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Newport Beach

What Women Need to Know about Picking the Right Shoes

02-18-2016

Women have countless numbers of shoe styles to choose from – ranging from stilettos, pumps, wedges, flats – the list goes on and on. But walking may be difficult if your feet hurt with every step you take. Finding the perfect shoe fit and consistently exercising will reduce aching in one’s feet.

As women age, the structure of their feet can cause more pain and discomfort. One’s arch can slowly collapse and lessen with age, thus increasing shoe sizes.

“The great toe can be pushed sideways, causing a bunion, changing the fit of the shoes to be wider,” says Dr. Andrew Gerken, foot and ankle specialist at Hoag Orthopedic Institute (HOI). “Once calves begin to tighten up, problems in the foot (Achilles tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, etc.) start to arise. The surrounding muscles can weaken and tighten up, leading to inflammation and degeneration (e.g. posterior tibial tendon).”

Plantar fasciitis – heel pain, is one of the most common painful foot-related conditions that tend to occur more frequently with age. Investing in “healthy shoes” that support the arch while providing comfortable cushion that properly accommodates the foot shape and size will pay off in the long run. Shop around and spend a little more money on these types of shoes and your feet will thank you for investing time into finding the perfect pair.

“Shoe stores like The Walking Shoe Store, Sole Comfort and New Balance Store have a reputation for selling comfort-friendly shoe,” says Dr. Gerken. “Specialty shoe stores are ubiquitous now and help individuals select pairs that are best for their foot type.”

Finding the perfect fit for each foot type will make exercising more bearable. Gerken advises women to not try to get in shape overnight, but to be patient and consistent. One should start with walking then slowly progress to jogging.

“Taking extra precaution such as keeping the body fit and healthy, maintaining proper exercise and diet, and investing in ‘healthy’ shoes will reduce pain and discomfort,” he said.

Dr. Gerken is a board certified Orthopedic Surgeon specializing in care for the foot & ankle.