Saturday, November 8, 2014

Chapter 5 - Book Study - The Every Woman's Guide to Foot Pain Relief

I've avoided this post for more than a week.

Because... I'm embarrassed.

This is a pretty simple chapter - just talking about what makes up a shoe and how each part of the shoe is important to your foot health.  I know this. I know it well. I've studied it for over 3 years now.

But then I look in my closet, at the shoes that are still there: shoes that I still wear that complicate my foot issues and I know it.  And I'm embarrassed.  Because I say I'm passionate about this stuff and yet - yet - sigh...

Ok, so another "coming out" party for me I guess.  Let's just analyze a few of the shoes that are still in my closet and see how they line up with the map in chapter 3 of The Every Woman's Guide to Foot Pain Relief.

First up, my adorable black boots that I bought on clearance early last spring.

My excuses for buying these:
1.  They were on clearance, c'mon!
2.  I needed a new pair of black boots since my old ones were covered in white "salt" marks from 2 years of wear wet, snowy, salt infested streets of Chicago.
3.  They were on clearance.
4.  They were on clearance AND in my size.  It's not easy to find a quality pair of low heeled, leather, black, boots in size 11 at a decent price. Trust me.
5.  The leather is realllllly nice on these. Really nice.  They were pretty expensive at full price.  And they were on clearance. Did I mention that already?

Analyzing the boots based on the shoe anatomy of the book:

The Sole:
These boots are pretty good here.  The sole is sturdy for the cold winter here in Chicago, but flexible enough that my foot can walk naturally from heel to toe push off.  Going barefoot in the middle of winter here just isn't an option and this is a nice sole without too much rigidity.

The Upper:
Leather (really nice leather) that's supple and soft. My foot can move around in it but it's hangs onto my foot well.  Not the best, but not horrible either. Unfortunately the upper of this boot is related to the...

Toe Box:
Here's where these boots fail miserably.  Look at that toe box.  And me, Missy Bunion Lady shoves my toes into that point happily because they were on clearance.  As I'm putting them on I'm justifying my choice by loudly proclaiming: "I'll put on the happy-feet socks the second I get home".  Honestly, after wearing them for about 10 minutes I can start to feel things going bad, but I keep them on because they look nice and usually I'm already out somewhere so I have to suffer through.  Not good. And yes, I really do put on the happy feet socks right after I get home.  I have to!

The Heel:
While most people would call these flats, they still have a small heel which makes them less than great.  Combine that with the miserable toe box and these boots probably should have stayed on the shelf.

Let's move on to something a little less convicting, shall we?  You've seen these before if you've been reading my blog:

These are my rain boots by Kalso Earth Shoes (click to see choices of these on Amazon).  I won these and absolutely love them even though they're leopard print. They're a pretty good "win" in the shoe anatomy department.  Let's take a look:

The Sole:
The only big negative thing about these boots is the sole - they're pretty stiff.  That comes in handy when you are trudging through wet puddles but not the best for your intrinsic foot muscles.

The Upper:
Not something to totally cheer about either, but necessary because of the nature of the boot. Because it's meant to be fairly waterproof (they are RAIN boots), the upper is made from all man-made material, vinyl, etc.  My feet tend to get pretty sweaty in them and I sometimes feel like I've wrapped my feet and legs in cellophane but they do keep my feet VERY warm and dry.  I've yet to find a warmer, more waterproof, snow boot.  These are keepers for functionality in very snowy and wet weather.

The Toe Box:
These babies have a really nice wide toe box. They won't make a fashion statement or go to a formal event downtown but I can move my toes around pretty freely in these and don't have to rip them off after an hour of shoveling because the circulation is being cut off at my toes or my bunion feels like it's got it's own heartbeat.

The Heel:
One of the great things about the Kalso brand in particular is that they have what's called a Negative Heel technology.  From their website:
The "negative heel" design also mimics the position of the foot while walking barefoot in the sand – the heels creating a deeper impression in the sand than the toes. Wearing shoes with a "negative heel" design can help naturally re-position weight in the body over the frame, and create a more natural walking motion that can help reduce joint stress and improve posture.

Come back to  read about a few more of my shoes and how they stack up (coming soon).

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