OK Ladies–this one’s for you….and it is also for all the Gentleman who love the Ladies. That should pretty much take care of everyone!
When we (women) are young, we pretty much do not think about our feet and what they mean to us. They carry us along from the time we learn to walk, they keep on doing so all through our lives….but as we grow older, we tend to notice our feet more and more. I began to notice mine a lot about 2 decades ago when I had been trekking through my life on the same pair of feet for some 50 years. I had been working as a public school teacher for more than a decade by then and I suddenly noticed that I had to take better care of my feet. This was not an issue when I began a teaching career as as 20-something in the 1960′s. At my first teaching job, in Washington State, at the tender age of 23, I wore high spike heels every day in my high school English classroom. I was able to walk, stand, even run on my high 4 inch spike heels without any consequences. As the years go by, our feet change and suddenly we are not so interested in the spike heels any longer. We are much more concerned with comfortable shoes. I think every woman reaches this stage sooner or later.
Women love shoes. So do little girls…how else can one explain the sight of a rather small child who is wearing some sort of platform sandals that cause her to teeter around on her tiny toothpick legs, threatening to turn her ankle at any moment—at least that is what it looks like to an observer.
Many young and old women take the route of the infamous Imelda Marcos, former First Lady of the Phillipines, whose shoe closets in the presidential palace have been filled with up to 3000 pair of shoes at one time. Collecting shoes can become a passion; one must have shoes to match every outfit—-winter shoes for winter clothes…summer shoes for summertime clothing. A multitude of colors to match colors of clothing and jewelry. Shoes are very important in a woman’s wardrobe..or so it seems.
Then there are the Old Plugs who do not give too much of a hoot about shoes as long as they have a pair that serves as the "dress shoes" and another pair or two that qualifies as "everyday shoes". That is kind of where I am at this moment in my life. Give me my comfy walking shoes anyday over the decorative shoes with high heels that I used to wear. The last time I actually wore a pair of shoes with a 3 inch heel was when my youngest son got married, and that is going on 20 years ago. I hung onto them for years because they had matched (perfectly) the lemon yellow dress I wore to that wedding. Finally, I knew I was never going to put them on again and I gave them away, with a resigned sigh.
Women do terrible damage to their feet with the shoes they wear when they are young and carefree and their feet never hurt no matter what they wear or what they do. My youngest son is a doctor of podiatry and he has made this observation to me many times. Women suffer later in their lives for the shoes they wear when they are young. He also says that women have many more foot/feet problems than men. This is logical: men and boys wear sensible shoes from the time they wear their first walking shoes at the age of 1 until they are elderly gentlemen. Women are not sensible at all but rather go for the current stylish fads in shoes. All you have to do is stop in front of a womens’ shoe store and look at the displays…..you see shoes that will force a woman’s foot into a tiny pointy toe while elevating her heels by 4-5 inches either on a narrow spike or on a platform that would be worthy of a stage show. Add to this mix, the tiny straps and the lack of support at the heel and you have a formula for future foot trouble …big time.
Over their lifetimes women spend a great deal of money to keep themselves in shoes. Imelda Marcos is probably the champion of shoe-spending but I just read an article in the Daily News (New York) in the fashion section regarding another First Lady…Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama has been seen sporting a pair of what would be called "tennis shoes" but hers cost $540 dollars. They are designer shoes from Lanvin of France. I just hope she remembers not to wear them when she goes out to weed that WhiteHouse vegetable garden. Apparently Michelle is not suffering from the Economic Recession.
Ladies, it is never too late to take good care of your feet. A "foot fixer" that is from the Clairol line of products is a great bargain for aching feet that have stood and walked too much in a day. I used to use mine regularly after standing most of the day in classrooms in an elementary school. Wear comfortable walking shoes as often as you can…and make sure they have very hard supportive backs that will keep one’s heel from rocking when you walk. I learned that the hard way when I suffered from "plantar’s fascitis" for one whole winter from wearing the wrong kind of shoes….not enough support for the heel. Plantar’s Fascistis is probably mainly a woman’s ailment also….it is painful because the Plantar’s ligament which runs from your ankle under your entire foot, gets shorter as you age and when it is shortened , you feel a burning pain in your heel everytime you get up to walk on those feet.
You can get over this ailment by wearing good supportive walking shoes and gently stretching that ligament…sometimes it takes getting off your feet completely for a few days…not easily done by today’s busy working women. I got the flu when I had the worst of the fascitis and I was in bed for 4 days with that illness. Surprisingly when I finally got back on my feet, the inflammation was GONE…and I have kept it at bay by the stretching excercise ever since.
We do it to ourselves when we are young by wearing the latest styles in shoes no matter how high or unsupportive they are. But later in life….we have to mind our feet or we will spend all our time regretting it…by suffering foot pain and discomfort every day of our lives.