The warmer weather is well and truly here and Christmas is fast approaching. You can feel the party vibe in the air. With a little planning, you can stay in good health while still enjoying summer and all its festivities.

Which shoes are best for shopping?

Prevent foot and shoe problems from ruining your holiday shopping experience while pounding the pavement. The first thing is to plan out your shoe wardrobe before you shop. If you are going to shop after work, take a comfortable pair of shoes with you to change into, such as sneakers or flats. If you are wearing heels or ballet type flats, make sure you have a soft insole liner in them that will cushion the impact when walking and standing.

Impact of your foot arches under pressure

Depending on whether one has a flat foot, or a high arched foot, will dictate how comfortable a pair of shoes will be. Flat feet can cause muscle spasms in your arches and legs when wearing flat shoes such as the ballet or the dressy ones. High arches can cause ball of the foot pain and burning, especially when wearing high heels or wedges, which unfortunately are the craze right now. The higher, the better, seems to be the unstated fashion mantra for shoes However, the pitch or slope of the high heel or wedge forces the ball of the foot towards the ground. As well, the shoes do not have enough padding in the toe box to absorb the pressure, therefore cushioning the weight on the ball of the foot.

Effects of inappropriate shoe choices

Shoes can trigger foot problems as much as certain types of foot structures can cause shoe problems. Also, the combination of having structural bone problems such as hammer toes, heel spurs and bunions can be aggravated by wearing the wrong type of shoe. Shoes that are too narrow can aggravate bone spurs that have developed over time on the foot, causing blisters and corns to form. Therefore, shopping all day can be hazardous to your feet!

How to treat  the aches and pains

If your foot problems continue long after the season has gone, you should visit your podiatrist. You may need custom made arch supports to provide proper support and shock absorbency.

Examine your sole

Christmas shopping can take a toll on your feet as well as your wallet. When you get home, put a towel around one foot, grasp both ends of the towel, and pull your toes toward you for 15 seconds, then release. Do this until you feel the soreness slip away. Then switch feet. Or, after you come home from shopping, put on a pair of comfortable slippers. Next, soak your feet in warm water with some Epsom salts, apply an essential oil such as Lavender, and massage the feet; it will relax and sooth the muscles.