The day is Jan. 23, and it’s an occasion for anyone – those in good health, those receiving traditional care, and those receiving palliative care – to learn new things about the importance of proper footwear and footwear that fits properly.
The team at Above and Beyond Home Health Care and Hospice encourages our clients and their families to find ways to celebrate this occasion. It doesn’t have to be anything formal or official. But on the other hand, there’s never a bad reason to celebrate, right?
So if you want to make a special toast to good feet with your favorite beverage or enjoy a special cake in honor of this very special holiday, go for it! We won’t stand in your way. Likewise, if you want to put in some extra effort to learn more about your feet and your overall health, we’ll welcome this too.
Let’s start our dive into this holiday by learning what claims to be the origin. According to DaysoftheYear.com, a holiday site, Measure Your Feet Day first took place in Iceland, where people would run around their communities as the weather transitioned from winter snow to spring rain.
Part of the ritual involved measuring feet which helped celebrate the coming of the rain. Even if it made things dirty and muddy, the rain was always welcomed.
Measuring feet today
Today, feet measuring has some practical benefits especially when you’re looking for the right footwear for your life and lifestyle.
If you wear shoes, boots, or slippers that are too small, they can pinch your feet and cut off circulation. They can bend your toes, hurt your toenails and cause general pain. Too much time in footwear that’s too small can actually be damaging.
Too narrow of shoes can increase the risk of deformities such as corns or hammertoe.
At the other end of the spectrum, too large of footwear can increase the risk of tripping and losing one’s balance. They may be difficult to keep on and easy to slip off when walking.
Plus, because your feet aren’t in there tightly, more friction will be created as you walk, possibly leading to blood blisters and lesions plus potential wear and tear on your socks.
Worse, because you may have to walk a little differently to keep your feet in your bigger shoes, it can eventually affect your walking stride, which could potentially cause joint and mobility problems.
Falling is especially critical since many seniors are already worried about this. Falls can cause all sorts of injuries, some permanent. A bad fall that affects mobility and daily activities may even require someone to have to relocate to a rehabilitation facility or an assisted living community for a short-term or long-term period of time.
To a senior who enjoys their independence, even with home health care, having to move can be an unhappy but necessary solution.
In many cases, they would much rather prefer to stay at home with caregivers coming regularly rather than have to move elsewhere.
So how do you know the correct measurement of your feet?
It’s certainly easy to go to a shoe store or a big box store with a shoe department since the clerks likely have measuring tools. However, it still helps to try them on, since, while a certain size may fit it doesn’t always fit well.
A podiatrist can also provide accurate measurements and diagnose any potential problems that could impact the fit of your footwear. For instance, people with occasional swelling may need something a little larger. Or those with diabetes are encouraged to get something a little larger as well since something too narrow or confining can be difficult.
But what if it’s difficult to go outside due to mobility or transportation issues?
There are several suggestions for this.
One is to order the shoes you may think you need in similar sizes. Like 8 ½, 9, and 9 ½ if this is the range you think you need. Then if any of these are satisfactory you simply return the ones you don’t need.
Or you can use low-tech methods by drawing a line on a piece of paper, standing on it, and marking the farthest point for your heel at the bottom and the top point for your longest toe.
It would be easier to have someone to help you with this, but it can be done by yourself. This will give you a general figure. You can even likely work with a podiatrist to place an order if you have correct measurements. They may provide shipping service themselves or recommend a brand that offers quality shoes and sends them directly to customers.
Don’t forget to celebrate!