Much to our chagrin, those of us 30-somethings still cannot believe our 20’s so quickly passed us by, but with each and every passing day we may be feeling just a bit older. Looking in the mirror the teenage pact we made to never get old seems further in the past as we don our yoga pants, supportive bras, and comfy shoes to take on the day ahead. Between endless cooking, laundry, and carpool duty, we throw on some lipstick and mascara acknowledging that the make-up free, wrinkle-free, fresh-faced appearance of our youth along with our long forgotten braless tube tops, short-shorts, and stilettos are a thing of the past.
For some, the revelation may occur in their 30’s and for others, their early 40’s. But the reality is, somewhere along this journey of maturity and motherhood each and every one of us will likely wake up one day and exclaim “oh goodness, I have become my mother!”
When it comes to clothing, the yoga brands, to the underwear, companies have learned to market items to our very age-group. From high-waist compression leggings (talk about comfortable) to form-fitting undergarments, mothers across the globe can still feel sexy and confident post-partum. Footwear however is another story. Whether a SAHM who wants to look great for a night out, a PTA meeting or brunch, or a career mom running from the playground to the boardroom, shoes that comfortably fit and flatter our feet are often difficult to find. Although stylish, supportive sneakers may be all the rage trending across social media for wear with everything from shorts to dresses, there are still certain occasions and professional environments where something other than an athletic shoe is required.
Here are some of the most common podiatry problems that can be prevented, remedied, or at least relieved with a little TLC and excellent quality, supportive shoes for all occasions.
Common Podiatry Problems & Stylish Supportive Shoes
As women and mothers, whether we are working, taking care of the kids, or simply doing things around the house, we are constantly on our feet. While we may be getting in all of our necessary steps, it also means we need to pay attention to the wear and tear our nonstop activity has on our feet. As we age, proper foot care and proper foot wear will make a big difference in our ability to maintain happy, healthy feet!
Plantar Fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain. It occurs when the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot connecting your heel bone to your toes (the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. This stabbing type of pain is usually felt early in the morning when taking your first steps, or after sitting for long periods of time. As one moves around throughout the day the pain usually subsides.
Often found in runners, people who are overweight, or those who spend most of their waking/working hours on their feet such as teachers or nurses, shoes with inadequate support contribute to an increased risk of plantar fasciitis. Unfortunately, for those who love ballet flats, flip-flops, or other flat-soled, non-supportive footwear, the risk of developing small tears in this shock-absorbing, bowstring-like tissue band is great.
Home remedies for plantar fasciitis include ensuring you wear shoes with good arch support and shock-absorbency, avoiding walking barefoot on hard surfaces, replacing old athletic shoes every 400-500 miles, and regular ice massage to reduce pain and inflammation.
When dealing with foot and heel pain selecting a comfortable shoe can be a daily challenge. Here to make things just a bit easier and more enjoyable are some trendy classics from ABEO featuring their B.I.O. system orthotic foot bed. With both a neutral and a metatarsal option available, along with a wide variety of styles and shoes, everything from sandals to flats are available with a custom, comfy, cozy fit. The neutral foot bed provides enhanced arch support, supports the feet, aligns the body, balances weight distribution and reduces foot fatigue, shock and stress on the joints. The metatarsal support provides enhanced arch support with additional ball-of-foot metatarsal support redistributing weight and relieving forefoot pain and pressure.
Perfect for those wanting a cute sandal with a slight heel is the ABEO Biana available with either a neutral or metatarsal pad foot bed. This strappy leather sandal with a 2.5-inch heel is wide enough for comfort with an adjustable buckled strap for a secure fit. With a cork and rubber midsole, these chic sandals will contour to the foot over time for the ultimate fit and comfort.
If a traditional heel is more your style, look no further than the ABEO Vanessa mary jane pump. This extremely comfortable 2 ¾ inch heel crafted of soft, supple leather contains a molded, foam-cushioned PU insole with extra cushioning at the ball of the foot making this a heel you could literally wear all day long. With a flexible outsole for shock absorption and ultimate traction and durability, these heels will keep you on the move without any slipping or sliding as you conquer the world.
Finally, for a cute and classic ballet flat with a little bit of flair the ABEO Cambridge has got you covered. This ballerina style shoes offers versatile wear and everyday comfort. Included with the Cambridge is a P.R.O. system 3D CORE Orthotic making this the most foot-friendly flat on the market. Featuring a hidden wedge in the midsole, these seemingly flat shoes reduce strain on one’s legs and back and add a subtle lift. Crafted of a full grain leather upper, breathable fabric, and micro suede lining, your comfort should be key when it comes to footwear and these shoes are sure to please.
ABEO Biana Neutral | ABEO Vanessa Neutral | ABEO Cambridge
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Otherwise known as having flat feet, fallen arches are something that can develop in women as we age for a variety of reasons. Certain health conditions, genetics, simple aging, and pregnancy are all factors that can lead to or increase your risk of developing this podiatry problem. While many people may have flat feet and never notice a problem, for others back and leg pain, tiring of the feet, standing on tiptoe, swelling, and pain in the arches and heels are common symptoms of this issue.
