As we continue our series, The Adverse Effects of Footwear on the Body, you will continue to learn that shoes are not only important to your comfort and performance, but, they are a vital component to your health.

In the past couple of installments of this series, you have learned about innovations in the shoe industry, the basic function of the feet, and basic information pertaining to the biomechanics of the feet.

You have also learned about the common complications that may occur when misalignments develop due to wearing ill-fitting shoes. You now know that the proper fit is imperative when it comes to your shoes. This week and next week, you will be provided with some basic measures on choosing the best shoes for your needs.

Get to Know YOUR Feet
It is common knowledge that all normal feet have ten toes and a heel; however, everyone’s foot is different. In order to get to know YOUR feet, you should wet your feet and step onto a piece of brown paper. Once you have done this, simply trace the print that your feet leave behind.

This will allow you to see where the most pressure is applied when you step. This test will also provide basic information on the size and shape of your feet. For example, if you see that the entire sole of your foot is displayed and there is no curve, you probably have flat feet or very low arches.

This could indicate an inward rolling of the feet, which means that you put extra levels of pressure on the inside of the forefoot and the outside of the heel. In this instance, you will want a pair of shoes that offers maximum support and a feature that allows for motion-control.

If the footprints on the brown paper shoes a narrow area of connection between the heel and the forefoot, you probably have a high arch – which means your feet roll in an outward direction. You will need to have a pair of shoes with a lot of cushioning and a very soft midsole area.

This type of foot will experience issues with wear on the little toes and the outer region of the heels. If you get to know YOUR feet, you will be successful in choosing the right types of shoes for your individual needs. It is important to know and understand that no two feet are alike. By knowing what type of feet that you have and the needs of your feet, you have the ability to optimize your health by selecting the best shoes possible!

As you can see from the information contained within this series, we all have unique needs when it comes to our feet. You should never purchase a shoe based on appearance; however, nearly 100% of the time, most people follow this route.

If you do purchase a pair of shoes based on visual appearance, it is a sure bet that the shoes will not be comfortable. Instead, you should determine the shape of your feet and where the most amount of pressure is placed. In doing so, you will know what types of shoes you will need to purchase to optimize your overall comfort and health.

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