by Dr. Kerry Zang, written exclusively for The Walking Connection.
Obviously your feet are very important to your walk. Your first step in keeping them healthy and comfortable begins with an “ounce of prevention.” Here are a few tips than can help ensure your comfort and safety during your walks. First, be sure to wear the appropriate shoes and socks for the type of walking you will be doing. For instance, if you are hiking on rough, slippery or uneven terrain, hiking boots that support your ankles, has a stiff shank and deep tread is best. If you are going for an fast power or race walk, wearing an athletic walking or running shoe with a firm heel counter, strong arch support and flexible forefoot will help control abnormal motion and offer you the most comfort — especially on long walks. For more leisurely walks, average walking shoes with good support and cushioning will do.
The key to keeping your feet healthy and comfortable, regardless of the type of walking you will be doing or the type of shoe you will be wearing — is wearing proper fitting shoes. When buying walking shoes, try on several different brands, styles and most importantly — sizes. Your feet can expand as much as a 1/2 a size during the day, so shop for shoes in the midday or early evening when your feet are their largest. That will help protect them as they expand during your longer walks. Also, wearing the same type of socks while you shop that you wear when you walk, will help you in selecting the shoe that fits you the best.
Finally, before you walk, go through a warm-up and stretching routine. Begin your walk at a slower pace and gradually increase the speed of your walk. This will give the muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments that make up your feet the chance to get use to the activity. Good foot care is essential in keeping your feet comfortable, fatigue and injury free. If you experience any discomfort or foot pain, then it may be an indication that something more serious is wrong. We all know that “an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.” However, in many cases, early diagnosis can prevent a small injury from becoming a larger one. If you experience any sort of foot pain, consult a professional foot care physician.
Foot Health with Dr. Kerry Zang Arizona Footcare Physicians
Founder of the Arizona Institute of Footcare Physicians, Dr. Zang has more than 30 years experience developing and providing the latest technologies in podiatric care. An innovator in his field, he has designed implants and surgical devices, including a joint replacement system for Walking the great toe. Dr. Zang is a rotating speaker for the Podiatry program at Midwestern University in Phoenix, and is actively involved with teaching podiatric students, and lectures throughout the country to his colleagues.
Additional information and to contact Dr. Zang, please click here and visit AZFeet.com.