Finding the right shoes starts
with taking some smart steps
By Britt Shepherd
April 5, 2006 | For Utah State students, athletic
shoes and flip flops are among the most popular in foot-wear
because of their comfort and ease. However, finding
shoes with proper support is crucial in preventing injury
to the feet and many people do not know what shoes are
right for them.
According to Dr. William Martin, a podiatrist in Logan,
the arch of the foot should always be supported.
"If it is not supported, the arch may collapse causing
knee, back and neck pain," said Martin. "The most common
foot injury is caused from lack of arch support. It
is an inflammation of the ligament from the heel to
the middle of the foot called Plantar Fasciitis." When
shopping for footwear, Dr. Martin also advises not to
buy cheap shoes. They last a long time and will save
a lot of pain and discomfort.
At USU athletic shoes are the most common footwear
found on campus.
"I like them because they are the most comfortable,"
said Megan Grant, a sophomore from Centerville, Utah.
"You can walk places faster and be more active when
you're wearing tennis shoes."
When shopping for athletic shoes, finding a pair that
caters to individual needs is important. There are four
things to consider when buying athletic shoes; foot
shape, body weight, budget, and the extent of the foot's
movement. Also, many injuries are caused by wearing
old shoes. They need to be replaced every 500 miles.
Jason Sanders, a sophomore from Orem, Utah, experienced
the discomfort that comes with not wearing proper footwear.
"I was trying to be trendy and I wore my Air-Walks
to hike King's Peak," said Sanders. "I got blisters
all over the back of my feet and I had trouble walking
for the next week."
For more information on athletic shoes visit: Time-to-Run.com
Women are notorious for wearing shoes for fashion
rather than comfort or health. According to The
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, low-heeled
shoes (one inch or lower) with a wide toe box are the
ideal choice for women. High-heeled, pointed-toe shoes
can cause orthopedic problems, leading to discomfort
or injury to the toes, ankles, knees, calves and back.
Most high heeled-shoes have a pointed, narrow toe box
that crowds the toes and forces them into an unnatural
triangular shape. Years of wearing too-small shoes can
lead to permanent deformities.
"Wearing high heels every day puts a lot of pressure
on the forefoot causing bunions, pinched nerves, and
hammer toes," said Dr. Martin.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons gives
tips on how to select the right shoe:
Because feet may vary in size, ask the salesperson
to measure the length and width of each of foot.
Feet expand when bearing weight, so stand while
feet are being measured.
Shoes should be fitted carefully to the heel as
well as the toes. Check to make sure the heel does
not slip out of the back of the shoe.
Don't select a shoe by size alone. A size 10 in
one brand or style may be smaller or larger than
the same size in another brand or style. Buy the
shoe that fits well.
Select a shoe that conforms as closely as possible
to the shape of the foot.
Measure feet regularly. Their size may change with
If the shoes feel too tight; don't buy them. There
is no such thing as a "break-in period." With time,
a foot may push or stretch a shoe to fit. This can
cause foot pain and damage.
Also remember, fashionable shoes can be comfortable,