Feet and Footwear

Only a small percentage of the population are born with foot problems.

Neglect, lack of awareness or proper care and ill-fitting shoes that bring on the problems. (1)

Who is interested in Feet these days?

What is there to say about our Feet?
What is the real job of our Feet?

Are we BIG into our Feet?
Are we good at ignoring our Feet?
Are our Feet a priority in our lives?

Do we know much about our Feet?
Do we want to look after our Feet?

Have we ever taken deep care of our feet?
Have we ever noticed what our feet look like?

Are we bothered about the anatomy of the foot?
Are we concerned about the physiology of feet?
Are we obsessed with our feet and footwear?

Are we only awake when it comes to footwear?
Are we really into wearing the best footwear?
Are our feet just a gross inconvenience?

Are things always going wrong with our feet?
Are we one to get foot injuries all the time?
Are we out of touch when it comes to our feet?

Do we have a dodgy foot?
Do we pay attention to our feet?
Do we get irritated with our feet?
Do we wonder why we have so much hard skin?

Do we think we have ugly toes?
Do we ignore our feet most of the year, except in summer?
Do we never display our feet so it’s a hidden thing?
Do we shy away from showing off our feet?

Do we squash our feet into shoes that are way too tight?
Do we have a habit of ignoring how our feet feel when we party?
Do we forget how delicate and tender our feet really are?
Do we live in our sports shoes as they are so comfy?
Do we have smelly shoes but we can’t seem to let them go?

Are we aware when we are digging our heels in when we walk?
Are we aware our footwear might take us off balance?

Do we have ideals and beliefs about our feet?
Do we value our feet and the work they do?
Do we take deep care of our precious feet?

Do we love everything about our feet?
Do we pay attention to our feet every single day?
Do we have any real connection with our feet?
Do we blame our feet when we trip over?

Are we aware how our ankle affects our footsteps?
Are we aware that our knee may affect our ankle?
Are we aware that our hips might affect our knee?

Are we aware that our body posture could affect our feet?
Are we aware that the way we move around can affect our feet?
Are we aware of the quality in which we move from A to B?

How aware are we when we do steps and stairs every day?
How are we placing our first foot on the first step or stair?

Footwear

Boots
Espadrilles
Flatforms
Flip Flops
Kitten heels
Loafers
Mules
Platforms
Sandals
Shoes
Sling backs
Slippers
Trainers

Where is our common sense when we go shopping for shoes?

Have we gone crazy when it comes to our footwear?
Have we seriously Lost the Plot when it comes to choosing sensible footwear?
Have we ever stopped long enough before buying the next pair of shoes?

WHY is it that we never like last season’s sandals for this summer?
WHY do most people think women are big into fancy footwear?
WHY do they now have footwear for kids which are like adults?
WHY do some of us have a need for so much footwear?
WHY are some of us addicted to buying shoes all the time?

Do we pay more attention to what we wear on our feet than the actual feet?
Do we have heaps of shoes, sandals and sports shoes for every single occasion?

Do we have a range of outdoor footwear?
Do we have special indoor footwear?
Do we know what it means to have the right footwear?

Do we have happy shoes for happy days?
Do we have footwear for every occasion we could think of?
Do we have stacks of closets full of footwear?
Do we suddenly find we have so many in our closet we forgot what we own?
Do we like to know we have plenty of shoes in our closet for a rainy day?

Do we have a footwear budget or is this one area that it does not apply?
Do we own two pairs and that’s our lot for this lifetime?
Do we wonder what all the fuss is about when it comes to footwear?

Do we envy those who have bling on their footwear?
Do we like to make a statement when we walk out with our new shoes?
Do we care what others think and say about our fancy shoes?
Do we suffer the foot pain just to look the part at the party?

Do we love the thought of all those foot aids to help us wear party shoes?
Do we keep walking when we know our feet are feeling so uncomfortable?
Do we realise that the bunion came from our bad choice of shoes?
Do we care enough about our feet to only wear sensible footwear?

Do we always swap flat stuff for heels as that makes us feel better?
Do we only live in high heels as we don’t like our height?
Do we wear killer heels even though we are tall because we like it?
Do we feel self-conscious in our kitten heels because our legs are way too heavy?

Do we ever compromise when it comes to buying those strappy sandals?
Do we queue outside the shop overnight for the best sports shoes ever made?
Do we fall for the next best shoe that the ads are telling us to buy?

Do we subscribe to fashion over the true health of our feet?
Do we live in stilettos even though we know they are mis-aligning our walk?
Do we tread carefully when we wear those backless things that have no support?

Do we find all footwear uncomfortable and go bare feet where possible?
Do we find footwear restricts our feet from breathing naturally?
Do we stick to keeping our shoes and socks on even indoors?

Do we wear the flatties indoors and outdoors with just the strap across?
Do we insist on never throwing out our old shoes?
Do we wear the same one pair year in, year out and not notice they are worn out?

Do we wear the flip flops because we need to get the sun on those feet?
Do we notice how the toes have to be when we wear those thongs?
Do we have maximum support from our choice of footwear?

Do we prefer a corn plaster than changing the funky footwear?
Do we save up just so we can buy those expensive outrageous shoes?
Do we find ourselves sharing our shoes with others or just giving them away?

Do we find ourselves obsessing over the perfect shoes to wear?
Do we insist on buying designer shoes as we want others to recognise us?
Are we known as a footwear fashionista and it’s where we put all our focus?

We want and we demand – so is it any surprise every high street and shopping mall is full of shoe shops?
Whatever we desire, the basic supply and demand thing applies.
Footwear of all – sizes, shapes, styles and designs available for any budget.

WHY is it that we insist on our children wearing sensible shoes that fit in all ways, but we do not apply the same common sense when it comes to our own footwear?

WHY does any form of common sense not apply to us when we go shopping for shoes for that special day?

WHY do we forget what agony our feet will be in after dancing in those fancy footwear all night?

WHY do we continue wearing shoes that have cut into our feet?
WHY do we wear those straps with band aids around our tiny toes?
WHY do we act so carelessly when it comes to our footwear choices?

WHY do we need to pack so many varieties of footwear for our holiday?
WHY do we bear the pain on our feet in the name of fashion?
WHY do we love it when others love what we wear on our feet?
WHY do we wait for someone to notice and say how great our shoes look?

WHY do we wear skinny heels when we are overweight and we know it?
WHY do we insist on platforms that are so high because it gives us something?
WHY do we compromise our tootsies in favour of the latest style of shoes?
WHY do we wear super pointy shoes that do not fit the shape of our toes?

