Our feet provide us with a direct connection to the earth. Therefore, we need to be cognizant of our footwear, ensuring that we are adequately protecting our feet from any sharp objects or other items that could damage them.
At the same time, we don’t want to completely limit the inherent flexibility and motion characteristic of our feet. Being able to bend and flex our toes to navigate our environments better is a vital skill for good function and health.
Balancing these two necessities is tough, but once you find the right footwear for you, you’ll never look back! In this article, we’ll review the 5 top footwear and walking tips from your neighborhood chiropractor at Keystone Chiropractic.
Tip #1: Select a Shoe that Enables You to Walk as Much as Possible
Walking is fundamental to human nature. Walking affords us so many different benefits:
- Weight maintenance/weight loss.
- Improved mental health.
- Increased muscular and cardiovascular endurance.
- Better foot health and strength.
For this reason, we should all strive to walk as much as we possibly can. Our modern lifestyles often encourage (or even require) us to sit for long periods of time. The best way to combat this is to stand up and walk around every chance we get!
To walk effectively, you need to have the right shoes. Some feet require a softer shoes, while others benefit from stiffer shoes. Honestly, the best way to determine your preferred shoe type is to simply try on a bunch of different kinds and select the one that is most comfortable for you.
Tip #2: Avoid High Heels
As much as you might love your high-heeled shoes, you need to ditch them immediately.
Without getting too far into the weeds about the biomechanics related to high-heeled shoes, suffice it to say that high heels place tons of stress on the toes, arches, and other parts of the feet (they can even lead to low back pain). Plus, they are very difficult to walk in, which can lead to balance issues and even falls for those who aren’t used to wearing them.
There are tons of other dress shoes that pair well with formal outfits. Be sure to select one of these alternatives and get rid of your high heels for good!
Tip #3: Go Barefoot When You Can
With regard to human history, shoes are a relatively recent invention. Being barefoot enabled us to experience our environments in many ways by providing direct contact with the earth.
Shoes have undoubtedly been a good thing. They have reduced the chances of suffering a devastating foot injury and have enabled us to overcome injuries that ordinarily would have sidelined us for weeks or months, had we been barefoot at the time.
But going barefoot in a safe environment is a great idea! This allows your feet to bend, flex, and move as they are supposed to.
Tip #4: Pick the Right Boots
For much of the country, cold winter months are right around the corner.
For this reason, your sneakers and sandals will need to be tucked away in favor of heavy winter boots (at least for a little while).
Boots can be extremely restrictive. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as this keeps your feet warm and protected from winter hazards. However, as was mentioned previously, you should try to select footwear of all types that allow for free foot movement.
Tip #5: Socks Matter Too
We’ve talked a lot about shoes thus far. But socks are an equally important consideration. By picking socks that are comfortable, warm, and not too restrictive, you’ll put yourself in the best position to keep your feet healthy. This is especially true when great socks are paired with great shoes.