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Let's Talk About Shoes

Lets Talk about Shoes

Like every lady on the planet. I love shoes. Do you know why women love shoes so much? Oh wait, is this one of those things I should keep a secret to retain the divide between men and women? Well, let’s put an end to at least one mystery shall we? And anyway, we all have feet. Is that something we can agree on?

Women love shoes because unlike waistlines and pant size there is no size discrimination. A larger shoe size doesn’t mean a thing, while a smaller shoe size won’t exactly have Vogue knocking down your door. No woman is scared to announce their shoe size. But a pant size? How dare you! For the most part our feet will stay the same size. Making shoe shopping a guiltless affair. I’m the same shoe size I was in high school. These feet haven’t tipped the scales, busted a zipper or been subject to a wedgie not once. So ya, I LOVE shoes.

I’ve been kicking around in some Ahnu’s lately which has inspired me to share with you my insight into the vast world of shoes.

Due to my shoe size consistency, I have, over the years, collected a wide array of shoes. Lots and lots of running shoes and a couple pair of cycling shoes. Of course my collection includes wedges and high heels which I wore a lot more of in my pre-mommy life. But my most recent purchases seem to be flats. I mean really, how hard is it to buy a pair of shoes? Well it’s not, but getting your foot into the right shoe turned out to be trickier and more beneficial than I had previously thought.

I have always been all about wearing great shoes in my active life. When I go for a run or a ride I need the shoe to perform. I have a certain expectation surrounding it. I found a running shoe I liked and bought it over and over again. After a few minor running injuries I went to a physical therapist because I was experiencing knee pain. My trip to the physical therapist turned out to be quite educational. He filmed me while I ran and then basically wrote me a shoe prescription. No really, it was a prescription. He scribbled it out on a monogrammed pad of paper just like your doc does. I bought a shoe consistent with his findings and it’s made all the difference. I was glad to know nothing was wrong with my knees. The pain was rectified through some specific strength training movements and the correct pair of shoes. A happy ending.

In my non active life such as working, running errands or doing stuff around the house I never gave the shoes I was wearing a thought. I was constantly in flats. If I got real casual I’d clack around in some flip flops. What’s the big deal, right? Wrong. All the same stuff I went to the physical therapist for was flaring up again. I took a look at the shoe he recommended. It was a stiff shoe with precise arch support. Since then I’ve been more conscientious about wearing properly supportive shoes. As I have been faithful to this practice I can feel the problem correcting itself . Pardon my dramatization but it’s been a bit of a revelation for me. Just because a shoe is comfortable doesn’t always mean it’s doing you a favor. It takes comfort and support to really make a shoe sole sing.

Dr. Daniel J. Huff, DPM of The Foot and Ankle Center of Providence, UT suggests, “Look for a shoe with a solid shank, stiff heel counter and adequate cushion.”

There are a few brands out there offering this. Latley I’ve enjoyed my Ahnu’s. I have two pair. One is a hiking shoe, they are groomed for the trails, however, I find them sneaking their way on my feet in between hiking sessions because not only do they provide proper support, but they’re pretty dang cute. The other pair I’ve tried is called the Karma. It parades around like a cute stylish ballet flat but the secret is it still has the arch support I hardly ever find in flats. Look for my tried and true review on the Ahnu Sugarpine Air Mesh coming soon. As well as a full tried and true review of the Ahnu Karma.

I found a few helpful hints from The American Podiatric Medical Association you should consider before buying your next pair.

  • Make sure you have at least a quarter- to a half-inch of space between your longest toes and the end of the shoe. This provides enough room for your foot to press forward as you walk, without jamming your toes.
  • Wiggle your toes to make sure there is enough room, and press the top of the shoe gently to determine where your longest toe lies.
  • Don’t rationalize that shoes just need to be “broken in” or that they’ll stretch over time. Make sure they are comfortable from the start.
  • Pay Attention to the width as well as length. If the ball of your foot feels compressed in a particular shoe, ask if it comes in a wider size. Buying shoes that are a half-size bigger, but no wider, won’t necessarily solve the problem.
  • Examine the soles. Are they sturdy? Do they provide cushioning? Arch support?

Check out these tips and more from the American Podiatric Medical Association.


About the Author

Lindy P. Smith

Lindy P. Smith

Lindy is a wannabe athlete. As a Utah native and skier she’s a born powder hound and will steal your line if you’re not careful. In the summertime you can find her trail running, swimming in a lake and cycling her way around Cache Valley. Lindy Graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Journalism and enjoys writing about all her adventures and misadventures.

Lindy with daughter


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