Dr. Strasser's Wellness Tips

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What Are The Best Shoes?

foot careDo you have to wear Sensible Shoes? I’m afraid so. Aside from those times when you simply must wear those heels, or for men, those hard, shiny dress shoes, your body demands sense when it comes to footwear. Otherwise, it’s not a happy body, and no one wants that. Here are some suggestions on what to look for in sensible shoes.

Immediately, It Should Feel Good. When you walk around in new shoes, they should feel comfortable…right away. To put it simply: never buy a shoe that’s uncomfortable in the store. An uncomfortable shoe means the fit of the shoe is wrong for your foot.

Wide At The Toes. A good shoe has a good amount of space for your toes. Shoes that come to a sharp angle put a squeeze on your toes. Pressure on the toes stops them from playing a necessary role in proper foot mechanics. Toes need to be able to move and stay flexible. Tight shoes can contribute to callous or sores.

Stiff Shank. The shank runs the length of a shoe. A supportive shoe has a stiff shank. Hold your shoe lengthwise with a hand at either end and bend the shoe up. It should feel stiff and you should be able to bend it just a little. A stiff shank means your shoe is strong enough to give you adequate support.

Arch Support. Many shoes are made without an adequote arch supports. Perhaps manufacturers are afraid of those few people who would find any support at the arch uncomfortable. The problem is that the vast majority are walking without proper support. Look and feel inside your shoe. You should notice a real hump, not just a little incline, and it should be cushioned.

Shock Absorbing Sole And Heel. We do much of our walking on concrete or on a thin layer of carpet over concrete. Your shoe should do its part in absorbing some of the shock of a hard surface on our body. What it doesn’t absorb makes more work for the body, especially the cartilage of the knees, hips and spinal discs. A shock absorbing sole and heel makes walking more comfortable, and that always feels good.

Here are a list of some companies making popular brand Sensible Shoes: Beautifeel, Birkenstock, Born, Clark’s, Dansko, Doc Marten’s, Earth Shoes, Ecco, Joseph Seibel, Keen, Mephisto, Merrel, Munro, Naturalizer, NaotRieker.

Also, many types of athletic shoes, i.e.. Nike, New Balance, etc. often meet all the criteria mentioned above, even if they aren’t usually exactly high fashion.

Note: Not all the shoes produced by these manufacturers meet the criteria for a healthful shoe, so proceed with caution.