Temple Times Online Edition
    JUNE 23, 2005
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Temple podiatrist warns women:
Don’t sacrifice foot health for fashion when traveling

Women under the age of 35 tend to focus on achieving the “right look” instead of choosing the best shoes to complement their vacation environment and activities, according to a recent American Podiatric Medical Association survey. This trend is causing more women to suffer from foot and ankle pain during what is supposed to be a relaxing period and can ultimately lead to more serious problems down the road.

Leading podiatric physician and Temple faculty member Lesly Robinson offers these tips for women who don’t want to sacrifice comfort for style when packing shoes for vacation:

Be flexible: Take one pair of comfortable, neutral-colored heels and a comfortable walking shoe such as a loafer. Slip-on mules can often work double-duty and also protect toes from injury.

Take a pair of flip-flops or shower shoes: Hotel showers are breeding grounds for bacteria. Wearing protective shoes decreases the chances of getting athlete’s foot and other types of fungal infection.

On flip-flops: Avoid wearing them other than on the beach or in the shower. These shoes provide no arch support and put excessive pressure on the feet.

Consider the weather: Pack shoes that cover the toes for chilly evenings and cold environments.

Consider the walking environment: Will you be walking on concrete or in sand? Take shoes with adequate cushioning and support for long outings and day trips.

Don’t buy shoes days before a vacation: New shoes worn for extended periods can lead to blisters and calluses. Wear shoes for at least a month before taking them on vacation.

When buying shoes: Shop at the end of the day when feet are fatigued from walking. Always try on shoes because sizes differ according to shoe manufacturer. Also have your feet sized every six months, because weight gain/loss can cause a change in shoe size.

Avoid pointy shoes: They can lead to hammertoes and corns.

Avoid thin, brittle high heels: These shoes disrupt your center of balance and can lead to pain after wearing them for long periods.

Taking a few simple steps when packing shoes for vacation can save a lot of pain and frustration when traveling, so you can focus on the fun.

- Tory Harris