Support Your Body With the Right Shoes

Enjoy a beautiful December, Southwest Florida Sunset on Naples Beach. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

It only takes one pound – ONE – of extra weight to add 10 pounds of additional pressure to your feet and ankles.

Coupled with the estimated 77 per cent of American’s suffering from an over-pronating foot (the foot collapse inward and downward), and the 83 per cent of American’s who report they would be more active if they didn’t suffer chronic foot pain, makes the importance of proper footwear imperative. 

Whether you have an over-pronating foot or not, here are 5 bad shoe choices that directly affect our daily health and wellbeing.

  1. High heels
    High heels may look great, and many women would never give them up, but the trade-off can be painful, putting pressure on your lower back and knees, and creating tight calf muscles which often leads to other issues.
    Consequence: Strained calf muscles are a precursor to Achilles tendonitis – if the Achilles tendon gets inflamed, it can take weeks to treat.
    You can also look forward to blisters, bunions, and possible nerve damage from pressure on toes.

  2. Platforms.
    Chunky wedge platforms often have a rigid foot-bed, and the soles offer no flexibility, which throws off the biomechanics of walking.
    Consequence: The platform puts pressure on the metatarsal bones if the heel area is much higher than the toe area, potentially leading to stress fractures if worn too much for too long.
    Calves will also get tight and can lead to plantar fasciitis. 

  3. Flip Flops.
    While they are a proud part of the Florida beach lifestyle – flip flops feature no arch support, and are usually made of flat rubber or plastic.
    Consequence: Beating the pavement with these flat flexible shoes all day results in pressure point soreness, and may even affect your knees, hips and back. 

  4. Minimal runners.
    Lightweight running shoes trending in the running world can seem comfortable to wear – but they’re not designed for everyone. People carrying more weight or doing a variety of exercises beyond running, such as CrossFit or playing tennis, should wear a shoe with more stability.
    Consequence: If you’re heavy and your foot over-pronates, you’ll have more stress on the foot, and are more likely to develop injuries such as Achilles tendonitis and shin splints.
    This soft shoe can worsen pronation. Be careful!

  5. Maximal runners.
    These shoes are on the other end of the spectrum from minimal runners, offering the maximum amount of cushioning and a lower heel-to-toe offset, to promote a mid-foot strike. However, the extra cushioning doesn’t suit everyone’s bodies.
    Consequence: Maximal runners can negate some of our natural biomechanics that protect us from the pounding of pavement, creating a false sense of security and running counter to the benefits of the shock absorption in the cushioning. If you’re new to training and have instability in your hips and lower back, using these shoes inhibits the natural strengthening that occurs over time, hence risking injury.

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