By Lucas Wetzel
If you think about it, the foot is a pretty amazing instrument. Each foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. The soles of our feet contain more sweat glands and sensory nerve endings per square centimeter than any other part of the body.
Our feet also do tons of work every day — literally. During a normal day of walking, the total force on our feet can amount to hundreds of tons, or the equivalent of a fully loaded cement truck.
With a new year just around the corner, I worked with the foot professionals at Comfort Plus Shoes & Footcare in Leawood to put together a simple guide to making sure your feet are getting the support they need.
Nip foot pain in the bud
If your feet are bothering you, it’s likely because of the repetitive nature of the interaction between your gait and your footwear. Most non-impact foot and ankle injuries are a result of consistently wearing improper footwear. The sooner you see a foot professional to find out exactly what is bothering you, the better your chances are of alleviating the pain and discomfort.
Wear larger shoes
Over the past four decades, the average shoe size worn by Americans has increased by 2 sizes. Comfort Plus staff estimate that up to 80 percent of foot problems are a result of people wearing too small of a shoe size. While it’s tempting to select a shoe that makes your foot look as slender as possible, finding the right fit for your feet is essential for good foot health.
Change your workout shoes every
500 miles, or roughly every six months
Getting exercise is a great way to improve your circulation and maintain a healthy body weight. But when you push your body towards its limits, you’re also pushing your footwear to its limits.
A shoe is normally well worn out by the time it’s noticeable on the outsole or tread. Each step you take compresses the midsole area, which responds by absorbing the impact and returning energy to you as you begin the next stride. Over time, that energy return and stability dissipate, especially after thousands of reps.
Invest in a good house shoe
A lot of people love being barefoot at home because it finally frees them from their uncomfortable everyday shoes, but a good house shoe can offer considerably more support and comfort than no shoe at all. Look for a good slipper, clog or sandal, ideally with an outdoor sole so you can wear it to grab the paper or pick up a gallon of milk. A good pair can last you years.
Don’t forget about your hosiery
Your heart works hard to pump blood throughout your body, and one of the furthest places it has to travel is your feet. Why restrict it with a binding sock? If your sock leaves an indention on your calf, you probably need something new. Comfort Plus carries socks that are seamless, non-binding and free of elastic, as well as socks with significantly heavier padding at the heel and ball of foot, providing added cushioning to absorb some of the impact between foot and ground.
See a professional
Trust your fitter at Comfort Plus. Their licensed pedorthists get the same commission no matter what size they fit you in. Based on their decades of experience, they fit you in what they think is best for your foot, using advanced technology to help assess what you need, and in many cases, create a customized fit.
Comfort Plus is open
Monday through Saturday
at 11715 Roe Avenue
and online at comfortplusshoes.com.
Information provided by Comfort Plus, with additional statistics from Foot.com.