By Doris Montanera
Are you wearing the right shoes? Putting your best foot forward means more than just picking the right spring/summer 2012 trends.
Those wonderfully elegant, pointy-toed, high-heeled shoes that are so in right now? If you have a wide foot, they can cause spectacularly ugly—and painful—hammertoes and bunions. Summer’s preoccupation with flipflops? They’re arch enemies and will have tomorrow’s podiatrists singing all the way to the bank.
There’s a lot that can go wrong in the 26 bones, 33 joints and 100-plus tendons, muscles and ligaments that make up one foot. A little foot pain today can lead to chronic ankle, knee, hip and back pain.
Shoes are one of the few bastions of fashion that don’t require you to be a sylphlike model. Even if you have foot problems, you don’t have to resign yourself to orthopedic granny styles. You just need to find your sole mate.
Here are our picks for happy feet.
• NAOT’s not only fashionable with its nod to spring/summer’s floral trend, but its ergonomically designed cork and latex suede-covered insole cushions, supports, and helps absorb moisture. $155. www.naot.ca.
• If you need more structured support, you can also remove the foot bed in this NAOT style (on left) and insert a custom orthotic. $170. www.naot.ca.
The High Road
Flats aren’t good for your feet because they usually don’t offer enough arch support, but high heels are more controversial. They put pressure on the ball of your foot. And, according to a recent study, they can also permanently change the biomechanics of your walk and increase the risk of injuries—not just from tottering and denting your dignity. Most foot specialists recommend wearing them in moderation.
• Ron White’s All Day Heels collection aims to reduce high-heel risks with its slip resistant, shock-absorbent sole and NASA-created Poron cushioning that almost never compresses,. These nautical-striped, cashmere suede sandals are not only on-trend but the height of the platform reduces the total heel-height pitch. $445. www.ronwhiteshoes.com.
• Hush Puppies strides right with a flower-power, peep-toe slingback in blushing pink. It exceeds the one-inch preferred heel height recommended by podiatrists, but gets points for its Incline Technology that offers three-levels of comfort—a shock-absorbing heel pad, flexible insole cushioning and tread design. $110. www.hushpuppies.com.
• Colour yourself happy. FitFlop’s flame nubuck sandal has a cushioned, triple-density Microwobbleboard midsole that helps absorb more shock than a typical shoe. And, not only are ankle straps back in a big way, they provide added support, reducing the need to grip your shoes with your toes. $135. www.fitflop.com.
• The pink’s sizzling but your feet won’t be. Glagla’s are new comfort shoes from France with anti-sweat technology that decreases the temperature of your feet by 6 degrees, compared to most other shoes. Not only do they dry within minutes, they offer foot support, and have anti-skid soles and antibacterial features. $65. www.glagla.ca.
• This neutral wedge pump is part of the Dexflex by Dexter collection for Payless. It’s made with memory foam that provides comfort while absorbing shock. $39.99. www.payless.ca.
• Sophistication doesn’t always come in towering heights. The chic Bijou mary-jane, in blush or black patent leather, has a modest two-inch heel and is part of Ron White’s All Day Heels collection with Poron cushioning. $425. www.ronwhiteshoes.com.
What do you typically go for — fashion or function? Which one of these shoes would you wear?