WHY do some of us find fancy footwear even with the bunions sticking out?
WHY do some of us walk around with crusty hard skin feet every day?
WHY do some of us accept the state of our feet like we have given up?

Could it be possible that how we hold our body affects how we walk?
Could it be possible that how we walk and move around affects our feet?
Could it be possible that choosing sensible footwear helps us in many ways?
Could it be possible that having little regard for our actual feet harms us?

A podiatrist told me that ballet flats are as bad as high heels.
They totally lack support in the arch so you are hurting the bottom of your foot.

Elizabeth Holmes – WSJ Senior Style Reporter (2)

Could it be possible that our feet are communicating to us, if we stopped long enough to connect with them?

Could it be possible that our feet play a super important part in our lives?

Could it be possible that many of us pay little attention or give our feet any serious thought about what is best for them, to support us in daily life?

Could it be possible that basic foot care is not in our education so we never learn anything until we get an injury or pain of some kind down there?

Could it be possible that our feet are not naturally designed to walk in high heels?

Could it be possible that if our feet could talk they would communicate something we may not want to hear?

Could it be possible that frumpy footwear is how we see everything that is sensible for walking?

Could it be possible that we live in our running shoes as our life is constantly on the go at a super-fast pace?

Could it be possible that we have our running shoes on all the time, as we want to run from the life we have and don’t want?

Could it be possible that as we are evolving our footwear needs to change accordingly?

Could it be possible that our feet offer us the opportunity to balance our life and step forward with a quality that can truly support us?

Could it be possible that the way we choose to take the first step up or down the stairs gives us the quality for the next step?

Could it be possible that if we made effort to pay more attention to our feet when we walk, then there would be less chance of tripping or slipping?

Could it be possible that bashing our feet playing sports is not something our delicate foot bones can cope with?

Could it be possible that the whole foot area would benefit if we made a choice to focus on taking care of our feet?

Could it be possible that we could one day get to love our feet and cherish them like they were baby feet?

Could it be possible that neglecting our feet when we have Diabetes is seriously harmfull?

Diabetes

Diabetes disrupts the vascular system, affecting many areas of the body including eyes, kidneys, legs and feet.
People with Diabetes are advised to pay special attention to their feet.

It is critical for Diabetics to apply proper foot care as they are prone to problems such as –
Loss of feeling in feet
Changes in shape of feet
Foot ulcers or sores that do not heal (3)

People with Diabetes are particularly at risk for developing serious problems with their feet and this can affect how they walk and even lead to amputation. (4)

Foot problems in Diabetes are primarily due to a condition called Neuropathy.

Diabetic Neuropathy is a complication of Diabetes that affects the nerves. The most common type of Diabetic Neuropathy is called Peripheral Neuropathy and affects the Peripheral nerves. Peripheral nerves are the nerves that go out from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin, internal organs and glands. Peripheral Neuropathy impairs proper functioning of these sensory and motor nerves. The most common symptoms of Neuropathy include numbness and loss of feeling, usually in the feet and hands.

Diabetic Neuropathy can cause insensitivity or a loss of ability to feel pain, heat and cold.

Diabetics suffering from Neuropathy can develop minor cuts, scrapes, blisters or pressure sores that they may not be aware of due to the insensitivity. If these minor injuries are left untreated, complications may result and lead to ulceration and possibly even amputation. Neuropathy can also cause deformities such as Bunions, Hammer Toes and Charcot Feet. (3)

It is important for Diabetics to take necessary precautions to prevent all foot-related injuries. Due to consequences of Neuropathy, daily observation of the feet is critical. Taking the necessary preventative foot care measures can reduce the risk of developing serious foot conditions.

Treatment and Prevention

The most successful way to prevent Diabetic Neuropathy from occurring is to control the Diabetes.

It is important to maintain blood sugars at normal levels, maintain normal blood pressure and have regular physical checks and tests for blood and urine. (3)

ADD to this the common sense stuff like No smoking and No alcohol, which is both covered in great length in our Tobacco and Alcohol blogs on this website as both are poison to the body.

Cosmetic Foot Surgery

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are treatments which involve injecting a substance known as hyaluronic acid underneath the balls of the feet to provide relief from pain. (5)

What is Hyaluronic Acid?

Hyaluronic acid is a glycosaminoglycan, which is polysaccharide – a sugar!
According to Beauty by Geeks it is naturally occurring in the connective tissue throughout our bodies with 50% of it being found in our skin.
It is one of the major components of our extracellular matrix and it plays an important role in retaining moisture. One molecule alone can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water.
As we age our body’s natural production of hyaluronic acid slows down. (6)

Does it make sense WHY many beauty creams and serums are adding Hyaluronic acid?

Risk of Dermal Fillers

Experience in this type of procedure is very important as there are dangers in terms of using too much of the dermal filler product and making it feel uncomfortable to walk. This is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what the practitioner is trying to achieve for the client. In addition, the wrong kind of filler, namely one which is too firm or thick can have the same effect of making it uncomfortable to walk. (7)

Hello – here we have cosmetic surgery for our feet so we can totter around for longer in those heels that are body is saying ‘no thanks’ to.

What Intelligence1 comes up with ways to support us to continue harming our precious feet?
What Intelligence2 allows a specialist doctor to carry out the opposite to truly caring for our feet?

Foot Doctor

Podiatrist

Origin of foot doctor – an Americanism dating back to 1865. (8)

A specialist in care for the feet. (9)

Podiatrists

Podiatrists are health care professionals who have been trained for feet and lower limbs to

Prevent
Diagnose
Treat
Rehabilitate
Correct deformity
Relieve pain
Treat infections
Keep us mobile and active
Care for feet
Advise on footwear

Alleviate day to day foot problems including:

Toenail problems
Thickened, fungal or ingrown toenails
Corns and calluses
Verrucas
Athletes foot
Smelly feet
Dry and cracked heel
Flat feet
Bunions
Heel pain
Ageing feet
Blisters
Gout
Sports injuries

Supply orthotics – tailor made insoles, padding and arch supports to relieve heel and arch pain.

This claims to re-align the foot, take pressure off vulnerable areas of the foot or make shoes more comfortable to wear. (10)

There is no difference between a podiatrist and a chiropodist.
A podiatrist is simply a more modern name. (10)

Podiatric Surgeon

A specialist in the treatment of foot and ankle problems.
Podiatric surgeons are not medical doctors.
However, they have specialised over their entire graduate and post graduate training and education in studying the foot and ankle in detail, as well as the lower limb and all the associated medical knowledge necessary to safely and expertly diagnose and treat foot and ankle problems.

