, and you may be damaging them without even realizing it. Here are five common things that really wreck your feet:

Flip-flops

Flip-flops have gone from being something we don occasionally to standard summer footwear. In some places, they may be the “shoe” of choice all year round. Subjecting your feet to flip-flops, however, is one of the very worst things you can do to them. When you take a step in flip-flops, your toes must grip them to keep them from falling off. This not only puts a strain on your foot, it affects your lower leg muscles too.

Flip-flops also change your gait, causing you to take shorter steps and roll onto the inside of your foot. This puts undue stress on every part of your foot and sets you up for a painful case of plantar fasciitis, low back pain, and more. Choose real sandals instead with heel and instep straps that keep them from flip-flopping around. Not only will your feet hurt less, you’ll find your mobility improves.

Heels — even in men’s shoes

When we say “heels,” you probably think of women’s pumps, which are hands-down the worst thing you can do to your feet. However, any heel of more than an inch or so significantly changes the distribution of force through your foot and causes excessive strain, wear and tear. While not as bad as pumps, cowboy boots and other male footwear with a heel cause the same types of problems.

Shoes that don’t fit properly

Toddler feet are like elongated triangles—narrow at the heel and wide at the toe, with the toes splayed wide. Very few adult feet look like this. Why? Because most of us wear shoes that don’t fit.

Toes are meant to be mobile and flexible, capable of gripping the ground as we walk. Shoe fashions, however, force our feet into unnaturally shaped spaces that squeeze our toes together. Women’s dress shoes are the worst offenders—it’s no coincidence that women are more prone to bunions than men–but even many athletic shoes cramp your toes.

We also tend to buy our shoes too small. Choose a shoe that has at least half an inch of room at the end of your toes and ample room for them to spread out. If you can feel the shoe pressing on the sides of your small or big toe, it’s too small.

Not exercising your feet

But wait—isn’t walking exercising your feet? Not really.

Feet are simply not designed to walk in shoes, and wearing them all day forces your feet to move—or not move, as the case may be—in unnatural ways. This causes some muscles to become weak, which in turn leads to lack of mobility, aches and pains and sometimes even injuries. Exercising your feet can help strengthen muscles weakened by chronic disuse and even help prevent sprains, strains, and plantar fasciitis.

Carrying too much weight

Being even mildly overweight puts extra stress on your foot. In addition, added weight forces the feet to spread out, making them bigger. While you may have worn a size 7 your whole life, if you’ve put on 15 or 20 pounds, you may need to move up to a bigger shoe size.

Your feet have supported you your whole life. It’s time to support them and avoid these mistakes so you can enjoy pain-free mobility!

PS – If you’re experiencing acute pain when you place weight on your foot, your doctor or physical therapist may recommend a walking cane. Be sure to hold the cane in the opposite hand of the painful foot. The HurryCane® has three points of contact to mirror the human foot and give you better stability at any angle while you recover. Be sure to get the HurryCane® Freedom Edition™, because it folds up to get out of your way when you don’t need it. Act now to get our best deal ever!

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