If the shoe fits

April is National Foot Health Awareness Month. Did you know that 1 in 7 people complain of foot pain? Many of these problems can be solved by choosing the right shoe.

Shoes that don’t fit can not only put a strain on your feet, but also on your hips, lower legs and spine. Poorly fitting shoes can also lead to aches and pains that often limit hobbies and activities.

Style usually comes first when buying a new shoe, but it can’t be the only factor when it comes to comfort and foot health.

Fit Tips

Rely on these shopping tips to find the shoe that’s best for you:

• Always try on before you buy. Shoe sizing varies widely between brands and between styles within the same brand, so when choosing a new pair of shoes, it’s best to base your choice on fit rather than size.

• Consider your lifestyle. Think about the activities you will be doing in these shoes every day and buy shoes that are suitable for that activity.

allow leeway. Make sure there is a half inch of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe.

• Measure both feet whenever you buy shoes. Typically, your feet come in two different sizes, and foot size increases with age. Always try on both shoes to ensure a good fit.

• Shopping at the end of the day. This can be an ideal time to try on new shoes as feet often swell throughout the day and therefore reach their largest size at the end of the day.

• Tight is not correct. There is no break-in period for a pair of shoes. If the shoes feel too tight on the first try, don’t buy them.

If you have concerns about foot pain or discomfort, talk to your doctor. dr Kory Miskin, Podiatrist, accepts new patients in the Siloam Springs area providing foot and ankle care including ingrown toenails, wart removal, diabetic limb salvage, general foot and ankle surgery, ankle replacement, reconstructive foot and ankle surgery, and arthroscopic surgery. To schedule an appointment, call (479) 553-2664.

High pain tolerance

It comes as no surprise to many women that wearing high heels can lead to health problems. You may like the look, but consider:

• A narrow toe box can change the shape of a foot over time, causing the foot to take on the shape of the shoe. This can lead to deformities such as hammer toes and corns.

• Pointy high heels can cause bunions — bony bumps at the base of the big toe joint — as well as knee and lower back pain.

• If you want to wear heels, choose a pair with a platform under the toe box. Platforms and wedges distribute weight more evenly than heels, reducing foot stress.