The training of a podiatric surgeon covers a minimum period of 10 years.
During this time they commence with a 3 year undergraduate programme then a BSc Hons degree in Podiatric Medicine followed by a minimum of one year in clinical practice then a 3 year Masters degree in the Theory of Podiatric Surgery. (11)

Foot Problems

Achilles Tendonitis
Causes inflammation and degeneration of the Achilles tendon, which is the large tendon located in the back of the leg that inserts into the heel.
The pain can be a shooting pain, burning pain, or even an extremely piercing pain.
Achilles Tendonitis is aggravated by activities that repeatedly stress the tendon, causing inflammation. It is a difficult injury to treat in athletes due to their high level of activity and reluctance to stop or slow down their training.

The most common cause is over-pronation which occurs in the walking process, when the arch collapses upon weight bearing, adding stress on the Achilles Tendon. (3)

Athlete’s Foot
A fungal infection that causes red, dry, flaking skin, sometimes accompanied by pain or itching.
Condition usually occurs between the toes or on the soles or sides of the feet.
It can spread to toenails, causing chronic fungal infections.
Touching and scratching the infections can lead to the fungus spreading to fingernails or other parts of the body including groin and underarms.
In acute stage, the infected foot exhibits blisters that itch or ‘weep’.

All foot conditions, including athlete’s foot are of special concern to people with Diabetes and compromised immune systems who are more susceptible to developing infections that can lead to serious medical problems.

Arch Pain/Arch Strain
Inflammation and/or burning sensation at the arch of the foot.
Most frequently the cause is a common condition called plantar fasciitis.

Arthritis
Disease characterised by the inflammation of the cartilage and lining of the body’s joints.
Inflammation causes redness, warmth, pain and swelling.
Arthritis is a major cause of foot pain because each foot has 33 joints that can become affected by the disease.
Arthritis can also lead to many different forefoot deformities, including hammer toes, mallet toes and bunions.

40 million Americans currently suffer with Arthritis
60 million will have Arthritis by 2020

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (3)

Arthroplasty
Surgical repair or replacement of a diseased joint.
Used to treat a variety of foot and ankle conditions that cause destruction of cartilage and bones, such as arthritis. (12)

Bunions
Medical name Hallux Valgus is one of the most common forefoot problems.
A bunion is a prominent bump on the inside of the foot around the big toe joint.
Symptoms include inflammation, swelling, soreness on side surface of big toe.
The discomfort commonly causes person from walking naturally.

This bump is actually a bone protruding towards the inside of the foot.

With continued movement of the big toe towards the smaller toes, it is common to find the big toe resting under or over the second toe. This causes a common forefoot condition called overlapping toes.

Bunionette known as a Tailor’s Bunion forms on the outside of the foot towards the joint at little toe. A smaller bump is formed due to the little toe moving inwards towards the big toe.

Bunions are a common problem experienced mostly by women.

Tight, narrow footwear with a constrictive toe area can cause the foot to begin to take shape of the shoe, leading to the formation of a bunion.
Women who have bunions generally wear dress shoes that are too small for their feet.

Toes squeezed together in their shoes causing the first metatarsal bone to protrude on the side of the foot.

Continued use of footwear which restricts the toe area can lead to surgery. (3)

Foot Bunion Surgery includes soft tissue work at the large toe and various levels of bone work. (13)

Calluses
Caused by an accumulation of dead skin cells that harden and thicken over an area of the foot.
This callus formation is the body’s defence mechanism to protect the foot against excessive pressure and friction.
Calluses develop because of excessive pressure at a specific area of the foot.

Common causes are –

Abnormalities in gait cycle (walking motion)
Bony prominences
Flat feet
High arched feet
High heeled dress shoes
Loss of fat pad on bottom of foot
Obesity
Shoes that are too small

Corns
A very common ailment that usually form on the tops, sides and tips of the toes. (3)
Corns are caused by friction and pressure from skin rubbing against bony areas when wearing shoes. If the first signs of soreness are ignored, corns rise up naturally as a way of protecting sensitive areas. (1)

Common causes of corn development are –

Deformed toes
Foot sliding forward in loose shoes
High heeled footwear
Tight fitting footwear
Tight fitting socks
Tight fitting stockings (3)

Gout
Gout is a type of arthritis in which small crystals form inside and around the joints.
It causes sudden attacks of severe pain and swelling.

Gout is caused by a build-up of a substance called uric acid in the blood.
If too much uric acid is produced or the kidneys do not filter enough out, it can build up and cause tiny sharp crystals to form in and around joints. These crystals can cause the joint to become inflamed and painful.

Any joint can be affected by gout but it usually affects joints towards the ends of the limbs, such as toes, ankles, knees and fingers.

The following can increase the chances of getting Gout –

Alcohol
Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
Kidney problems
Obesity
Red meat, offal and seafood (14)

Hammer Toes
A toe that is contracted at the PIP joint (middle joint in the toe), potentially leading to severe pressure and pain. Ligaments and tendons that have tightened cause the toe’s joints to curl downwards. Hammer toes occur in any toe except the big toe.

Heel Fissures
Also known as cracked heels, can be a simple cosmetic problem but also lead to serious medical problems. Heel fissures occur when the skin on the bottom, outer edge of the heel becomes hard, dry and flaky, sometimes causing deep fissure that can be painful or bleed.

Causes are –

Consistently walking barefoot
Inactive sweat glands
Living in a dry climate
Obesity
Wearing open back shoes
Wearing sandals

Heel Pain
A common condition in which weight bearing on the heel causes extreme discomfort.
Over-use repetitive stress can be caused by shoes with heels that are too low, a thinned out fat pad in the heel area or from a sudden increase in activity. (3)

Heel Spurs
Develop as an abnormal growth in the heel bone. This is the largest bone in the foot and absorbs the most amount of shock and pressure.

Calcium deposits form when the plantar fascia pulls away for the heel area, causing bony protrusion or heel spur to develop. The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue located along the bottom surface of the foot that runs from the heel to the forefoot.

Heel spurs can cause extreme pain in the rear foot, especially while standing or walking.

Women have a significantly higher incidence of heel spurs due to the types of footwear often worn on a regular basis.

Ingrown Toenails
Known as onychocryptosis, a common, painful condition that occur when skin on one or both sides of a nail grows over the edges of the nail, or when the nail itself grows into the skin. The most common cause is cutting toenails incorrectly, causing them to re-grow into the skin. When the nail penetrates the skin, it provides entry for germs that can cause infection. Untreated, the nail can go under the skin causing a more severe infection.

Mallet Toes
Occurs when joint at end of the toe cannot straighten.

