February is American Heart Month and one of the best activities you can do to promote cardiovascular health is walking. Walking can be done indoors or outside and it can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol, improve circulation and aid in weight loss. At Great Neck Family Foot Care there are a few pointers we want to share about walking to ensure that in helping your heart you’re not hurting your feet!
If the Shoe Fits
The most important piece of equipment for walking is your shoes. Our board certified podiatrists, Dr. Alec Hochstein and Dr. Diana Gagliano can assist you in choosing the right walking shoes for your feet. If you have deformities such as hammertoe or bunions or problems with heel spurs or your Achilles tendon, the podiatrist will address those first to make sure a new exercise program doesn’t worsen any existing conditions.
The structure of your particular foot and your gait will determine the best footwear design for you. If the foot doctor sees that you tend to roll your ankles inward when you walk (overpronation), you’ll want a shoe that offers support and motion control for the mid foot and a more rigid sole and reinforced heel counter. If, on the other hand, your gait puts more pressure on the outside of the feet, you should choose a walking shoe that provides stability along with extra shock absorption and cushioning for the forefoot as well as reinforcement around the heel and ankle. Other important tips to keep in mind when purchasing walking shoes include:
- Shoes should be flexible in the front where the ball of your foot will be.
- The heel should be low and a little undercut so that it fits snugly and the heel does not slip out when you walk
- Walking shoes should be made out of a lightweight and breathable material
- Get measured professionally and always buy shoes to fit the larger of your two feet
- Try on shoes with the socks and any orthotics you plan to wear when walking
- Replace walking shoes every 300 to 600 miles
If you have more questions about walking and your feet, make an appointment at our Great Neck office by calling: (516) 482-5999. We want you to feel confident when you “put your feet in our hands” and know that we have answers to help you achieve the very best in podiatric and cardiovascular health.