3 Ways To Painproof Your Heels

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Podiatrist Dover, NHDo you suffer from heel pain? You’re not alone. Try these simple tricks to prevent and treat it:

Bad habits that can hurt your feet—and how to avoid them.

About 40% of people have heel pain, making it the most common foot problem by a mile, found a survey from the American Podiatric Medical Association. Luckily, these three prevalent causes are also the easiest to prevent.

DO YOU: Exercise in old sneakers?
The risk: Worn soles can cause plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue band (fascia) connecting the heel to the toes.
The fix: Replace shoes every 350 to 500 miles (or about every 3 to 6 months), or when the soles look beat up. (Find your perfect shoe with our favorite sneakers of the year.)

DO YOU: Spend the summer in flip-flops?
The risk: Little support in the arch and heel of these sandals can strain and stretch the fascia and Achilles tendon, which attaches calf muscles to the heel.
The fix: Wear sandals with arch support and that bend at the ball of the foot (not in the middle) to allow for a normal stride.

DO YOU: Sit for most of the day?
The risk: Your calf muscles tighten up. When you walk, tight muscles can pull on the ligaments and tendons that attach to the heels, altering your gait.
The fix: Stretch by your desk. Facing a wall from 3 feet away, with feet flat on the floor and knees locked, lean forward and hold for 10 seconds as calf muscles stretch, then relax. Repeat 5 times.

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7 Essentials Of A Running Shoe That Won’t Wreck Your Feet

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Running ShoesYeah, you could run in those cute walking shoes or older-than-dirt trainers, but please don’t. “When you run, you hit the ground with force greater than two times your own body weight,” says Jeff Dengate, shoes and gear editor at Runner’s World. “Running shoes are built with higher-quality, lightweight materials that help lessen that impact.”

While a good pair can easily set you back $100-plus, making the investment now could save you a boatload later in potential doctors and PT bills. Be sure your new pair meets the following criteria: 

1. Has enough toe length Feet swell when you run, so aim for a thumbnail-length of space between your longest toe and the end of the shoe. Don’t be surprised if you wind up in a ½- or full size larger than your street shoes.

2. Has enough toe width Squished-in toes equal blisters. Make sure there’s some wiggle room in the toe box.

3. Skips seams Look for a seamless upper (seams can rub, causing blisters) that comfortably hugs the top of your foot.

4. Has the right arch The arch should contour to the shape of your foot. You may need to add an insert for a more customized fit.

5. Holds your heel Make sure your heel stays in place before buying. Find out with a quick jog around the store (or on the treadmill if they have one).

6. Feels firm Pillowy cushion feels nice, but a firmer shoe is best if you’re coming back from an overuse or impact injury; it’ll have more spring-back on the road, minimizing stress on stabilizing muscles.

7. Flexes right Check the shoe’s flex point (where it creases when you press the toe into the floor). It should bend at the same place as your foot to ensure a natural stride.

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