One of the most detrimental health habits humans tend to have is something most of us probably never give much thought to, at least in terms of health impact.
It's your shoes.
For every 1 degree of heel your shoe has, 1 degree of spine, hip, and knee joint reaction is required to compensate…. meaning for every 1 inch of heel your shoe has, it causes 20 degrees of change throughout the joints of the legs and spine!
Think even a modest heel is not a detriment to your health? Think again.
Your footwear choices have a major negative impact on your joint, bone, and muscle health. The amount of joint reaction caused by wearing heels can be contributing to knee and hip osteoarthritis, lumbar disc compression, and even pelvic floor dysfunction (new moms... please avoid heels!). Improper footwear choices are also a common culprit of falls in older adults.
So, believe it or not... one of the biggest impact steps you can take toward improving your health is changing your footwear. The purpose of a shoe is simply to protect your skin from the environment. The shoe should still allow your feet to experience as much natural movement as possible.
Start by looking for shoes that are flat, flexible, and have a wide toe box to allow movement of the toes.
Transitioning to flexible footwear can involve some prep work, particularly if you have worn rigid shoes with a heel for most of your life. Check out some of our other articles on foot mobility to get started. If you are still unsure of where to start or are unsure of which footwear is right for you, reach out to us so we can help get you started down the path for happier, healthier feet.