The Importance of Good Footwear
Our feet are the foundation of our everyday lives. Every good foundation must have the right support. Most of our lives are spent in shoes. We have shoes for every occasion and in every color under the sun. Anyone can go out and buy a new pair of shoes based simply on how they look, but for the person who is always on the go and always on their feet, good footwear is worth its weight in gold. However, footwear goes far beyond the appearance that a shoe has on the foot. There are tremendous causes and effects which are dependent upon having good footwear. Bad footwear can cause injuries or have a long term effect on our posture so investing in a quality pair will be beneficial in the long run.
Good footwear can prevent back problems
Consider your feet as the base of a building. If the foundation is off then the rest of the building is off. Many people who experience back pain have it because of faulty or unsuitable footwear. If the foot does not keep the back in proper alignment than there is a great probability that this misalignment over time will result in back problems. Also, the point in which your heel hits the ground causes pressure to travel up your leg and into your back (much like an electrical current). Good footwear will be designed to take the stress off this impact. Sometimes adding an insole is a good idea as this will help cushion the hard impact of walking, puts your foot into a more neutral position and therefore takes away the stress travelling through your ankles up into your legs and lower back
Good footwear is needed to protect your joints and minimize impact
Some of the most common sports injuries are ankle based which is why wearing supportive footwear is so important. Many sports trainers have inbuilt shock absorbers for runners or joggers to cushion the impact. Other injuries such as bunions may seem small but actually can have a big impact on activity levels not to mention bunions can be aesthetically unpleasing. Cushioning your feet is most important so you can reduce the likelihood of injuries meaning you can carry on with your normal routine and work out more efficiently and the peace of mind that you are doing the best you can do to look after your body.
Good footwear can improve circulation and lower stress
The number one killer in people is stress. You may not think that footwear has anything to do with stress but let us take a moment to consider this. Your shoes are what transport you from point A to point B. If you have a poor shoe, or if the shoe is worn out then you are more likely to experience discomfort in your walk. Pain and discomfort trigger certain reactions in the body which require more energy to be spent.
Besides this, your mind is screaming “this is uncomfortable!!!”. With the mind stating that you are in discomfort and with the body exerting extra functions to keep your body from being in so much pain, it is easy to see how you would become tired and more stressed. On the other hand, good footwear keeps the foot in alignment and absorbs the shock of walking. The footwear promotes balance which in turn promotes better circulation and muscle movement. So this is especially for the ladies: I know it is amazing to wear high heels as they make women’s legs look longer and slimmer – but give your feet a rest from time to time. If you are wearing high heels regularly make sure you have enough ‘down time’ (excuse the punt) to let the feet relax. Maybe having a day of walking barefoot in your house is not a too bad idea to give your feet a holiday.
Your footwear can impact your performance
Specific footwear is design for specific sports meaning the shoe is designed to protect against certain movements and support the places which need it. For example, basketball shoes will be designed for heavy impact for jumping and also have good ankle support for quick turns. Having a shoe which knows your needs means you can play or workout more efficiently knowing that you already reduced the risk of injury.
At the end of the day, footwear is worn to protect you! Choose your shoe depending on the type of activity you will be most involved with as it will be designed to handle those movements. It is recommended you size up for footwear in the afternoon or after you work out as this is when your foot will be at its largest. Make sure there is enough room between your toes and the end of the shoe (about half an inch) as it will need to compensate for movement. Always try on footwear with correct socks e.g sports socks or the ones you will be wearing when you work out. If you are not sure about what to look for in a fitness shoe – ask the staff as they should be educated in helping you to find the best shoe for you. And listen to your feet – if you try them on and your feet say NO, try another pair until you found the perfect fit.