Monday, March 17, 2008

What is a Good, Supportive Shoe?

There is no correlation between price and support in the shoe world. A beautifully made shoe that doesn't fit well or isn't meant to offer support (like a women's high heel dress shoe or sandal) is not good for your feet no matter how "well-made" or expensive it is.

What is a supportive shoe? It's a shoe that puts most of your foot in contact with the ground (through the surface of the sole) while offering your foot protection from twisting, pounding, and strain. Here are the main things that make up a supportive shoe:
  • Wide solid platform for the sole.
  • The shoe has a heel counter - the stiff structure of the shoe surrounding your heel.
  • The heel is slightly elevated - approx 1/2" to 5/8"
  • The shoe has a primary bend point (or flexion point). This is at the ball of the foot. Hold the shoe between the toe and heel and bend it. Where it bends is the flexion point. If it's behind or ahead of where the ball of your foot is, it will stress your foot.
So what do you do with any gorgeous designer high heel shoes that kill your feet? They are beautiful objects, sculpture really, not fit for feet. Fill them with plaster and turn them into paperweights.

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