Finding the right shoe and getting it in the right size is the best way to avoid foot pain. Foot pain is very common and is one of the primary reasons people give for not being able to walk long distances. The average person walks up to 115,000 miles in their lifetime which is about four times around the world. Each foot hits the ground around 1,500 times every mile, so you do the math and figure out how many times your feet strike the ground in an average day.
We want to keep our feet healthy and of course that starts with making sure your shoes fit. This is easier said than done. I can’t tell you how many times I have bought walking shoes that felt fine in the store and killed my feet after a mile or two. I walk around and around the store and still when I leave there are times when I have bought the wrong shoes.
If you find a brand of walking shoes that works for you then stick with it. Unfortunately, shoe manufacturers are always changing the style of shoes. So you may find one you like only to find that after a year or two the manufacturer has done away with that style.
Shoes that are too small cause foot pain while shoes that are too large can cause blisters and a lack of stability. So like Goldilocks and her porridge we all are looking for a pair of walking shoes that are just right.
There are several rules of thumb when it comes to getting the right fit:
- The space between the end of your big toe and the tip of the shoe should be a thumb’s width
- Your foot should never be wider than the shoe
- Try on shoes at the end of the day or after exercise because that is when your feet will be the largest
- Wear the same kind of socks that you will be wearing when you exercise when you try on your shoes
- Your foot should fit comfortably without stretching the upper part of the shoe over the middle of the shoe
- There should be enough room for your heel to move but not slip
Your feet change sizes over time so don’t assume that your shoe size is the same as it has always been. Ask the sales person if a particular brand of shoe runs small or large and if they are made for a specific type of foot. Of course, sales associates in big box stores won’t know a thing so it may be worth paying a little more to get the right shoe by going to a specialty store. The next time you need shoes you can order the same pair on line and pay less.
And ladies, now is not the time to lie about the size of your feet. There is no pride in wearing a smaller shoe size and limping on and after your walk. Save that for the high heels you wear to a dinner party where you will be sitting all night and can kick your shoes off under the table.
Now that you have shoes that fit, go for a walk and then relax at home with these nice little foot warmers. You stick them in the microwave and then put them on. But make sure you are finished walking for the day because you can’t walk around the house in them.