– Guest Blogger: Keely Hyslop
7 Reasons Everyone Should Own a Pair of Orthopedic Shoes
1. Orthopedic shoes are, by definition, good for your feet.
Many people seem to think that ‘orthopedic’ means ‘ugly’ or less pejoratively, ‘medical.’ This is simply not the case. ‘Ortho’ is a Greek root that means ‘correct’ or ‘right;’ and ‘pedic’ just means ‘feet.’ Put them together and you get ‘correct feet;’ which makes sense because orthopedic shoes, with their arch support, heel support, and generously proportioned toe boxes are designed to allow your feet to maintain the correct or natural shape when you wear them.
2. Orthopedic shoes prevent foot pain.
When you force your foot into an ill-fitting shoe, your body doesn’t understand that your shoes look fabulous. It just knows that you have placed your feet in an environment that makes it much harder for the bones and muscles in your feet to do the difficult job of carrying you an average of 5,000 to 10,000 steps on a daily basis. When your feet hurt, and especially if that pain is chronic, it’s a warning sign that your feet either are or are in danger of becoming injured. Those flimsy, unsupportive, ill-fitting shoes you’re wearing are most likely the cause.
3. You can still look fashionable while wearing orthopedic shoes.
Many people seem to think that they have to choose between style and comfort. That may have been the case over half a century ago when orthopedic shoe manufacturers were largely indifferent to shoe fashion trends, but in the last few decades the orthopedic shoe industry has undergone a renaissance. Makers of orthopedic shoes for men and women have finally realized that not only is it possible to make fashionable shoes that are good for feet. If you haven’t gone shopping for a pair of fashionable orthopedic shoes for women and men recently, the sheer variety of healthy shoe fashions might shock you.
4. Orthopedic shoes come in a wider range of widths and sizes than ordinary shoes.
The companies that make orthopedic shoes understand that everyone’s feet are one of a kind. That’s why, unlike ordinary shoe brands that tend to stop at a size 12 and seldom offer wide or narrow widths, orthopedic shoes are usually available up to a size 16 and almost every orthopedic shoe brand comes in minimum of three different widths – some in as many as five different widths.
5. Orthopedic shoes help preserve your mobility.
There are so many health benefits to walking regularly, but foot injuries and chronic foot pain can make it difficult just to get around during the day, and almost impossible to walk for health. Many young people never give their feet a second thought and don’t realize that the bad footwear choices they make now can have a cumulative effect over time, laying the ground work for serious foot injuries in their senior years. If you’re wondering when the proper time is to start making smart foot care choices – the answer is now.
6. Orthopedic shoes are less expensive than foot surgery.
Two of the most common foot conditions that can become severe enough to require surgical intervention are bunions and hammertoes. Podiatrists agree that wearing ill-fitting shoes that don’t provide adequate space for a person’s toes greatly increases that person’s risk of developing one of these conditions. Most orthopedic shoes cost between $50 and $200, while foot surgery can cost thousands of dollars. Orthopedic shoes are a smart investment both for the health of your feet and the health of your bank account.
7. If you don’t wear orthopedic shoes when you need them; you could lose your foot.
This one pretty much only applies to diabetics, but it’s so important that we would be remiss if we did not mention it. It may sound hyperbolic, but if you have diabetes, in particular diabetic neuropathy, it is critically important that you wear closed toed shoes that fit comfortably and provide orthopedic support for your feet. The reduced feeling in the feet of people with diabetic neuropathy makes it difficult to detect minor injuries and thus take steps to prevent infection. Also, neuropathy decreases the foot’s circulation which slows the healing process. If you have diabetes, don’t take chances with your feet. Talk to your doctor about how to prevent diabetic foot problems.