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Healthy Women's World

Get fit

  • By: Cynthia Nellis

  • If the shoe doesn't fit, don't buy it. It won't stretch enough to be comfortable and goodness knows, your feet will never shrink. Make sure you follow these guidelines:

    • There should be about 1/2" between the tip of your biggest toe and the end of the shoe.

    • Stand up when being fitted because feet are longer when you're standing.

    • Buy shoes at the end of the day when feet are largest.

    • Measure both of your feet - they may not be the same size.

    Stay healthy

    It may sound chic to say you have to suffer for fashion, but corns, bunions, hammer toes, shortened calf muscles and ingrown toenails don't sound like "must-haves" for the fash pack. These afflictions may be exactly what you're getting when you reach everyday for the stilettos instead of the Rockports.

    A report last year from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons found that only 21 percent of women wore high heels (more than two inches) to work, compared with 34 percent 10 years ago, according to Instead, women are reaching for sensible shoes.

    The ideal shoes? Some podiatrists recommend one-and-a-half to two-inch chunky heels with padded insoles and plenty of room for the toes to move, according to


    Improve foot health

    • Limit the amount of time you wear high heels. Alternate with good quality flats for part of the day, and choose comfort shoes for weekends and casual use.

    • Choose shoes that give your toes room to move. Experts recommend laced, rather than slip on shoes for best fit.

    • Make sure your sandals have straps.

    • For high heels with thin soles, you can even have a thin rubber sole cemented to the bottom of the shoe to cushion the foot.

    • According to Dr. David Stege, a specialist in foot and ankle disorders, even nylon pantyhose can cause excessive perspiration which may encourage fungal infections like athlete's foot. "Inexpensive nylon pantyhose can also cause forefoot problems...the cramping and pressure of the hose can contribute to ingrown toenails and hammertoes," according to his web site.

    Special foot considerations
    If you're over 65 make sure you choose lightweight, shock-absorbing soles that are not slippery and  leather uppers that breathe.

    If you're pregnant, realize that your feet may grow a full size -- give up the high heels! Look for substantial, comfy styles with thick, supportive soles.

    Comfort resources:

    Rockport - Athletic, career, trend -- this company makes it all. Great quality and design make this a comfy classic.
    Hushpuppies- The famous suede flats were hot a few years ago, but the comfy sleek styles still look modern with plenty of casual and corporate casual looks. A cult classic.

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