The Defy Aging Newsletter

Anti-aging psychology, holistic health, and wellness

a biweekly e-mail newsletter for helping you think, feel, look, and be more youthful and live with purpose.

February 22, 2009 Number 204

This issue:

Be Kind to Your Feet

Action to take

Consider consulting with a pedorthist, a specialist in corrective shoes, to determine what are the healthiest shoes for you to wear.


When it comes to shoes, most of us pay more attention to style than to foot health. Eventually it catches up with us with back pain, foot pain, bunions, and other problems. But there are angels of mercy who know how to get your feet the support they need pedorthists. While they are specialists in selecting, fitting, and customizing shoes for people with foot deformities, their services can be enormously helpful to people who just want comfort, healthy feet, good posture, and to prevent or relieve aches, pains, and foot problems. You only get one pair of feet and if you want to live a long, healthy life, you need to take good care of them.

Like a lot of people, my feet get tired and my bunions were getting bigger. I tried an arch support store and it was no help. I went to an orthopedist, and he prescribed some shoe inserts that are hard as rocks and quite uncomfortable. My image of shoe stores was that there were normal shoe stores, specialty shoes for athletes, and stores that sold really ugly shoes to people with diabetes or serious deformities. Fortunately, Licensed, Board Certified Pedorthist Chris Glass at my local Foot Solutions store disillusioned me and fit me in some shoes that made a believer out of me.

Talk to someone with even a mild case of scoliosis and they will tell you that having their spine curved a little out of alignment causes them a lot of pain and that a shoe lift or adapted seat cushion can help lessen the discomfort. Our feet are even further down the foundation than our back. Without good support from our shoes, problems, pain, and dysfunction follow sooner or later.

I knew that thongs are dreadful, loafers are bad, and crocks suspect, but I was confused about tennis shoes versus oxford shoes. One of my take aways from interviewing Chris on Ageless Lifestyles® LLC was that it’s all about providing support and cushioning shock and that the right tennis shoe is usually a little better at absorbing shock than the right leather shoe. Of course today a lot of regular shoes have composition soles that absorb shock. And then we have the rocker soled shoes. Hearing Chris talk about the benefits of shoes with rocker soles, I think I’ll wear my MBT shoes more often. Another take away is that it is healthier to take relatively short steps. That’s easy to do and free.

I concur with Chris that if you want to have a fancy pair of shoes for church or a special occasion, OK, but day to day we need to be wearing shoes with good support and good cushioning of shock. Many of the orthotic shoes for men look pretty normal. I still think that if we can put astronauts on the moon we should be able to produce attractive shoes for women that are also healthy. Baby Boomers are going to insist on both healthy and attractive shoes. Whoever figures it out will probably become very wealthy. If no one figures it out, a lot of people will be wearing tennis shoes.

The bottom line on shoes is you can get by with not getting tire alignments on your car and if the tires or car wears out, you can replace them. But you only get one pair of feet. If you would like to hear the free podcast of the interview, you can download it or stream it at or


Under Queen Elizabeth I, platform and high heeled shoes became fashionable for women, but then during the 17th century the styles switched and it was men who wore high heels and women wore flat-heeled shoes. Then in the 18th century they switched again. Since dungeons of torture were all the rage back then, do you suppose the first high heels were designed by little old torturers in some dank dungeon on their coffee breaks? What if they did not have enough captives to torture and decided to design shoes guaranteed to be a daily pain to wear. Would they consider high heels and pointy toes torture by proxy?

~Elizabeth Cowan


I did everything Fred [Astaire] did--only backwards in heels.

~Ginger Rogers

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