Metatarsalgia
General term used to denote a painful foot condition in the metatarsal region commonly referred to as the ball of the foot. This common foot disorder can affect the bones and joints in this area.

Ball of the foot pain is often caused from improper fitting footwear, most frequently by women’s dress shoes and other restrictive footwear. Footwear with a narrow toe area forces the ball of the foot to be forced into a minimal amount of space.

Other factors that can cause excessive pressure in the ball of the foot area include shoes with heels that are too high or participating in high impact activities without proper footwear and/or orthotics. (3)

MIFS – Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery
An alternative to open surgery using advanced technology to treat foot and ankle pain caused by variety of conditions.
Special surgical instruments, devices and advanced imaging techniques used to visualise and perform surgery through small incisions.
Aim of MIFS is to minimise damage to the muscles and surrounding structures enabling faster recovery and less pain. (15)

Morton’s Neuroma
A common foot problem associated with pain, swelling and/or inflammation of a nerve, usually at the ball of the foot between the third and fourth toes. Symptoms include sharp pain, burning and lack of feeling in the affected area. It can also cause numbness, tingling or cramping in the forefoot.

Symptoms often occur during or after placing significant pressure on the forefoot area, while walking, standing, jumping or sprinting. Footwear with pointed toes and/or high heels can often lead to neuroma. Constricting shoes can pinch the nerve between the toes causing discomfort and extreme pain.

Over Pronation
Known as flat feet – a common biomechanical problem that occurs in the walking process when a person’s arch collapses upon weight bearing. This motion can cause extreme stress or inflammation on the plantar fascia, potentially causing severe discomfort and leading to other foot problems.

Prominent in people who have flexible flat feet. The framework of the foot begins to collapse causing the foot to flatten and adding stress to other parts of the foot. As a result, over pronation often leads to Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Metatarsalgia, Post-Tib Tendonitis and/or Bunions.

Obesity, Pregnancy or repetitive pounding on a hard surface can weaken the arch leading to over-pronation.

Plantar Fasciitis
Condition in which the plantar fascia – the band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from heel to toes becomes inflamed. (3)

Heel pain is a common result of plantar fasciitis, as irritation turns into inflammation or swelling. (16)

Post-Tib Tendonitis
This is a strain placed on the posterior tibial tendon and the tendon cannot function to hold up the arch, resulting in flat feet.
It occurs when the muscle is overused and the tendon (soft tissue) that connects the muscle to the bone is strained.

Pregnancy
Most common foot problems experienced by pregnant women are over-pronation and edema, referred to swelling of the foot. These problems can lead to pain at the heel, arch or the ball of the foot.

Seamoiditis
A common ailment that affects the forefoot typically in young people who engage in physical activity like running or dancing. Its most common symptom is pain the ball of the foot, especially on the medial or inner side. The term is a general description for any irritation of the sesamoid bones, which are the tiny bones within the tendons that run to the big toe. (3)

Toenails
The colour, shape and texture of a toenail can also point to numerous health problems such as –

Spoon-shaped toenails – iron deficiency
White nails – psoriasis, diabetes, liver or heart problems
Pitted nails – nail growth problem or psoriasis
Clubbed toes – wide range including lung and digestive disorders (17)

Toenail Fungus
Known as Onychomycosis, this fungus infection occurs when microscopic fungi gain entry through a small trauma in the nail, then grow and spread in the warm, moist environment inside our shoes and socks. (3)
Laser treatment for toenail fungus is often effective. (18)

Toenail Removal
Surgical toenail removal known as avulsion of the nail plate is a common method of treatment for a variety of conditions, including onychogryphosis (ram’s horn nails”) and an ingrown toenail.
Removal can be partial and in some cases doctors may recommend permanent toenail removal. (19)

Verruca
Also known as a plantar wart, a verruca is a wart on the sole of the foot. (20)

Warts
Skin growths caused by viruses that can be painful and if untreated, may spread.

Over the counter preparations rarely cure warts. A doctor can apply medicines, burn or freeze the wart off or remove the wart surgically. (17)

See photos on this link of warts and verrucas.
https://beta.nhs.uk/conditions/warts

Foot Surgery
Usually recommended by podiatrist to relieve pain, correct a foot deformity or restore function in foot and/or ankle.

Generally a last resort and final option for treatment of a foot problem, condition or injury.

Foot Surgery can take place in hospital or the podiatrists clinic. (21)

Foot Amputation
A procedure where a surgeon removes the entire foot, a toe or multiple toes or part of the foot.

In all cases of foot amputation, the current state of the foot is threatening the patient’s health.

Peripheral Vascular Disease due to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is the most common reason for limb amputation.

Other reasons for foot amputation include –

Diabetes
Frostbite
Poor blood flow
Severe burn
Trauma caused by an accident
Tumour
Wound or infection that does not heal (4)

Anatomy of the Foot

There are seven bones in the foot which are collectively called the tarsals.
Each tarsal is an irregular bone that slides minutely over the next bone to collectively provide motion.

The individual tarsals are as follows –

Talus
The talus bone is the main tarsal. It articulates with the tibia and fibula to form the ankle joint.
The talus is significant in that it bears the weight of the entire body when standing or walking.

Calcaneum
Also known as the heel bone, it is the largest and most posterior tarsal bone.
The calcaneum is an important site for attachment of muscles of the calf.

Cuboid
The cuboid is situated between the fourth and fifth metatarsals and the calcaneum on the lateral (outer) border of the foot.

Cuneiform
There are three cuneiform bones, which are located between the navicular bone and the first three metatarsal bones.

Navicular
The navicular bone is situated between the talus bone and the three cuneiforms.

Metatarsals
There are five metatarsals forming the dorsal surface of the foot.

Phalanges
14 phalanges form the toes, 2 of which are in the hallux or big toe and 3 each to the other toes.

The bones of the feet form arches which are designed to support body weight and provide leverage when walking.

The arches of the foot are maintained by ligaments and muscles. They give the foot resilience in bearing the body’s weight when running or walking. (22)

$52,175,000,000 – Global Footwear Industry Annual Revenue (23)

45% people pick out the wrong size shoe (2)

75% Americans will experience foot health problems in their life (1)

60% all foot and ankle injuries were sprains and strains of the ankle reported by U.S. population older than 17 (1)

Foot ailments can be the first sign of more serious medical problems. (1)

What can we do to take real care of our feet every day?

Here are some basic tips taken from the Simple Living Global Back to Basics Program © –

Let’s start with socks

Super important to wear socks that actually fit.
Allow space for toes to move and breathe freely.
If socks are tight around the ankle area or calf, take note.
Wear a wider leg bit or roll them over so the sock rests on the slimmer bottom part of the leg. That way there are no marks on the skin and it will be more comfortable.

