• Healthy feet The Association of Podiatrists of Malta, The Association of Podiatrists of Malta
    Healthy Feet
    The majority of the population can maintain healthy feet through education, advice and prompt care.
  • Foot xray The Association of Podiatrists of Malta, The Association of Podiatrists of Malta
    X-ray
    A foot X-ray showing the complex bone system that makes up the human foot
  • The Association of Podiatrists of Malta
    Footwear
    In any environment good footwear is key to preventing foot injuries. Your Podiatrist can help you identify the right footwear depending on your needs.
  • Biomechanics The Association of Podiatrists of Malta, The Association of Podiatrists of Malta
    Biomechanics
    Podiatric Biomechanics is the study of human movement and related pathologies. It allows Podiatrists to interpret movements, identify problems and suggest treatment options.
  • Foot Anatomy The Association of Podiatrists of Malta, The Association of Podiatrists of Malta
    Anatomy
    The human foot and ankle has a complex anatomy. It is composed of the outer skin layer, the vascular system, neuromuscular system and skeletal system. Any of these can develop problems during your lifetime.
Foot Facts
  • The foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles.
  • It's neglect and a lack of awareness of proper care - including ill fitting shoes - that bring on problems.
  • Women have about four times as many foot problems as men. High heels are partly to blame.
  • Your feet mirror your general health. Conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders can show their initial symptoms in the feet - so foot ailments can be your first sign of more serious medical problems.
  • There are 250,000 sweat glands in a pair of feet. Sweat glands in the feet excrete as much as a half-pint of moisture a day.
  • The average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day, which adds up to about 115,000 miles over a lifetime. That's enough to go around the circumference of the earth four times.
  • There are currently more websites on the Internet having to do with foot fetishes than with foot health.
  • So called "flat feet" is the most common problem perceived -- about five times more common than high arch feet.
  • Corns and calluses are never normal, but they are the most common foot problems. They indicate that you could benefit from foot alignment or from better choice of shoes. The next most common foot problems are warts, blisters, athlete's foot and fissures.
  • When buying shoes, it is always a good idea to buy them late in the day, when your feet are tired and may be slightly swollen. In this way you are unlikely to buy shoes that are too small.
Footwear

Proper footwear can reduce foot problems:

Since ancient Egyptian times down through the centuries, footwear has been designed to meet mankind’s real and perceived needs—protection, support, comfort, sturdiness and style.

Feet endure tremendous pressures during daily activities. An average day of walking brings a force equal to several hundred tons on them. Feet are subject to more injury than any other part of the body, underscoring the need to protect them with proper footwear.

Children’s Footwear :

When a child begins to walk, shoes generally are not necessary. An infant should be allowed to go barefoot indoors or to wear only a pair of socks thus helps the foot grow normally and develop its muscles and strength, as well as the grasping ability of the toes.

As children become more active, and their feet start to develop, the need for shoes becomes apparent. It becomes necessary to change shoe sizes at a pace that frequently surprises and even dismays parents.

When purchasing shoes for children, remember these tips:

  1. Examine the shoe itself. It should have a firm heel counter (stiff material on either side of the heel), adequate cushioning of the insole, and a built-in arch. It should be flexible enough to bend where the foot bends—at the ball of the foot, not in the middle of the shoe.
  2. The child’s foot should be measured while he or she is standing up with full weight-bearing.
  3. There should be about one-half inch of space (or a thumb’s width) between the tip of the toes and the end of the shoe. The child should be able to comfortably wiggle his or her toes in the shoe.
  4. Have the child walk around the store for more than just a few minutes wearing the shoe with a normal sock. Ask the child if he or she feels any pressure spots in the shoe. Feel the inside of the shoe for any staples or irregularities that could cause irritation. Examine where the inside stitching hits the foot. Look for signs of irritation on the foot after the shoe is worn.
  5. Shoes should not slip off at the heels. Children who tend to sprain their ankles will do better with high-top shoes or boots.
  6. Both feet should be measured, and if feet differ in sizes, shoes should be chosen that fit the larger foot best.

 

Women's Footwear:

Women inflict more punishment on their feet in part from improper footwear that can bring about unnecessary foot problems. Some of the problems result from high-heeled shoes (generally defined as pumps with heels of more than two inches). Podiatrists believe that such heels are medically unsound, and could attribute to postural problems.

To relieve the abusive effects of high heels, women can limit the time they wear them, alternating with good quality sneakers or flats for part of the day.

They can also vary the heel height. There are comfortable and attractive “walking” pumps (also called “comfort” or “performance” pumps) for work and social activities that blend fashion considerations and comfort, offering pumps with athletic shoe-derived construction, reinforced heels, and wider toe room.

Activity has a bearing on the considerations; wearing the right shoe for a particular activity is probably as important a factor in the choice of shoes as any.

Perhaps the best shoe for women is a walking shoe with laces (not a slip-on), a polymerized composition sole and a relatively wider heel with a rigid and padded heel counter, no more than three-quarters of an inch in height.

Men's Shoes:

The best shoes for men are good quality oxford styles, shoes ordinarily associated with wing-tip or cap toe designs. Also suitable are slip-ons, dressy loafers and low dress boots.

Men as well as women should buy shoes for work, leisure, and special activities, matching the shoe to the activity.

Male (and female) office workers should earmark three to five pairs of shoes for business hours—general oxfords and loafers for men; pumps and oxfords for women. Cushioned-sole shoes that give good support are essential for those who spend most of their working days on their feet.

There is no question about the need for foot protection for those who work in heavy industry. Safety shoes and boots - those that are waterproof or water-resistant, with insulated steel toe caps and soles of non-conducting materials - help prevent injuries to the feet, and reduce the severity of injuries that do occur.

Shoes for Athletics:

The best shoes for men are good quality oxford styles, shoes ordinarily associated with wing-tip or cap toe designs. Also suitable are slip-ons, dressy loafers and low dress boots.

Men as well as women should buy shoes for work, leisure, and special activities, matching the shoe to the activity.
Male (and female) office workers should earmark three to five pairs of shoes for business hours—general oxfords and loafers for men; pumps and oxfords for women. Cushioned-sole shoes that give good support are essential for those who spend most of their working days on their feet.

There is no question about the need for foot protection for those who work in heavy industry. Safety shoes and boots - those that are waterproof or water-resistant, with insulated steel toe caps and soles of non-conducting materials - help prevent injuries to the feet, and reduce the severity of injuries that do occur.

Shoe Care:

For longer service, keep shoes clean and in good repair. Avoid excessive wear on heels and soles. Give your shoes a chance to breathe - don’t wear the same pair two days in a row (you prolong the life of shoes by rotating their use). Never wear hand-me-down shoes (this is especially important for children).

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