Stand Up for Your Feet
When was the last time you assessed your foot health? It may sound strange, but really think about it. Do your feet ache on a daily or weekly basis? Do you have plantar fasciitis or find yourself constantly getting blisters?
According to the results of a survey taken in 2014 by the American Podiatric Medical Association “. . . 1,000 US adults ages 18 and older . . . say they have experienced foot pain (77 percent)” (apma.org). This statistic is astounding. Even more astounding is the fact that only 1/3 of the 77% seek help from a podiatrist (apma.org).
Think these findings don’t apply to you? You may not have foot pain, bunions, plantar fasciitis or any number of other painful foot ailments yet, but you could someday.
Picture yourself 10, 20, 30 years from now, walking around with bunions or any other number of painful foot problems. What if your doctor told you this pain could’ve likely been avoided had you been wearing better shoes all those years? Dr. Taryn Rose, interviewed on Good Morning America, has done research on the topic of foot ailments, and this is what she found:
“She has traced many foot problems, including calluses, back to bad shoes. Women account for 90 percent of foot surgeries in the United States, with foot ailments ranging from bunions and hammertoes to neuroma, the swelling of the nerves in the ball of the foot. Women in their 40s and 50s often find that they have pain and large deformities from wearing ill-fitting shoes, Rose said” (abcnews.go.com).
… “from ill-fitting shoes”. SERIOUSLY?! This one of the most easily fixable problems: it starts with getting properly fitted. It takes no time at all to go to a shoe store, remove your shoe, and get fitted!
Getting fitted is only the first step. Step two is equally as important: investing in quality footwear. Being a poor college student, I am aware the word “investment” often causes panic, especially when the term is used in relation to buying shoes. There are so many other things I could do with $200 than buying a nice pair of shoes!
Okay. Let’s weigh our options. Say you buy 3 pairs of $200 shoes in a year. $600 for shoes in one year seems like a lofty investment, right? Well, let’s say you forego paying the $600 and buy 10 pairs of $30 shoes. Woah! That’s a way better deal right? You may think so, but the average cost of bunion surgery in the U.S. is between $3500-$5000 (buniondoctor.net). All of a sudden the $600 you paid to invest in quality shoes that kept your feet healthy and pain-free doesn’t seem so horrible. Plus, the added bonus of buying quality footwear means it’s going to last you a lot longer than a pair of shoes that’s cheaper but crafted poorly.
Don’t mistake this rant as me berating anyone whose never been properly fitted or bought a great pair of quality shoes. I am the QUEEN of bargain shopping, especially when it comes to shoes. The first time I was properly fitted was about a month ago and, honestly, if I wasn’t working at a shoe store I wouldn’t have realized the importance of it.
When I sit down and think about all the money I’ve “saved” buying cheap, less-than-comfy shoes over the years, it makes me wonder why I, and so many other women, settle when it comes to footwear. We’d never buy pants that don’t fit right or feel uncomfortable after a few hours of wear. Why doesn’t our footwear have the same buying-criteria our clothes do?
Our feet work hard for us, so let’s start working harder to keep them healthy. There are thousands upon thousands of adorable AND comfortable options for footwear. I challenge all of us to start treating our tootsies with more respect. Your feet will thank you!
Are Your Shoes Killing Your Feet? (2015). Retrieved October 5, 2015, from http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=126809
Day, B. (2014, May 19). New Survey Reveals Majority of Americans Suffer from Foot Pain | Press Release | Media Room | APMA. Retrieved October 5, 2015, from http://www.apma.org/Media/PRdetail.cfm?ItemNumber=13075
How Much Does Bunion Surgery Cost? (2014, July 7). Retrieved October 5, 2015, from http://www.buniondoctor.net/how-much-does-bunion-surgery-cost/