How to Prevent Your New Shoes from Giving You Blisters and Other Problems

HEALTH  |  May 30, 2017
  • 1. Do some sole searching
    1 / 6 1. Do some sole searching

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    “The outersole should be wider than the upper sole so that your toes don’t stretch out the upper and overlap the outersole,” explains Dr Reyneker. One good option? An outersole that’s made of leather combined with the forefoot that is made of rubber as breathable materials like leather ensure good ventilation inside the shoe.

    Additionally, invest in a sole that’s made of shock-absorbent material, with enough grip to keep you from slipping.

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  • 2. Love your laces
    2 / 6 2. Love your laces

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    Shoe laces and straps don’t just make your shoes look good, they let you adjust the shoe’s width and secure your foot properly.

    “This reduces strain on foot muscles,” says Dr Reyneker, who notes that the back and mid-foot strap are the most important.

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  • 3. Avoid uneven terrain
    3 / 6 3. Avoid uneven terrain

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    Achilles tendinitis – irritation to the Achilles tendon – can be aggravated by repeated flexing at the ankle joint while walking on steep slopes or uneven terrain, causing pain at the back of the heel or lower calf.

    Reduce the distance and duration of walking, avoid walking on uphill slopes and do regular calf stretches. If your pain is severe, stop walking and place cold packs on the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes, up to three to four times daily.

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  • 4. Say no to off-the-shelf options
    4 / 6 4. Say no to off-the-shelf options

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    Many stories retail off-the-shelf options to alleviate plantar fasciitis – pain in the band of tissue than runs from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. But Dr Reyneker doesn’t recommend them. Instead, consult the shoe-buying strategies here and talk to your podiatrist about stretches that may improve your situation.

    Avoid wearing shoes with poor support or hard heels, as these are the culprits causing your pain.

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  • 5. Know how much is too much
    5 / 6 5. Know how much is too much

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    Ladies if you care about the long-term health of your feet, knees and lower back, keep heel height to no more than 2.5cm and make sure they have a broad base, Dr Reyneker advise. He also suggests using a firm heel counter that fits snugly around the back of the heel to help secure your foot properly. For optimal support, your shoe should bend easily at the ball of the foot, but remain sufficiently stiff at the arch.

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  • 6. It’s more than just your feet
    6 / 6 6. It’s more than just your feet

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    Due to its repetitive movement, walking can worsen lumbar strain, which feels like an ache in the lower back.

    Tip: Do lower back strengthening exercises with resistance as well as regular abdominal strengthening. “Your daily lifestyle can weaken your lower back,” says Dr Reyneker. “Keeping it strong is a long-term investment to live pain-free.”

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