Sit down when putting socks on.
Raise leg and place across the other thigh.
Lean forward and use both hands to open up the sock.
Use fingertips to stretch the inner part and gently place over toes.
Make sure the heel bit fits the heel and the seam is not pulled beyond that.
Give the sock a pull at the toe area so there is no constriction.

Finally, cup the palm of the hand and place gently on the heel and then the sole of the foot and on top – like a “hello mate, I am with you”.

At the end of the day, remove the socks and rest the hand over the ball of the foot and heel in Appreciation for looking after you all day.

Next – shoes

Invest in decent walking shoes as this is super important.
There should be no compromise when it comes to footwear.
This is not about buying expensive stuff, it is about being sensible.
Treat your feet with the respect they deserve.

When purchasing footwear, take note of the following tips –

Make shoe buying important
Listen to what the feet are telling us
Check where the big toe is and how much space is there
Feel the width of the shoe
Does the little toe feel squashed?
Does any toe feel uncomfortable in any way?
Have a walk around in the shop
Ask – do they feel supportive?
Does the back of the heel rub the shoe?
Is this purchase a sensible choice?
Does one shoe feel more restricted than other?
Wear correct socks – so if buying work shoes, wear work socks.
Never buy shoes in hot weather as feet are usually swollen.
Note that leather upper shoes may stretch with wear.
Note slip on shoes with no back support or strap means no support.

Always go for sensible shoes before high fashion.
Worth shopping around to get the right fit. 

This publication is ©Copyright and the Moral Rights of the Author, Bina Pattel and Simple Living Global are asserted.
 Other than for the purposes of and subject to the conditions prescribed under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 as amended, no part of this work may in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, microcopying, photocopying, recording or otherwise) be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted without prior written permission. Inquiries should be addressed to Simple Living Global – info@simplelivingglobal.com.

Dear World

Can we join the dots here and be honest that something is seriously wrong when it comes to our precious feet and footwear?

Are we making sensible choices?
Are we bothered about what footwear we go around in?
Have we got our priorities wrong or upside down?

Are we taking the next step in life on the ‘front foot’ as the saying goes?
Are we back stepping or back peddling in life as the saying goes?

Would it be true to say we do not value and respect our feet?
Would it be true to say we do not regard our feet as being important?
Would it be true to say we do not understand how delicate our feet are?
Would it be true to say that most of us put fancy footwear before self-care?

Would it be true to say we are tempted by the latest fashion for our feet?
Would it be true to say our choices of footwear are in deep neglect to our feet?

Could it be possible that we are not being consciously present when it comes to our feet and this is the start of all the suffering that follows?

Could it be that Simple?

References

(1) (n.d). Podiatry Facts & Statistics. Illinois Podiatric Medical Association (IPMA). Retrieved July 11, 2017 from
http://www.ipma.net/?page=15

(2) Holmes, E. (2014, July 15). Feet Are Getting Bigger, and Many People Wear Shoes That Don’t Fit Right – VIDEO. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 6, 2017 from
https://www.wsj.com/articles/feet-are-getting-bigger-and-many-people-wear-shoes-that-dont-fit-right-1405466145

(3) (n.d). Foot.com. Retrieved July 11, 2017 from
http://foot.com/foot-conditions/

(4) Nirenberg, M. (2015, October 30). Your Complete Guide for Foot Amputation Surgery. FootVitals. Retrieved July 11, 2017 from
http://www.footvitals.com/surgery/foot-amputation.html

(5) (n.d). Dermal Filler Foot Injections. Essentials. Retrieved June 11, 2017 from
http://www.essentials-hairandbeauty.co.uk/dermal-filler-foot-injections/

(6) Hall, V. (2016, November 3). The Science of Skincare: What is Hyaluronic Acid? Retrieved July 11, 2016 from
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/beauty/skin/what-is-hyaluronic-acid-beauty-by-the-geeks/

(7) (n.d). Foot Cushioning with Dermal Fillers. Consulting Room. Retrieved July 11, 2017 from
http://www.consultingroom.com/Treatment/Foot-Cushioning-dermal-filler-injections

(8) (n.d). Dictionary.com. Retrieved July 11, 2017 from
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/foot-doctor

(9) (n.d). The Free Dictionary. Retrieved July 11, 2017 from
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/foot+doctor

(10) (2015, December 10). Foot Problems and the Podiatrist. NHS. Retrieved July 11, 2017 from
http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/foothealth/pages/foot-problems-podiatrist.aspx

(11) (n.d). Find Out About Podiatric Surgeons. The College of Podiatry. Retrieved July 11, 2017 from
http://www.scpod.org/podiatric-surgery/about-podiatric-surgeons/

(12) DeHeer, P. (2015, October 2). Everything You Need to Know About Arthroplasty Surgery. FootVitals. Retrieved July 12, 2017 from
http://www.footvitals.com/surgery/foot-arthroplasty.html

(13) Landsman, M. (2015, October 30). All About Foot Bunion Surgery. FootVitals. Retrieved July 12, 2017 from
http://www.footvitals.com/surgery/bunion.html

(14) (2015, September 24). Gout. www.nhs.uk Retrieved July 12, 2017 from
http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Gout/Pages/Introduction.aspx

(15) (n.d). Minimally Invasive Surgery. SamerMorgan.com. Retrieved July 12, 2017 from
http://www.samermorgan.com/minimally-invasive-surgery/

(16) Weaver, B. (2015, November 30). Your Complete Guide for Plantar Fasciitis. FootVitals. Retrieved July 12, 2017 from
http://www.footvitals.com/heel/plantar-fasciitis.html

(17) (n.d). Foot Care – and What Your Feet Can Say About Your Health. Footactive.co.uk.  Retrieved July 12, 2017 from
https://footactive.co.uk/foot-complaints/foot-health

(18) Pelto, D. (2016, January 1). Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus – What to Expect. FootVitals. Retrieved July 12, 2017 from
http://www.footvitals.com/toenails/laser-treatment.html

(19) Scholnick, K. (2015, October 2). Toenail Removal – Before, During, and After Surgery. FootVitals. Retrieved July 12, 2017 from
http://www.footvitals.com/surgery/toenail-removal.html

(20) (2014, December). Warts and Verrucae. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). Retrieved July 13, 2017 from
https://cks.nice.org.uk/warts-and-verrucae#!backgroundsub

(21) (n.d), All the Different Types of Foot Surgery. FootVitals. Retrieved July 12, 2017 from
http://www.footvitals.com/surgery/

(22) McGuinness, H. (2006). Anatomy & Physiology – Therapy Basics. (3rd edition). (p.78). Oxon, UK: Hodder Education

(23) (2016, August 13). Footwear Industry Statistics. Statistic Brian. Retrieved July 13, 2017 from
http://www.statisticbrain.com/footwear-industry-statistics/

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Comments 34

  1. Love our feet! They have carried us through our life.

    I am 66 years old and spent very little of that time sitting. I marvel at what my feet have done for me. They have been the first connection to the earth. They have dealt with all the impact of how I have been walking my life.

