As we approach the official, unofficial start of summer; I feel that I should remind you of the importance of sunblock, hydration, water safety etc. But I’m not your mom. There is one summertime pet peeve I do have; shoes. Now there are people out there that’ll say we weren’t born with shoes so we don’t need them. We weren’t born with pants either, but they’ve become fairly integral to our lives.
If our feet were wheels, our shoes would be tires. Just because the sun’s out we don’t go around driving on bare rims or worn-out tires with giant holes in them (side-bar, I grew up in Texas and they have stores that sell used tires! Mrs. Spine cannot wrap her head around this idea.) Unless you’re scrubbing in some racing slicks, you should never get used tires. Used shoes are just as big of a no-no. IF shoes have any wear on them do not hand them down to the next kid.
So why am I such a buzz kill? When we stand, walk or run; our feet are supposed to go through a very specific, multi-step movement pattern. Known as gait. One of the things dudes in brimmed hats scope out before placing bets down at Pimlico. As we age, which is anything over 21, or if we’re born with altered structure; our gait patterns change. Becoming less efficient. The thing about the laws of physics is that you cannot escape the laws of physics. So, the forces your gait would have abated are still there, even though your gait is no longer abating them. Resulting in over-stressed legs and spine. PROPER shoes assist this.
What are proper shoes? Not $1 store flip flops or most flip flops. Shoes that have good support for your foot type. Shoes that match your activity. If you plan to walk around Hershey Park all-day tennis shoes would be a good choice. Shoes wear out; much like my tire analogy shoes only last a certain number of miles. If you are someone who works on your feet your shoes will wear out from the inside out. You may notice your legs and back get more tired which is a clear sign it is time to shop. Also, watch for wear patterns on the heels. Remember you get what you pay for. There are some name-brand shoes that are a step above the others. Doc Martins, Rockport, New Balance, Brooks, Hoka are some favorites. (Side not NONE of these shoes pictured fall into the proper shoes category)
What am I saying? Shoes are good for you. Not just your feet, but your knees, hips, and low back too. Not just PROPER shoes, but orthotics as well. I’ll tell you about them in the next newsletter.