One Thing You Can Do Today to Prevent Pain

Look down at your feet. Seriously, take a look at your shoes.

  • Are you wearing supportive shoes? Our mothers were right on this one. Good shoes are supportive. After all, your feet support all 100 plus pounds of your body weight. Yes, they are an investment; good shoes don’t come cheap.
  • Repair worn down heels. Try having your shoemaker place soft rubber taps on the part of the heel that wears down, most often the outside border of the shoe. It’s an inexpensive way to significantly extend the life of your shoes.
  • Throw out shoes where the inner soles are flattened and worn out. Similarly, throw out shoes where the outer soles are worn beyond repair.

If you walk a lot, keep your shoes in good repair. Your feet, and thus your shoes, provide a hopefully stable base of support to your ankles, knees, hips, back and all of the other joints in your body. It can be only a millimeter or two of an uneven shoe sole that aggravates your foot pain or knee pain, or causes you to trip and fall.

Most people haven’t a clue that their shoes are worn out. “But I just got these shoes last year.” For people who walk a lot, and that is most New Yorkers, you need to make friends with your local cobbler. They will save you money on new shoes and doctor’s bills.

Loafers do not provide good support. They’re okay to wear around the office if you are sitting most of the day or if you are blessed with strong feet and arches. (Most people aren’t.)

High heels are great to look at but hell on your feet, knees, ankles, hips and back. The higher the heel, the more the distortion to the entire skeleton. Enough said.

When someone comes to me with foot pain, ankle pain, knee pain or back pain, I take a look at their shoes. It is surprising how adopting this one simple recommendation can suddenly clear up what seems to be a perplexing problem.

So, if you suddenly — for no discernible reason — develop pain in your feet or legs, do yourself a favor. Take a good look at your shoes.