Tending to Your Sole

Be careful of making fun of your older parents or friends who say things like, “I just can’t wear heels anymore, my feet hurt!”  Or, “can you pick up a pack of corn pads at CVS while you’re out?”  The latter always made me a little queasy when Mother would shout this sentiment as I was clicking out the door in my 4-inch heels, or when I would find a corn pad in the carpet…

But, here I am.  52.  I’ve had surgery on both feet, twice for bunions (thanks, Daddy).  And I know I have at least two of the “7 Weird Things that Happen to your Feet when you get older” an article I found from Prevention magazine.

Fat Vanishes.  I don’t need it to vanish from my feet!  Can’t I trade it and move my abdominal, butt and hip fat to the bottoms of my feet?  Mother nature provides humans with built-in insoles, collagen and elastin cushions, stuffed with adipose tissue, on the bottoms of your feet. But in a cruel twist on the middle-age spread, collagen production decreases through the years, thinning these fat pads.  That’s why baby feet look like rudders in a boat and are so munchable.

Without this cushioning, “your feet feel fine in the morning, but toward the end of the day you have a lot of pain because you’re essentially walking on bones,” says Pedro Cosculleula, MD, a foot and ankle specialist at Houston Methodist.  Though some clinics tout injections or fat transplants, there’s no proof they work, he notes. The only surefire solution is to wear cushioned, comfortable shoes, reinforced with insoles or gel pads if needed.  Super sexy.
Toes curl up.  And I don’t mean in that sexy, between-the-sheets kind of way. Years of stuffing your piggies into high heels elevates your risk of hammertoes, permanent bends in your smaller digits. What can start as mild discomfort turns more painful over time, and unsightly corns and calluses can also crop up as your crooked toes rub against your shoes.To prevent—and ease—hammertoes, cover corns and calluses with padding and trade in your pointy-toed pumps for shoes with wider toe boxes. “I often have women stand on top of a blank piece of paper barefoot, and trace the outline of their foot,” Cosculluela says. “Then I put their shoe on top. If I can see toes sticking out, I know that’s not a good shoe for them.”
For the record…I hate the words – corns, calluses and hammertoes.On a positive note: You don’t have to ditch your stilettos completely. If you want to wear them for a night out, wear well-fitting flats made of flexible fabric like suede—even walking or running shoes, if you can—during the day. The more support you can give your feet, the less inflammation you’ll incur throughout the day—and the better you’ll be able to tolerate a dressier shoe at night.
Good news it is trendy right now to wear your yoga pants and tennis shoes to lunch and run errands.  So, you can tell people that it’s “sole”y for your health – for real — not just because you can’t fit into your pants or heels anymore.
Check back Friday for Part 2 of These Old Feet, because I am going to show you a line up of cute shoes that will keep you stylish, yet grounded, when you want to wear something other than sneakers.  But, I will also show you some fun sneaks, too!

One thought on “Tending to Your Sole”

  1. gotta say…for people who had extremely skinny feet to start with…the “fat” going away makes it ten times harder to find shoes that fit right! UGH! I’m a 10 1/2 AAAA!!

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