More than 50% of people spend a minimum of 4 hours a day on their feet at work, either by standing or walking around. This group of people includes those in the manufacturing and service sectors, which includes salespersons, industrial workers, cashiers and attendants at retail stores, and those in the hotel and hospitality workforce. Nurses, doctors, restaurant workers, and flight attendants are on their feet even longer, sometimes 8 to 12 hours a day. To complicate the footwear dilemma, many of these professions require work-specific shoes, giving workers few options for appropriate and comfortable shoes.
Many of our foot problems come from our work and shoe habits. Selecting the right shoes for how long you will be on your feet is crucial to keeping foot ailments at bay. No one wants to be out of work with an injury! Here are some things you should look for when selecting shoes for work:
Shoes with low heels. Completely flat shoes are not the best option when you are going to be standing on your feet all day, as most provide no arch support or structure. Your heels should be elevated by at least a quarter inch up to two inches to provide optimal arch support.
Shoes with a large toe box. Our feet swell during the day, so those pointy-toed shoes that you put on first thing in the morning are going to make your piggy toes squeal with pain by the end of the day. Shoes with a large toe box provide room for your feet to grow during the day. There should be enough wiggle room for your toes in the front.
Shoes with laces. Shoes with laces keep your feet from sliding forward when walking. Think of shoe laces like the seat belt in your car- they keep you from going anywhere you shouldn't!
Shoes with arch support. It's been mentioned already, but good arch support is crucial to how your feet will feel at the end of the day. Visit a shoe retailer that specializes in work shoes, and add an orthotic if need be.
Safety footwear. With new government regulations, employees taking employers to court over lapsed safety regulations, there has been a rise in safety footwear. Steel toe boots are designed for those on construction sites or industrial buildings, and keep the worker's feet safe from nails, concrete, bricks, heavy machinery, and other dangerous items in the workplace.
Women should keep away from stilettos and very high heels, as it makes working and moving difficult. You can blame it on marketing and advertising, which tempts women into making poor shoe choices for work. How often have we seen ads on television or in magazines where the female office worker is clad in stilettos, looking perfectly happy and content? Wonder how happy she is at the end of the day. Sensible shoes do a lot more to tone and shape your legs than uncomfortable sky high heels.
Making good work shoe selections early on in your life will make your feet happy later in life.
If you believe have a foot problem and do not currently see a podiatrist, call one of our six locations to make an appointment.
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