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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Foot Health Awareness Month

Spring is here, and it's time to enjoy the warmer weather. That means heading out to play your favorite springtime sport or maybe slipping on flip-flops to practice your poolside lounging before summer. Either way, make sure you protect your feet and ankles by wearing shoes with proper fit and support.

Coincidentally, April is also National Foot Health Awareness month sponsored by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA). They encourage "playing it safe" while participating in sports this spring. Ankle sprains and breaks are among the most common sports injuries for both adults and children. Heel spurs, athlete's foot, and tendonitis can also sideline you if you are not careful.

Still, improper shoe fit is one of the leading causes of injury. Whether you need special cleats, a flat sole for tennis, or a running shoe, the fit and condition of your shoe is important. Here are some tips for finding the right fit:
  • Make sure that you have proper support to match the arch of your foot on the inside of the shoe.
  • On the outside of the shoe, check that rubber soles are intact and the toe area is not worn away.
  • If your current shoes have noticebale wear and tear, consider investing in a new pair.
Just like ill-fitting athletic shoes, fashionable spring stilettos, sandals and flip-flops can cause painful foot damage if not worn properly. How do you avoid injury?
  • Avoid wearing these types of shoes for long periods of time or long distances.
  • Check that your heel does not hang off the back of the shoe.
  • Opt for a high-quality soft leather version to minimize potential blisters and skin irritation.
  • If possible, choose a chunkier sandal or wedge over a stiletto to provide more balance and support for your heal and ankle. 
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