To prevent and combat the onset or worsening of fallen arches supportive shoes with stellar arch support is key. With the ability to select personalized shoe solutions these days, there is no reason to suffer from this painful condition. Although surgery and corticosteroid injections are available for the most extreme cases, there is the ability to avoid or slow this condition making it even more imperative that we as mothers and working women pay attention to our feet and give them adequate and proper care.
For those who must wear heels for work, or simply love the sleek and sexy look of a stiletto, protect those arches and still look amazing with the Ecco Shape 75 Modern Pump. Featuring the latest in comfort technology, this super soft, supple leather pump wraps around the foot for support of both the arch and outer foot while allowing for an optimal gait and natural motion. With a vibrant and beautiful design, this shoe will easily take you from day to evening wear with an elegant, but not too high 3-inch heel.
Corns and Calluses
As busy women and mothers, we all know that being on our feet all day every day is just a part of life. With that in mind it is no wonder corns, calluses, and painful blisters are things every woman has experienced. Unlike men who can wear flat, comfy shoes for virtually every occasion, ladies around the world are groomed from a young age into believing our footwear should be cute, sexy, stylish, and complementary to our clothing…comfort is rarely even considered. However, as we get older we need to think our comfort as we are more prone to problems during this time.
Corns, calluses, and sometimes blisters are all problems that arise when and where there is too much friction between one’s foot and shoe. Calluses and corns both tend to form when one does a lot of walking, or works in a profession where most of the workday is spent on one’s feet. Corns and calluses are both the thickening of the skin, corns as a lump on the toes and calluses over a wider area on the heel or bottom of the foot. These issues can arise with even the well-fitting shoes. Blisters on the other hand are usually the result of new shoes or shoes that are ill-fitting or poorly made. Unfortunately, all of these conditions, although not an immediate cause for concern, can be problematic as they lead to cracks in the skin which are then more prone to bacteria and infection.
Regular pedicures, whether at home or the spa, are probably the best way to treat all three of these common problems. Corns and calluses can be treated by soaking the feet and scrubbing with a pumice stone or something similar to prevent or get rid of the thick build-up of skin. Keeping the skin on your feet well moisturized with lotion will also help prevent corns, calluses, and blisters.
Spending the day on our feet is a common occurrence for most moms, so from the office to the soccer field make sure to either wear or keep a trendy athletic shoe on hand for quick changes throughout the day. Absolutely ideal for the fast-paced mama is the Ecco Women’s Sneak Retro Tie. These classic kicks sport a trendy style that can be worn with anything from ankle length crops to even a sleeveless, summer swing dress. Stash in your bag to switch out for your evening errands and keep your toes comfy and cozy with these luxurious leather sneakers ideal for everyday wear. Featuring a breathable textile lining and removable, leather covered ECCO Comfort Fibre System inlay soles, these shoes will be your go-to for your busy days ahead.
ECCO Shape 75 Modern Pump | ECCO Women’s Sneak Retro Tie
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A frequent problem amongst women who wear high heels or who spent their younger years dancing, bunions can be a very painful problem. A bunion is a large lump that appears near the “knuckle” of the big toe and is usually caused by wearing shoes that force the feet into unnatural shapes, such as high heels or pointe shoes. The condition develops over time as the big toe is pushed diagonally into the other toes causing the bones in the lower portion of the toe (the metatarsophalangeal joint) to jut out from the side.
Although bunions can only be remedied through surgery this is usually not required as long as one is willing to make some simple adjustments at home. Further, this surgery usually does not get rid of all one’s symptoms and can take a year or more to completely heal making it a last resort. By avoiding high heels or narrow/pointed shoes that force the feet into an unnatural position one can combat the occurrence of or continued worsening of a bunion. Shoes with a wide, flexible sole are ideal. Moleskin or gel-filled pads available at the local drugstore can also help with any irritating rubbing or discomfort where the joint touches the shoe. Further, warm soaks, pedicures, and massage can help ease the pain when the joint becomes irritated or inflamed.
Espadrilles are always in style and some of the most comfortable shoes available throughout the world. For those needing a more supportive fit, the Ainsleigh classic espadrille wedge by Vionic is an ideal choice. Rather than opting for heels or an uncomfortable wedge, forego foot problems and select a style that will be chic and comfy allowing you to enjoy your day (or night) on the town. The Ainsleigh features criss-crossed elastic straps for a supportive, yet stretchy fit, and this cute shoe has been biomechanically designed using Orthaheel Technology to hug your arches, supporting your natural alignment from the ground up. Whether paired with crops or a skirt, Vionic’s version of this summer classic is a must-have for busy moms.
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While paying a bit more may be a necessity for high-quality, comfortable, classy kicks the benefits will be worth it in the long run. In addition to the obvious plus of having a durable shoe that will withstand the test of time, shoes that provide optimal support are key to warding off podiatry issues in the future and also treating current aches and pains. Although we may be turning into our own mama’s just a bit more everyday (which is not necessarily a bad thing), working hard and chasing kids, we can still feel classy and beautiful dressing our best.
Sources: Spectrum Foot Clinics, Everyday Health, MedlinePlus
Photo Credits: Sasha Staton