When your ankles, feet, knees, hips and back bother you, it’s because your shoes don’t fit properly. When people replace knees and hips, it is often because they didn’t wear the proper size of shoes.
The right shoes will support your feet and ankles, while the wrong shoes will only cause additional stress on your joints. It’s important to find the right shoes for you in order to prevent damaging foot and ankle pain that could lead to health problems in the legs, hips, and spine. A proper fitting pair of shoes is crucial to your foot and ankle health. A supportive arch is also an essential part of a quality shoe. A shoe with good arch support will distribute your weight evenly across your foot. You never want one part of your foot bearing more of the weight and being more susceptible to injury.
Remember to replace your footwear often. A worn-out pair of shoes has lost its cushioning, padding, and elasticity, and isn’t supporting your feet and ankles. The right pair of shoes will ease mild foot and ankle pain and will prevent injuries from occurring.
PROBLEMS FROM POOR FITTING FOOTWEAR
What is happening in the United States in terms of health problems with Feet, Back, Ankles, Knees and Hips?
Years ago you didn't see problems with the feet that you do today. This is becuase today 98% of all shoes and boots sold in the United States are imported. 25 years ago, you never saw $400-$500 orthotics shoes and chiropractors and foot doctors like you do today. They do a good job of treating the symptoms, however many of these problems can be avoided by always wearing proper fitting footwear. Typically a doctor says you need more arch support so they prescribe the orthotics shoes.
Years ago you didn’t see the feet problems they do now, because there were American made boots. A new knee is $35-40,000. A new hip is $60,000, all because they wore shoes too wide. These problems could have been avoided by always wearing proper fitting footwear.
NEUROPATHY is nerve damage to the balls of the feet. Too much weight on the balls of the feet.
BUNIONS are caused by shoes that are too short, clipping the toe which opens the joint and causing calcium deposits which makes a big bunion.
INGROWN TOENAILS also are attributed to shoes too are too short.
PLANTAR FASCITIS is heel pain, The plantar fascia is a thin ligament that connects your heel to the front of your foot. It supports the arch in your foot and is important in helping you walk. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common orthopedic complaints. Your plantar fascia ligaments experience a lot of wear and tear in your daily life. Normally, these ligaments act as shock absorbers, supporting the arch of the foot. Too much pressure on your feet can damage or tear the ligaments. The plantar fascia becomes inflamed, and the inflammation causes heel pain and stiffness. Simply wearing shoes with soft soles and poor arch support can also result in plantar fasciitis. If you ignore the condition, you can develop chronic heel pain. This can change the way you walk and cause injury to your legs, knees, hips and back.
HURTING THE BIG TOE
You can hurt the big toe in at least two ways from bad fitting. Too short a boot will push the big toe inward. We call this “clipping the toe’’. It opens up the joint and calcium deposits make a big bunion. Very bad! Only surgery can correct this condition, because you have a wedge of calcium preventing the toe from returning to its normal, straighter position. Some lasts designed for looks clip the toes because the inner toe line turns inward sharply. A bulge on the inside wall of the toe box shows that the big toe is being clipped. It is only trying to find the normal position that nature intended! Fit this customer longer and narrower if you see this trouble sign. Fit him as long as you can with the sizes you have. If you fit him too long, of course the boot will slip on the heel more. Just the same, a longer, narrower fit will overcome pressure on the big toe, support the arch better in the waist of the foot and will generally support the entire foot better.
---exerpt from "A Lifetime with Boots" by Sam Lucchese
AMERICAN STANDARD LASTS - SIZING FEET
American Standard lasts, on ·which most footwear is made, contain a 28 per cent error in sizing by the time you reach size 12. Start with an 8D that fits an actual foot. Using the same length/width proportions of the 8D, extend the length to a size 12. Your width is far too wide for any foot. People with a 12 length do not have a foot so wide as the standard 12D provides. Problem is, the lasts are extended in size mathematically, using a slide rule, rather than by their relationships to real, living feet. We must follow anatomy instead of mathematics if we are to reduce the sizing errors in today’s lasts. From customer measurements in our files, we have found that feet actually grow longer and narrower in the same person through the years. We know a man is wrong when he tells us, “Give me a 9.5C such as I have worn for the last 20 years!” Of course, if a man gains 50 pounds his foot will get somewhat wider, but the majority of feet get longer and narrower with time. One fitting error committed by many retailers we have observed is that they try to fit all customers with B and D widths only. A human foot can actually feel a 1/16” circumference difference in tightness or looseness of a boot. The actual difference between a 9.5B and a 9.5C at the ball, for example, is 1/4” in circumference. This is four times greater than the least difference the foot can feel! When you jump from a 9.5B to a 9.5D, your fitting gap is eight times the minimum difference that the foot can feel. How can a shoe store do an acceptable job with B and D widths only? He should have A, B, C, D, E and AA and EE if possible. He should also have at least two stock boot sources - boots with different last proportions. Fortunately, no two brands of stock boots fit just alike. Every boot company has its own idea on how a boot should fit.
---exerpt from "A Lifetime with Boots" by Sam Lucchese