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How to choose footwear made simple. Probably chosing what not to wear is more important.

Updated on February 18, 2013

Don't play soccer in sandals and do not stand all day in soccer shoes.

Do shoes make the man or woman?
Do shoes make the man or woman? | Source

Happy feet

How to decide if what you are wearing is right for you? Since you are reading an article on "how to" footwear, we can assume you want to improve.

I just had a chat with my eldest sister and she reminded me of the time I got sent home from school for being barefoot. I think my teacher was being lenient. You see it was snowing. When I got home I got in trouble and my mom walked me back to school, apparently she suspected I would just take them off again.

Now in my home we follow the Asian ritual of no shoes in the house. Much cleaner. Thongs are cool. In both Mexico and Vietnam it is not unusual to see construction laborers in sandals.

Best footwear. Folks can spend a lot of money on footwear and still run into trouble with their feet. Orthotics are a great idea. Foot massages are very good. Putting your feet up is very smart. But the best footwear, might surprise you. The best footwear is nowear at all.

Some types of shoes you may find yourself in are best for the particular task at hand but not necessarily good for your feet. High heels and ice skates come to mind. Cowboy boots and heeled dress shoes may help you succeed in the work place and ride a horse, but probably not the best for your feet. Downhill skiing now has very top of the line ski boots, with highly advance orthotics but I would not suggest hiking in them. I have seen some great advances in snowboard boots and hiking boots, but do not try to interchange them or wear them to the office.

There are some jobs that require long hard hours on your feet, security guards and waitress and flagmen are examples.

In working with very young children in athletics, good coaches always pay attention to the natural gait and stance of a youngster. If they really care they take the opportunity to correct such habits as duck foot, matters such as prolongation and locked knees and rolling of the feet. Proper stance is critical in athletics, but the best side effect is learning how to walk naturally and in a healthy style that will serve someone a lifetime. You see athletics test us to an extreme, therefore our balance and stance is tested to the extreme. If we start off, off balance our performance is restricted. Just watch the Olympics and pay special attention to the balanced stance of the athletes, then duplicate it.

Probably the three worst things about poorly functioning feet are, headaches, backaches and ultimately disability in the feet.

So I will give just two bits of advice on keeping your feet healthy. They are not scientific or medical. They are in the extreme just plain old common sense.

First, change your foot wear very often. Do all you can to avoid wearing the same foot wear for more than a few hours. Bring a change of shoes to work. You see each shoe we wear leaves its’ own impact on our feet, some good, some bad. So prolonged and habitual wearing of the same footwear exaggerates different problems and can have lasting effects. Also, the way we stand, somewhat caused by our footwear, causes different certain muscles to either strain or relax in the body. Certainly changing up those certain muscles will reduce fatigue.

But here is the best thing for your feet. Barefoot. As a child I pretty much put my shoes on so I could take them off out of sight from my mom. By about 4, she just gave up. I had to start wearing them more when my kindergarten teacher had enough while I sat in class on a snowy day, san shoes.

Recently I have had the pleasure of adopting some Asian traditions in my home. Just inside or outside the door the shoes come off. Socks are optional depending on cold and time in house.

Here are some other cool helps: walk in sand when you can, walk in grass when you can, try to keep too heavy of a blanket off your feet at night, really wash your feet – the massage type stimulation is great for them.

So choose your footwear well but more importantly choose the usage with even more care.


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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you Lastheart, My favorite thing to do is walk/hike. Healthy feet are critical.

    • Lastheart profile image

      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      I saw this title and wanted to read the article. I took a time for it and I love the advices as well as the comments. Wow! how difficult it is at times to put aside this feminine "stuff". I am used to high heals, I love my raggy sneakers, and I am always barefoot at home.

      Good article Eric, Deserves to be shared.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thanks carolina, your comment is appreciated, especially with your expertise.

    • carolina muscle profile image

      carolina muscle 4 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

      yes, very good advice here.... shoes really affect gait and posture- and thus can adversely affect health, too ! Important post!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Glove shoes drove me crazy. I track while I hike and I came across those prints before I had seen the shoes. You can imagine!

      Thanks for the read and comment. Sounds like you have the perfect mix.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Eric... Thanks for the advice and certainly something to consider. I am one of those cowboy boot people for every occasion. Summer months are sandals but lately I have been wearing glove shoes and I love them. They are very natural and comfortable.

      Hugs from Canada

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 5 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Thank you for your wonderful comments. I do not understand how they can make us wear seatbelts but allow women to wear high heels. Lavender sounds like a really good idea.

      VespaWolf, I had not thought about it, but I had to wear braces also. I guess sometimes, those little curses are blessings, because they make us acutely aware of how good we have it, normally.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      This is great advice! I was born with duck feet; braces corrected the problem. My whole life I've enjoyed walking and almost never experience pain. Maybe that's because I do what you mention. Although we walk a lot, I change my shoes at least once during the day. The shoes stay at the door and we walk barefoot around the house. And my husband believes in good quality footwear! I agree that all these tips will lead to good foot health. Voted up and shared!

    • ESPeck1919 profile image

      ESPeck1919 5 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

      Barefoot really is the way to go, I agree. I've been doing a lot of research into essential oils over the past month as a part of a contract I'm working on, and lavender oil is proving to be my best friend, especially when it comes to skin related problems. It's a great oil to massage into the rough skin on your feet, especially if you're prone to blisters.

      Funny you should post this, I've been thinking about writing something up about the evils of high heels, after a very unpleasant experience with them earlier this month.