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Foot Pain: Fix it with Longer Shoes
USA Weekend Magazine, June 4, 2006
by Susan T. Lennon

Feet hurt? Exercising them can help. Also, wear correctly sized shoes so your tootsies can move inside.

“A lot of people wear their shoes too short,” says podiatrist Suzanne Belyeau, the medical director for “The feet are squeezed, the toes don’t move, and the foot ends up being carried by the shoe when you walk – rather than being exercised naturally.”

Shoe Buying Tips:

Here are pointers from podiatrist Tracey Vlahovic, who teaches at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine.

  • Steel-toe boot-wearers. Give an over-the-counter insole a try, or see a podiatrist for an orthotic to provide stability and balance
  • Diabetics. Have your feet measured to get correct shoe size, don’t go by how shoes feel
  • Those on their feet all day. Wear well-made shoes or sneakers with arch support - skip shoes that bend in half
  • Pregnant women. Hormones relax the ligaments in your body, so your shoe size may increase
  • Everyone. Buy shoes at the end of the day when feet are naturally swollen
  • Exercises for feet

    Try these twice a day. Hold each stretch for 10 seconds, relax, repeat three times.

    • Stretch Achilles tendons. Stand at arm's length from wall (with hands on it), point toes inward, and lean forward, bending elbows, as if doing a push-up.
    • Sit with feet flat on floor. Lift just toes while balls of feet still touch the floor.
    • Sit with feet flat on floor, and raise just inner arches and toes off the floor.

    Learn more at or the American Podiatric Medical Association's site at

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