This morning’s post reminded me of a great article on finding good shoes written by a world champion disc golfer who is also a speaker and trainer on her feet all day and who has bunions.
Along with a great sense of humor Leslie Charles also has a great sense of the practical. We’ve been friends for a long time and I find her wisdom and energy a real gift. I know you will too. Enjoy her article and after you’re done reading, check out her website.
AVOIDING THE AGONY OF DE FEET
by Leslie Charles
Cache or comfort? Style or sensibility? Bunions, hammertoes, and calluses are just a few of the insults we women suffer for the sake of fashion. Study a typical high heel shoe and there seems to be an assumption that women’s feet are not only unnaturally narrow, but our feet are symmetrical, with our middle toes being the longest. Give me a break!
As an orthotics wearer for thirty years, I long ago gave up the idea of sexy shoes and opted instead for sensible ones. When I met Terri Lammers, an excellent orthotist and prosthetist in East Lansing, Michigan, she told me I had the “best” collection of shoes of any of her clients. Terri helped me take the next steps in knowing exactly what to look for in a shoe.
Here’s what Terri says about shoes: “Look for a straight mid line.” Hold the shoe upside down (sole facing you) and put a ruler or thread in the middle of the heel. Now extend that line through the toe section of the shoe. Does the line pretty much divide the shoe in half or does the front of the shoe lean off toward the toe side? If the line is straight, your feet will be happier. If there’s a noticeable curve, don’t buy it.
As Terri would say, “Don’t buy a shoe that’s shaped like a banana! The best shoes all have a straight mid line, firm soles and low heels.”
For everyday comfort, here are some good brands to consider:
Birkenstock (your best bet is to buy the traditional foot bed).
Finn Comfort (these are handmade and expensive but they will last forever and you can send them back for resoling. If you like clogs, compare the straightness of the Finn Comfort sole with a Dansko and you might be surprised).
Keen – (a popular shoe for younger women, these make for great sport shoes with a wide toe bed and great lateral support. I own several pairs of Keens).
Naot (this brand works well for narrow feet).
Merrells (from sport shoe to a slightly dressy look, some of their styles look great with slacks).
For a dressier look, try Aravon (made by New Balance, another good shoe manufacturer). I own two nice looking pairs of Aravon sandals and I really like them.
For the dressiest look and surprising comfort, check out Beautifeel. This is a stylish AND comfortable shoe I introduced to Terri and she loved them! They are dressy, trendy, and some are even a little sexy; Beautifeel shoes come in a variety of styles and heel heights.
The prices are reasonable and they have such a realistic width, I can wear my orthotics in these heels. What a find! If your local quality shoe store doesn’t carry Beautifeel look for them on the Internet. I can wear my Beautifeel heels all day and my feet stay happy.
Good web sites for view shoes include:
zappos.com (multi view)
As a professional speaker, facilitator and trainer, I spend a lot of time on my feet. Finding a comfortable, good-looking work shoe has taken a lot time, energy, and sometimes wasted money. I hope my discoveries will help you make better choices so you can prevent the agony of de feet.
Leslie Charles is the author of seven books, including the fun, light hearted and practical “Bless Your Stress: It Means You’re Still Alive!” As an active, vital woman in her mid sixties, Leslie’s book offers some excellent anti-aging advice. In fact, Leslie just broke a world distance record for women in her age group in a popular but little known international sport, disc golf. She is listed on the world flying disc federation site, wfdf.org, along with other world record holders from ages 1 to 101. Read more about Leslie…