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Proper-Fitting Shoes: A Step in the Right Direction When You Shop Online for Shoes

It is estimated that three out of four Americans experience foot problems in their lifetime and women have as much as four times as many foot problems as men.

Common Foot Ailments

A lot of women’s foot ailments are the result of poorly fitting shoes and high heels however, some causes are congenital. Some common problems include:

  • Bunions – Big toe joints go out of alignment and they become swollen and painful. Wearing narrow, pointed-toe footwear aggravates this condition.
  • Plantar fasciitis – An inflammation of the connective tissue, which runs from the heel to the ball of the foot, called plantar fascia, causing foot pain.
  • Metatarsalgia – Generalized pain in the forefoot area, often caused by wearing high-heeled, narrow-pointed shoes.

In general, feet are exposed to fungal infections that can result in itching and burning. Fungal infections under toenails can make walking, standing and wearing shoes considerably painful. Foot and toenail infections are often contagious, and can be spread on floors, on carpets and even in the bathtub or shower. Make sure your feet are in a healthy condition before you shop online for shoes.

Heels and Your Feet

High heeled shoes have been known to cause pain on the knees and back, as well as foot problems. Heels shorten calf muscles and prolonged wearing of heels causes changes to the shape of the feet and may hinder normal foot function. Wearing of high-heeled shoes increases the pressure buildup in the forefoot area. This results in forefoot pain and the formation of corns. Wearing a lower-heel shoe helps distribute the pressure experienced by the foot.

Pregnancy and Pronation

Because of the natural weight gain during pregnancy, a woman’s center of gravity is altered. This causes a new weight-bearing stance and added pressure to the knees and feet. Two of the most common foot problems experienced by pregnant women are overpronation and edema. These problems can lead to pain at the heel, arch or ball of the foot.

Overpronation, also referred to as flat feet, can create extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia. This makes walking very painful and can increase strain on the feet, calves and/or back. Edema, also referred to as swelling in the feet, normally occurs in the latter part of pregnancy. So when you shop online for shoes, make it a point to get the right pair for you.

Selecting the Right Shoe

  • Buy shoes in the afternoon as feet tend to swell during the day.
• The length of your shoe should be a thumb’s spacing from the longest toe to the end of the shoe.
• Buy shoes with a fasteners (laces, buckle), with a wide heel base and no more than 13/4 inches in height.
• The widest part of your foot should correspond with the widest area of the shoe.
• Shoes with firm rubber soles and soft leather uppers are preferable.
• Take foot health seriously; if you suffer from dry skin or brittle nails and want your feet to look and feel better, visit a podiatrist to learn more about preventing and treating foot problems.

Tips for Healthier Feet

  • Wear properly fitting shoes.
• Keep your feet cool and dry.
• Avoid wearing the same shoes two days in a row.
• Always wear shoes in public areas, including hotel rooms and health clubs, to avoid getting an infection.
• Use a disinfectant spray regularly to kill germs in your shoes.
• Use only sterile pedicure instruments.

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Foot Care Tips: How to Get Pretty — and Healthy — Feet


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Calluses and corns are a buildup of dead skin that forms along pressure points such as the heels, toes and bony areas of feet. “They’re common if you wear sandals or flip-flops because of the repeated friction of your foot moving around in the shoe,” explains podiatrist Carolyn McAloon, D.P.M., spokesperson for the American Podiatric Medical Association. To eliminate these pesky spots, use a pumice stone or foot file every day after showering and slather on over-the-counter creams that contain lactic acid, like AmLactin, to hydrate and exfoliate skin. Avoid medicated callus and corn remover pads, though, because they can actually burn and further aggravate your skin. For tough cases, your podiatrist can prescribe stronger moisturizing lotions.