From sole to sole

Published: 2011-10-14 09:29:46
Author: Kylie Nutt

 Your feet combined have 52 bones, containing 25 percent of all the bones in your body, but only one-quarter of adults regularly care for their feet, according to a 2010 survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association.

“The way you walk affects the rest of your skeleton,” says Johannah Youner, a podiatrist at her private practice in New York. Feet have an effect on your knees, hips, back, posture and joints. As you get older, your body can wear down quicker if you do not wear shoes that have support and cushioning.

Youner specializes in women’s foot issues along with common foot ailments. Heels and the back of the foot area need the most support because it controls the foot. “If the back of the shoe is closed, you will be ahead of the game,” Youner says. This means flip-flops are bad for your feet and they fail on many levels.

Flip-flops can cause a number of problems, such as arch pain, contracting germs on the street and people often fall when wearing them, Youner says.

September is a busy month for podiatrist appointments, especially college students, due to flip-flop related injuries, such as arch problems. When foot arches fall, your feet hurt, causing plantar fasciitis, which is a severe inflamed arch pain, Youner says.

Arches are like bridges, if the bridge isn’t supported, the whole structure will cave in. Each step you take has three times your body weight weighing your foot down. So, if you weigh 110 pounds, each foot takes on 330 pounds, Youner says. Imagine how much weight your feet support after a full day of walking around campus.

There are a few easy fixes to support your arch. You can avoid wearing flip-flops, but if you must wear them, buy some with arches. They may not be as fashionable, but at least you will save your feet in the long run. There are hundreds of shoes that already have arch supports, but if they don’t, it’s simple enough to buy a pair of arch supports at Walgreens for $13.99.