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What You Should Know About Making Holiday Shoes Comfortable

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No matter what part of the world you live in, the holidays are a time for celebration with your friends, family and co-workers! Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, and with that comes the dilemma -- what shoes can I wear for more than 15 minutes that are stunning, stylish and comfortable? What a daunting task. Depending on where you live, your footwear will range from fashion sandals, sling backs, wedges and open-toed shoes to closed footwear such as boots, booties, ballet flats and high heels. Living or vacationing in warm- or cold-weather climates will dictate the hot, trendy party clothes and holiday shoes you will wear. Each type of footwear presents its own set of problems and can cause foot pain. Shoe designers such as Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin and Tory Burch are always designing shoes that look fabulous, however looking fabulous does not always translate into feeling good.

Clues to Why Feet Get Beat Up in Holiday Shoes:

Whether you're buying new shoes for the holidays or wearing a pair that you already own, shoes can cause foot problems. Women who have shoes that are too wide or too narrow, or feet that have lumps and bumps in all the wrong places, will have problems finding shoes that fit comfortably. If a pair of shoes slips, slides, jams or rubs your feet when wearing them, they will be in for a long night! Trying to wear shoes that are too tight, too wide, too big or too small just because it goes with the new dress or skirt is a recipe for disaster.

Holiday shoes that are open and have straps across the toe box area of the shoe can cause blisters or form corns on the tops of the toes because of the foot sliding forward. If the pitch of the shoe is too steep and the width of the shoe or foot bed is too narrow, the foot will slide around in the shoe, causing arch cramps and muscle spasms because the foot is not stable in the shoe. Shoes that have narrow or closed toe boxes can be problematic for women who have hammer toes or bunions. This occurs because of friction and chronic rubbing of the skin and will eventually form thick tissue called corns on the tops of the toes, which often times can be very painful. Bunions will become irritated, red or sometimes swollen and painful due to pressure in the toe box if it is too narrow.
If you are living or vacationing in warm-weather climates and choose to wear sandals or ballet flats during your holiday events, your feet can still run into problems. The most common problem that causes feet to hurt is the lack of arch support in those types of shoes, because they have none.

Holiday Fix With Options

Wear or buy shoes that are comfortable. Bring an extra pair of flats that you can switch into during the evening when your feet start to scream for help. If they are not options and you must wear a pair that is guaranteed to make you regret that decision, look for over-the-counter arch supports that you can place in the arch of the shoe to add additional support. The Internet has a great selection of foot products to choose from as well as your local drug store.

I have found in my practice that by placing an arch support in my patient's shoes will usually solve many of their foot problems and allow them to wear shoes that were normally uncomfortable. When an arch support is placed in a shoe, it will prevent foot slippage and sliding, therefore minimizing the chance of friction and rubbing to occur. It will also take pressure off the great toe joint. Arch supports will stabilize the joints of the foot allowing women to wear their uncomfortable shoes longer. If the great toe joint is more stable, there will be a reduction of joint irritation, jamming, redness, pain and swelling which usually is the cause for you to kick your shoes off during the evening and switch to flats.

No matter what style footwear you choose to wear during the holidays wearing ones that provide the best arch support will be the ones that will make your feet the happiest.