SOURCE: Foot Solutions

January 02, 2007 10:00 ET

Shape Up Your Assets

Pick the Right Shoe for the Long Haul

MARIETTA, GA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- January 2, 2007 -- You decked the halls, enjoyed the sugar plums and made merry with a few cups of cheer. As the calendar flips to a new year, it's time many of us ponder how to reduce the extra pound or two we've added. When heading out to hit pavement or the aerobics floor, start ground up by checking your foot gear, suggests Dr. Bill Faddock, D.P.M. in Atlanta and Director of Pedorthic Education for Foot Solutions, a retailer specializing in solutions for your feet.

"A quarter of all bones in the human body are in your feet," explains Faddock. "When these bones are out of alignment, so is the rest of your body. Shoes with an improper fit can cause a host of problems, especially when extra pressure is applied through exercise."

Finding the right fitness shoe also takes a bit more effort than simply selecting a size. Says Faddock, you need to choose a shoe that is geared towards the type of activity you'll be doing as well as one that is suited for the type of foot you have.

"Our feet have 28 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments and 19 muscles. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are further divided as low-arched (flat-foot), medium-arched and high-arched. Inflexible soles can cause your calf muscles to work harder, contributing to Achilles tendonitis," says Faddock. "A shoe too flexible can cause a stretch in the plantar fascia, a fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom surface of your foot. The result can be heel and arch pain or heel spurs."

What to do?

"First, get to know your feet," stresses Faddock. Foot Solutions uses state-of-the-art technology to scan each customer's feet, outlining each foot's exact size, shape and contours. "It does make a difference in ensuring a proper fit," adds Faddock.

And don't forget to factor in your body weight. Increased weight does place more demands on the feet.

As for shoes that promise to help you slim down, eliminate cellulite and jump higher than that guy named 'Mike'?

"Technology has brought shoes a long way," says Faddock. "Chung Shi is one of the newer brands to the American market. It's built on a platform designed to make the major muscle groups of the lower extremities work hard through the gait cycle. These shoes do, in fact, increase caloric burn as well as tone and trim."

"But," warns Faddock, "shoes don't do the exercising. You do."

A few added tips from the American Podiatric Medical Association:

--  Try on shoes near the end of the day when your foot is at its largest.
--  Try on shoes using the socks you intend to use with those particular
    shoes.
--  Give shoes a chance to breathe -- don't wear same pair two days in a
    row.
--  Don't wear hand-me-down shoes.
--  Trade in trainers every 300-500 miles (4-6 months). If you use the
    treadmill, remember that just because your shoes aren't dirty, you still
    need to replace them because the soles and insoles have been worn down.
    

FOOT SOLUTIONS is a privately owned international company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Using our certified experts and state-of-the-art technology, FOOT SOLUTIONS helps its customers look, feel and perform better through customized foot solutions. There are more than 200 FOOT SOLUTIONS retailers located in three countries. For more information, visit www.footsolutions.com

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