    I have been honouring my feet lately, it is part of a self care program that Simple Living Global presented.

    At first it seemed weird to massage my feet. But over time it has become a ritual that I love and never miss.
    At times it brings tears to my eyes when I do it.

    Feeling that commitment to myself is what it is all about. I did not realize that there was a part of me that felt I did not deserve to love myself.

    By doing the simple act of massaging my feet, it has allowed me to feel this disregard, and understand where it comes from.

    Just feeling this and honouring it, has helped me move on to deeper levels of self love. It has transformed my life in ways that nothing else has even come close to.

    So love your feet! It can change your life.

  2. I used to hike barefoot, I walked everywhere with no shoes often injuring my feet.

    Since inviting Simple Living Global into my life I have developed a close and honest relationship with my feet; this feels beautiful and is supportive to my entire body and being.

    Since choosing to pay attention to them I have learned a LOT from my feet.

  3. I was just clocking how much footwear aids are now readily available at the drug store or local pharmacy to support us to continue wearing shoes and sandals that are cutting the skin or causing it to blister or whatever.

    How come we just keep going, as we find solutions to our feet that are communicating to us that our choice of footwear ain’t any good?

    I know a long time ago I had a red pair of fancy shoes and they were tight at the back but there was no way I was going to stop wearing them because of this painful inconvenience. It was show off shoes that had not gone past their sell by date, as far as I was concerned, so suffer the blisters, sore skin and keep on moving.

    I found padded gel stick on things that were not making much difference. Then one day I thought this is crazy and it really hurts and made a choice to say NO to anything that harms me and that includes my shoes.

    We would never let our kids walk around in footwear that hurts them, so why on earth do we allow it for ourselves? No point having double standards I say as we all have a responsibility if we think about it.

    1. Yes Bina, “How come we just keep going?”…

      For the first time I am working in a retail (fashion) setting and I have been astounded at how little progress the world of shoes has made in designing stylish shoes that are not abusive to wear.

      We have millions of well dressed women working full time jobs which require them (officially) to wear fashionable shoes…

      and I have found some shoes which are lovely looking and as well as supportive to the person who will be standing & working in them all day looking great… so I know it can be done…

      …and yet I have visited many shoe stores and warehouses and in the fashion section MOST are not designed with much comfort or support for the feet (and person!) who will wear them.

      This is more an expose on the supply part of the uncomfortable shoe cycle;
      in other words what the heck are we choosing for ourselves!?

      We do not need to disassociate our selves from our feet to keep up a harmful social norm, so why do we do it?

      If we stop compromising our feet and choose reasonably fashionable shoes, which are designed to support us we would be encouraging the industry to produce just that.

      I want to live in a world that does not choose surface presentation at the expense of our actual well being.

    2. I know women who put into inflammatory gel on their feet before going out on a party night. They know they will be in agony with their shoes and they do their best to manage that, but the ‘look’ with their outfit is way more important than their comfort.

  4. I used to buy shoes that were a size too small or too big, it was a standing joke with a friend ‘what size did you buy this time’ all because I wanted a certain pair and they didn’t have my size or this is how I wanted my feet to look.. but I couldn’t wear those shoes for too long as they hurt my feet so much, how disregarding when I look back. It was a few years ago now when this stopped and I only buy shoes if they are the correct size and fit now and are really comfortable – what a difference this makes to my feet and my day.

    Now my feet are a priority for me.. my work shoes, shoes I walk to work in, each pair I wear.

    I love to massage my feet very tenderly before I go to bed focussing on every movement, this allows me to fully connect to my body and have appreciation for my body before I sleep.

  5. What an enlightening article on so many levels.

    Everyone needs to read those instructions for putting on socks – “hello mate, I am with you” – just that alone is life changing.

  6. Taking care of our feet is so important. We walk in our entire lifetime why would we not!

    I see so many women walking in high heels they can barely walk in and in obvious pain. Why in the name of fashion would you put your feet through that.

    I moisturise my feet everyday (morning and night) and get regular pedicures.

    For me my feet communicate with my whole body. Why would I not look after them.
    There is so much research out there where women are ending up with back and knee problems because of high heels.
    Surely this is a sign to the fashion industry that they must change the way they make their shoes!

    A spot on blog!

  7. I used to work as a children’s shoe fitter and it taught me a huge amount. Reflecting on it now, though, it was all common sense.

    That common sense is laid out in this blog as a reminder for us all.

    What if we got out all our shoes and tried them on with that common sense in mind – as if we were buying them in the shop having just read this blog.

    If we were really honest, which of our shoes would make the cut and stay in use and which would end up in the bin?

  8. I had not heard of dermal fillers for feet before. Surely it is worth asking why they are in pain and begin to look at that so the condition can be addressed and healed rather than it potentially worsening and becoming more painful from trying to fix it?

    1. Occasionally I get plantar fasciitis which is painful when I walk – when I start to feel the early signs of it (I can feel lumpy bits under my feet and it feels a little tender to walk) I look at how I have been walking and living, and what daily living choices I need to change. It can come on when I have been putting pressure on myself or walking with effort rather than relaxing when I walk.
      Once I do pay attention to it and deepen my self care, change the way I am walking and massage my feet at night before bedtime it quickly goes away.
      Its amazing how much we can do to support our body even in the tiniest detail.

  9. I didn’t know any of this stuff about diabetes and feet.

    It makes sense that something affecting the blood and the nerves would have an impact on the extremities of the body. Add to that the pressure the feet are under all day carrying us around.

    Reading all this is helping me start to actually appreciate my feet.

    If our feet started to suffer or pack up on us, I’m sure we’d soon realise what a great job they had been doing and wish we’d taken better care of them.

  10. I really appreciate this blog.

    Ever since I have read it I’ve been pulled to start the Simple Living Global Back to Basics tips on putting socks on, it is really changing my relationship with my feet!

    Each morning and night after putting my socks on, in the way the author describes, I just hold my feet tenderly and say the “hello mate, I am with you” to them.

    I can feel the warmth from the palms of my hands and a real care for myself and my feet as I do this.

