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Home : News : April 8, 2008

NEWS


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 8, 2008

Proper Shoe Fit an Essential Key to Any Walking or Exercise Program, Local Podiatrists Say

BOARDMAN, Ohio (April 8, 2008) – With warmer weather approaching, many people will soon head outdoors to participate more vigorously in the most basic form of physical exercise – walking.

But before taking that next step, they should consider the importance of proper shoes to overall foot health, according to two local podiatrists.

“Most people assume that a regular walking program will lead to improved overall health,” said Dr. Robert Debiec, a board-certified podiatric surgeon at Ankle & Foot Care Centers, a group of 15 podiatric physicians and surgeons. “However, if you’re not careful, you could actually do yourself more harm than good.”

Poorly fitting shoes can cause numerous medical problems of the feet, including calluses, corns, bunions and hammertoes. Left untreated, these conditions can lead to medical problems throughout the body, said Debiec.

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, a 150-pound person walking one mile exerts a force of 63 tons on a single foot. “The wear and tear of everyday walking, let alone exercise, on the feet is significant,” said Dr. Kenneth Emch, also a board-certified podiatric surgeon at Ankle & Foot Care Centers. “That’s why it’s essential for a person to select the correct shoe for his or her foot type, particularly if they are going to be more active.”

Whether it’s for walking at the park or in the neighborhood, or perhaps for more strenuous activities like jogging or tennis, the right shoe is an essential part of any exercise regimen. Drs. Debiec and Emch offer these tips for selecting the proper shoe:

  • Look for a shoe that is stable from side to side and is well-cushioned. “Either a walking or running shoe is fine for a walking regimen, but only running shoes should be used for jogging,” Dr. Debiec said. “Likewise, only flat-soled athletic shoes should be used for activities like tennis or basketball. In all cases, the important thing is comfort and stability for the foot.”

  • Width is important. “Different shoe companies manufacture different shoe shapes,” said Dr. Emch. “Some are made for wide feet, and others are a better fit for narrower feet. Know your foot type, and choose accordingly.”

  • Take your time and try on different styles. “Don’t just pull a discount shoe off the department store rack and expect it to give you proper comfort and support,” Dr. Debiec pointed out. “Go to a store that specializes in athletic or walking shoes, and try on several pairs. Wear thick socks, as you would when exercising. Lace the shoes completely and walk around the store to make sure you’re getting the best fit.”

  • You get what you pay for. “You don’t have to buy the most expensive shoes on the market, but it’s important to look for quality materials and stitching,” said Dr. Emch. “Make sure they’re built to last.”

The doctors advised that serious foot problems, like bunions, hammertoes (a contracture or bending of the toe at the first joint) or large calluses, should be examined by a podiatric physician before beginning a regular walking or exercise program.

More information about the benefits of podiatric health is available at the American Podiatric Medical Association website, apma.org, or the Ankle & Foot Care Centers site, at ankleandfootcare.com.

Ankle & Foot Care Centers provides comprehensive podiatric care at 19 locations in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Stark counties in Ohio and in Greenville , Pa.

# # #

For more information, contact:

Michael Vallas, Practice Administrator
Ankle & Foot Care Centers Inc.
(330) 758-6226 ext. 207
mike@ankleandfootcare.com


Dan Pecchia
Pecchia Communications
(330) 720-6912
dan@pecchiacomm.com

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