The average person takes about 10,000 steps a day. Many people do not really give their feet a second thought when getting their day started. However, the way you walk and the shoes you wear can have a tremendous impact on your health. This goes beyond women wearing sky-high footwear. Ill-fitting shoes encompass anything from high heels to poorly made ballet flats and even sneakers. Rick Knowles, an SAS employee for over 30 years, says “It is essential to visit a professional shoe store to be properly fitted for your shoes by a footwear expert. I’ve always found that SAS stores have the best fitters.” He encourages women to choose shoes that are made from quality material, are designed to look stylish and modern but also for their functionality in their everyday lives. Short-term and long-term health issues related to ill-fitting shoes include painful and unattractive foot problems that could make day-to-day life very difficult, not just for women but men too. You can wear stylish and comfortable shoes if you are an educated buyer.

The importance of wearing well-fitting, high quality shoes begins at an early age according to the American Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Society. When deciding on what brand and type of shoe to purchase they also say, it is important to do your research.

High vs. Low

High heels keep getting higher and more women are turning to cheaply made ballet flats under the impression that they are better for their feet. The truth is, they are as equally harmful if they do not provide you with advanced technology and proper design that shoes from SAS Shoes do. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), women’s visits to the doctor for foot complaints went up 75% in recent years!. Also, ABC News reported, 90% of foot surgeries in the U.S. are for women in their 40’s and 50’s who are suffering from pain and deformities due wearing ill-fitting shoes.

According to CNN, wearing high-heels, flip-flops and poorly made shoes can cause ankle sprains, bunions, hammertoes, stress fractures, tendinitis, plantar fasciitis, and ligament damage, as well as shorter calf muscles and stiffer, thicker Achilles tendons. Health.com reports that heels throw your body’s alignment off and contribute to joint degeneration, knee osteoarthritis, and chronic headaches and migraines. According to the College of Podiatry, “keeping your feet healthy is only part of preventing foot problems; it is also essential that you wear well-fitting shoes.”

Finding The Right Shoe

According to The Wall Street Journal a recent survey showed that over 50% of women admit to wearing the wrong size shoe. Quality, comfort, and fit are crucial. SAS Shoes pride themselves on being able to conduct foot measurements for every client to ensure a great fit. Because every foot is different, SAS Shoes offers their customers as many as 88 size and width combinations for women and 112 for men. Eric Gleidt, an SAS Shoes employee and professional shoe developer for over 30 years, says “Although the ideal shoe will ultimately depend on your foot type, there are a few guidelines that may help when shopping for the right shoe. First, the Toe Box should have enough room to allow the toes to move freely. Second, under foot comfort is very important. A lightweight flexible Sole will provide comfort throughout the day. Finally, choose one with a supportive foot bed to help distribute your weight evenly, preferably removable for occasional cleaning.”

Exploring alternatives to sky-high heels or flats with no support that cause the issues mentioned would allow women to go about their lives with ease of mind. Stylish heels like “Milano” or “Sonyo” by SAS Shoes allow for comfortable classic style that women continuously strive for. Alternatively, “Delaney”, an ankle boot by SAS, provides an upscale look with its genuine leather, a flexible fit and a durable sole making this ankle boot ideal for all-day wear. For women who are loyal to stylish ballet flats, “Scenic” is the ultimate flat for you. With SAS Lightweight Supersoft® Sole for cushion in every step, this shoe elevates flats to a new standard that your feet will be thanking you for.

Pain and discomfort should never be a compromise to look and feel stylish. It is in everyone’s best interest to start educating themselves on proper fitting footwear and purchasing shoes that follow suit. It is an investment in our health the same way exercising, eating healthy, and getting a good night sleep.