    These are great moments in my day where just by doing it, I give myself permission to stop, pause and care for me; a way to remember that who I am is not all about the things I can do for others.

    Feet are not just extremities at the end of our bodies to be ignored, but they are to be well looked after just like any other part of our bodies – whether others can see them or not.

    1. Shevon I too have been applying the Back to Basics tips on putting socks on, gently pulling the toe so there is space and room for my toes to move and no pressure on them. It is amazing what small details like this make to how my feet feel throughout the day, and to gently connect with them by holding them before I put my shoes on, I love this.. and so do my feet.

      I too appreciate so much all that is shared on this website, what a huge difference to life these small but very significant changes make.

  11. Superb blog – I didn’t appreciate all there was to know about feet until I read this.

    I know in healthcare many healthcare professionals get foot problems and in hospitals we have needed to get plenty of support for the staff from the podiatrists, chiropodists etc. It’s accepted as normal to get foot problems while working in healthcare.

    I just read this on a site that supports nursing staff and their feet:

    “The foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and a network of over 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. Add all the blood vessels and nerve endings, and you have a very complex body part! Working all together, the foot endures tremendous pressures involved in daily living. An average day of walking brings a force equal to several hundred tons to bear on the feet.”
    https://www.jacksonvilleu.com/blog/nursing/foot-problems-and-treatment-for-nurses-feet/

    There is far more we can do to support our health and wellbeing through looking after our feet – whether we are a healthcare professional, or whatever we do in life.

  12. Some months ago I knew I needed to buy some new walking shoes for my daily walking. I went to a local sports shoe shop where the service was exemplary. They did a digital scan of my foot and I didnt realise how high my instep was – due to the fact that I did ballet for 10 years when I was a child my feet had developed an extremely high instep – so much so that as an adult there is not much of the sole of my foot that touches the ground.
    In the sports shop they had special insoles for high insteps and put one into my shoes for me to try, and also into some new sports trainer shoes for me to try. I was very surprised at the difference it made as with the special instep I could for the first time in my adult life feel most of my foot was now making contact with the ground as I walked. So I bought the insoles for my shoes, and I bought the training shoes with the special insole too. My walking has changed considerably since then and I feel so much joy when I feel my sole making connection with the ground as I walk.
    If I hadn’t had the digital scan and tried the insole I would not have known any better. Our feet are well worth investing in and buying the insoles is one of best investments Ive made these last few years.

    1. This is very interesting Jane. I too have high insteps and also one foot that is a different shape to the other due to it being twisted at right angles when I was born. I have always found finding shoes that fit and support a challenge but having a digital scan done as you have I’m sure would help me in opening up my options in finding the correct shoes for my feet. Something I’m going to look into.. and the insoles, thank you for sharing this.

  13. In preparation for my day I don’t feel complete unless Ive paid equal attention to my feet in the shower, as I dress, as I lace up my shoes. If I don’t lace up my shoes in a way that feels okay I start again. I like to have my feet firmly on the ground and if they don’t feel like that I take a moment to consider where I have not paid attention.

    Our feet do an amazing job, consider how many miles our feet walk and how many hours we stand on our feet throughout our lives – they absolutely need investing in.

  14. I never knew those bony protrusions next to my little toe were called ‘bunionettes’. Mine are from squashing my delicate feet into ballet shoes aged 5 onwards.

    Re-reading this blog has me wondering at the why of getting already Grace-full little girls to do ballet at all, never mind crushing their early forming feet into ballet shoes.

    And what about the pointe work? I quit before that started in earnest, but why would we think a hobby or a form of entertainment for others is worth such damage to the feet (or any part of the body)?

    Do we even consider this?

  15. Can we consider the possibility that our feet show us how we are moving and walking through life?

    Is it possible that the author of this blog is sharing that our feet are important because we are important and that we could be much more present and caring with ourselves?

    How different would society and our world be if we spent as much time honoring, cherishing and caring for our feet (our selves) as we currently spend ignoring or neglecting in favor of everything and anything but ourselves?

    If we are willing to look at our feet as representing us; how we are treating ourselves and our body and how our life is going on the whole than we may just have two very wise little teachers with us at all times.

  16. I was in a big store today and noticed how busy busy the footwear section was. I looked on the shelves at the high fashion of what is around these days and was stunned at the height of heels and how little support the straps offer and in some cases no straps.

    Our demands are there and we insist on wearing ill fitting shoes regardless of what it may do to our delicate feet.

    So how can we blame the suppliers?

    They simply give us what we want and so it is down to us if we want to change that and if not we keep going in the hope we will not need any serious foot surgery.

    1. Fashion and footwear is a big topic.

      I knew someone that would put her feet into the fridge and also cover them with ice to shrink them enough to fit into her shoes – and then wear the shoes which were painful to wear and when she took them off her feet were very sore – all in the name of fashion.
      I also knew a girl at school who wore very high platforms until she fell off them and broke her ankle.
      Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing beautiful shoes, great colours, and styles – but I can’t wear shoes that hurt my feet as it impacts on how I feel during my day and I can’t focus or concentrate so well if my feet are sore or shoes are rubbing. It also feels very disregarding to the body.

  17. Recently I’ve taken to tying my trainer laces every day. I use to slip them on in the morning, tied the same as the day before, to walk to work but I am now aware that my feet need them tied afresh everyday according to how they are and feel.. sometimes a little looser, sometimes a little tighter depending on the kind of support they need. This feels a deeper level care to take for my feet as they serve me so well.

  18. “Could it be possible that bashing our feet playing sports is not something our delicate foot bones can cope with?”

    This reminds me of the common footballer injury of a broken metatarsal bone in the foot.

    It is well known how delicate these bones are and how ill suited the foot is to the pressures of the sport.

    I wonder how much care footballers take of their feet. I know my Dad laments the state of his ‘footballer’s feet’ from years of abuse as a professional in the sport.

    What would happen if this blog was compulsory reading at the start of every football season?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/health_and_fitness/4970176.stm

  19. Since reading this blog I’ve been observing footwear as I go about the day. I’ve seen toes curled over the front of sandals and heels off the back of them, because the are too small. Where there are no straps or support heels half on half off, to one side, of the sandals. I’ve seen heels so high the natural walk and gate is affected, and wedges or platforms thick and high with no bend in the shoe, also affecting how people walk.

    What must this be doing to our feet.. and the rest of our body when they are made to walk in ways that are not natural or supportive to our frame?

