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Feet Get Older, Too

September 21, 2009

I stumbled upon this really great article about foot pain and aging. I thought I would share it with you.
To read the full article, click here.

I NEVER THOUGHT about my feet until they started to hurt. And since then, they haven’t let me forget them.

Among the physical changes associated with aging, such as wrinkly skin, sagging chins, graying hair and body fat that seems to drift south no matter what we do, nuances in the foot department get short shrift.

Feet are just, well, feet. We don’t see them when we look in the mirror. And unless we’re wearing sandals, hardly anybody else sees them either.

But on one of those important milestone birthdays, my feet decided to let me know they wanted some respect.

Without warning, while on a beautiful walk during a celebratory trip, those two stalwart, reliable drudges of transportation began to radiate something new: pain. Decades of carrying me over hard pavement, dirt trails or burning sand, of being encased in nonbreathable nylons or strangled in high-heeled or narrow designs had taken a toll.

“Hey,” was the message. “Pay attention.”

After years of ignoring their contributions, the least I can do now is be kind to my feet. I hope to be working with them for a long while.



Tips for aging feet:
Besides bunions and hammertoes, other common problems for aging feet are: fungus infections, prevented by keeping the feet clean and dry; bone spurs, or calcium deposits worsened by standing on the feet for long periods; dry skin, helped by daily application of lotion to the feet; corns, calluses and ingrown toenails.

Tips on buying shoes:
When you buy shoes, follow these tips from the National Association on Aging. Have feet measured; buy shoes at the end of the day, when feet are largest; fit your shoe to your larger foot; make sure there is enough space — up to half an inch — for your longest toe at the end of each shoe when you are standing up; make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe; don’t buy shoes that feel too tight and expect them to stretch to fit; make sure the heel fits comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slipping — shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk.

Z-CoiL shoes are solidly constructed, conform to your feet and have cushioned soles that absorb the shock of hard surfaces.

Try a lace-up style, such as the Freedom or High Desert Hiker. A shoe that ties can be adjusted for better comfort and support.

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