As a reflexologist, I am ultra-aware of the important role feet play in our lives. And, our feet are pretty remarkable appendages.
Here’s a short list of their remarkableness:
- Our feet support ninety-eight percent of our body weight
- Both of our feet combined have over twenty-five percent of the total number of bones in our body
- There are over seventy-thousand nerves that run through our feet
- And lastly, a fun fact – our feet (in addition to our noses and our ears) continue to grow throughout our entire life!
This treatise on Foot Facts is brought to you by Redmond Reflexology and is meant to provide you with a daily dose of knowledge and information you can use to your advantage as you walk and run through your world.
Running Shoes Make The World Go Round
Speaking of walking and running (I love a good segue), my experience with shoes and shoe inserts has been relatively vast. And, my clients continually ask which shoes are best and what do I recommend. And I guess that does make sense, after all I do deal with feet on a regular basis. So, it only stands to reason I would be considered an expert of sorts, on the subject of footwear. However, there are so many factors that need to be considered when assessing an individuals particular footwear needs, I will often simply say that a good pair of running shoes should play a primary role in their shoe inventory.
Here is my reasoning, I have always known that a proper-sized pair of quality running shoes (not necessarily name brand, either!) can alleviate a significant percentage of the impact from walking, jogging and running. Additionally, the support offered by these wonders of footwear can mitigate the ravages of gravity if you find yourself standing in one place for an extended period of time. Have you ever wondered how long a check-out person in the grocery store stands in the same place? Sometimes hours! This is far too long to be on your feet without proper support and comfort. Are you planning a trip to Disneyland or somewhere else you know you will be standing in line FOR-EVER! Get yourself a pair of good running shoes. You’ll thank me.
Finding The Proper Fit
So, the first step (sorry, couldn’t help but throw a pun in there) in determining the best pair of running shoes, is to be sure you know your foot size. Notice I said “foot” size – not “shoe” size. It is vital you measure your feet with a Brannock device, which I have pictured here.
You will discover a couple of things that are important to keep in mind when measuring your feet with a Brannock device:
- There is a Left Foot and Right Foot placement position for the heels
- There are separate devices for men and women
- There is a foot-width measurement
- There is an instep-size, or arch measurement – very important!
The Pros Know
The measurement for each foot should be taken while standing and body weight evenly balanced on both feet – not weight-biased on the foot being measured. A shoe store clerk should be able to assist with the measurement controls, but just in case, here are the basics:
- As I said before, stand up straight and weight-balanced
- Snug the appropriate heel (left or right) into the proper end of the device
- Make sure your foot is pointing straight and in alignment with the device
- You take your foot length measurement from the longest toe – NOT just the Big Toe, as sometimes the 2nd toe is longer than the Big Toe
I will defer to a video explanation for the rest of the measuring process. It gets a little technical, but it is vital to getting the proper size foot and shoe.
Case in point, before knowing what I know now, I continually wore size eleven shoes. After my feet were measured in a Brannock Device, I began wearing size twelve – and sometimes 12.5 depending on the brand and style of shoe.
The final part of the equation for me was determining the brand of shoe that best fit my foot.
Here is a link to a few different styles of running shoes made by Saucony that are available on Amazon.com. Saucony brand shoes have “fit like a glove” for me over the years. They seem to have modeled their shoes after my foot type, so I continually purchase them. And, I am never disappointed. I am not necessarily suggesting you purchase Saucony shoes for yourself, although I would suggest you try them out. What I did want to do, was give you my own personal testimonial, because I knew I’d be asked for it.
The following video provides a great tutorial explanation of the proper use of a Brannock Device.
NOTE: the device used in the video is designed to accommodate men and women’s feet all in the same device. However, the principles and application are the same.
Pay particular attention the to Arch Measurement. This is a critical factor of foot measurement and shoe size selection.
A Final Case For Healthy Feet
The comfort, health and longevity of our feet are dependent upon how well they are treated and the conditions they are subjected to.
I have seen far too many elderly people with feet they can no longer use. And woman who attempt to force their size eight feet into a pair of size seven high-heels (Makes my feet hurt to think about it!). It’s so easy to treat your feet with TLC and put them in a pair of shoes that contribute to their – and your – health and well-being, why not just do it?!
Well, you are now armed with the information you need to make a stand in your world (another pun) and make it a little bit better place for your feet and yourself.