  20. Research in Scotland recently concluded that high heels are not good for women bodies

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-40779617

    High-heel wearing should not be forced, the study says:

    “More needs to be done to stop women being forced to wear high heels at work, Aberdeen researchers have said.
    Calls to introduce a law banning companies from telling women to wear high heels at work were rejected by the government in April.
    The issue was debated after one woman who was sent home for wearing flat shoes set up a petition.
    The University of Aberdeen researchers recommended further investigation into the issue.
    The review examined research into the physical damage and injury that can be caused, as well as the social and cultural aspects surrounding the wearing of high heels.
    It found large amounts of studies showed a link between wearing high heels and an increased risk of bunions, pain and injury.”

    Our feet are really important. To put what something looks like – e.g. to force someone to wear high heels at work for an image/brand – would likely be detrimental to the physical health of that person, and hence likely detrimental to the services offered by that company.

  21. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/action-needed-ban-enforced-high-heels-work-researchers-university-of-aberdeen-a7869836.html

    The Independent – 31 July 2017 news story says that a study shows that high heel shoes increase women’s attractiveness to men and a “wealth of studies showing they raise the risk of developing musculoskeletal conditions and the chance of injury.”

    Researchers have called for action to stop women being forced to wear high heels at work.

    Dr. Max Barnish who led the research said “from our review it is clear that despite the huge amount of evidence showing heels are bad for individuals’ health, there are complex social and cultural reasons that make high heel wearing attractive.”

    So what are these ‘complex’ social reasons that we are subscribing to?
    We can sit and blame our employers and all those men who want us to wear high heels but what if we flat out refused and wore whatever supported our body without the need to please or fit in or pander to anyone?

    WHY do we associate fancy high heels with glamour dress to impress look?
    WHY are killer heels literally killing our tender precious feet?
    WHY is our job status affected by the height of our heel?
    WHY is common sense no where on our radar when it comes to high heels?

    What would happen if women just wore what felt true and supportive for their feet and not concern themselves with what anyone else thinks or says?
    What would our footwear industry be like then?
    AND what would our world be like if we started respecting our feet to the endth degree?

  22. I was talking to a wise woman called Elizabeth at the swim pool, who would make most senior citizens wake up and ask how on earth she does what she does.
    We talked about feet and I mentioned this blog and then asked her a question about her bunion.

    She was super clear that having grown up with ‘sensible’ shoes and then staying that way and never buying into heels or fashion stuff, her bunions were not because of ill footwear.

    I was super curious to know more and her take was that her life was off track and she done nothing about it and so continued walking off the truth path that she knew she could if she made choices. This is when her bunion developed and I realised she may just have a point as our body is remarkable in showing us signs and giving us messages.
    It is up to us how we interpret these communications or deny and ignore them.

    On that body talking back to us –
    My feet were telling me, just wearing my boots with a small heel two days in winter last year, a tiny tiny bit of hard skin appeared on my super soft yummy sole of my foot. Got it, message received, clear and understood. Never again is what I said and that was that.

  23. Wow…who would have thought there could be so much information about feet?

    I guess we would have that response because I’m sure most of us have never really given much thought about our feet.

    Yes, they serve a function and we know they are there because they also serve as a focal point in a favourite pastime for many people…shoe shopping.

    I could have singled out women for the shoe shopping but there are many men who are just as fixated on having the latest trendiest shoes or trainers.

    Our feet are put through a lot of disregard in the name of fashion, especially with women wearing high heels.

    It seems we only care about our feet when we have a problem with them and even then we still override the pain and do things we know we shouldn’t.

    Thanks Simple Living Global for this blog and giving us the opportunity to stop and truly consider how important our feet are, because it is our feet that are going to carry us through our life.

  24. Walking on the high street today behind a woman with platform mules that had two straps I noticed that her foot was not in the middle so the heel was only half on the base.

    She then lost balance and almost fell over.
    What I observed was she seemed in a hurry and not really bothered about this.
    Seconds later, again she lost balance and then continued at the same pace.

    When she stopped at the cashpoint, I felt to go over and tell her that she needs to slow down as that was a sure sign, as it happened twice within a few seconds. She agreed.

    Before this blog, I was never that interested in how people walk or how they actually place their feet on the ground or that their footwear may not be designed to fit the way their feet are, as in this case.

    What will it take for us to pay attention to our precious feet, which let’s face it, serve us day in and day out and keep going and taking whatever we throw at them.

    I for one regard my feet as a priority and have done so for decades now. I own much less footwear than I used to, but what I noticed is that the ones that get worn are the ones that have purpose and serve my feet. The fancy stuff comes out for weddings but even then it has to have the comfort factor and no squashing of toes or skin.

  25. I was in the supermarket checkout queue and I was looking at the lady in front with super high stiletto heels. She was not overweight but I did notice how difficult she found it to stand still. There was zero support at the front, due to the tiny bit of shoe barely covering the toes and it was very pointy. She looked and felt very uncomfortable but at the same time she was certainly what most people in our world would say ‘well dressed’ with not a hair out of place.

    When she walked, it was super clear that the shoes were taking her balance and there was a compromise like I have never seen before. The hips seemed to be out of sync and the lower back and pelvic area were also noticeably out of whack if you ask me.

    What for and who for and WHY?

    Well once upon a time, I would wear them and it was for others to see.

    I spent decades trying to find heels that were comfortable and realised they simply are not designed to support our human frame. The thing is, I never cared about my feet or any part of my body. I lived a trashy life indulging in foods and other distractions that this world was offering me and I just got sick.

    Self neglect has become our normal in society and we rarely bat an eyelid when we see people compromising their movements and their posture just to be in ill fitting footwear.

    What does it take to make changes and do we ever stop long enough to even question why we do what we do?

  26. I used to have achey feet, but now I don’t. I think I was not taking care of them. Now I am moving differently and I know because I don’t have achey feet.

  27. This blog was inspired after walking down a busy London shopping street and watching people’s feet and footwear. Since writing this detailed article, I have become even more aware of peoples feet, their footwear and actually how they walk.

    I have noticed ankles rolling in or rolling out even in flat shoes and a general disregard when it comes to our feet.

    What I have also done is pay even more attention to the self care of my feet and that is not about cutting toe nails and filing them but how the pads of my feet feel, how are each of my toes feeling when I gently touch and press them. Sounds weird and whacky but this level of regard as part of my daily routine when I put socks on and take them off has supported me a bit more and this is not a bad thing.
    I find that when I connect to my feet I am with myself with no outer distractions and it is not a tick box exercise on my to do list. I do it because I want to and it is now just a part of my daily rhythm. No big deal but making a big difference if you ask me.

  28. Reading this blog allows me to know how I’ve been bullying my feet.

    Stuffing them into my shoes unkindly, not putting my socks on carefully and going in my garden without any shoes on.

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