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National Measure Your Feet Day is January 23

The story behind Measure Your Feet Day dates back to ancient Iceland. The ancient Icelanders spent most of their free time engaging in activities that involved their feet, and when spring, a time known for extreme rainstorms in Iceland, the natives would run in their huts and celebrate the rain by measuring their feet. This is a traditional way to celebrate rainstorms. From there, it became known all over the world, and Measure Your Feet Day has become something beyond ancient Iceland. Why is it important to measure our feet? Most of adults stop measuring their feet after childhood. It is a fact that feet can change shape over time.. Although the bones do not continue to grow, many peoples feet get flatter and wider with age. The development of deformities like bunions and hammertoes can also affect shoe size. Poorly fitting shoes can lead to a host of foot problems, including blisters, corns, callouses, ingrowing toe nails, bleeding under the toe nails and bruising to name a few. Poorly fitting shoes can also lead to arch pain, heel pain, tendon strain as well as knee, hip and back pain. How do you get the correct shoe size? It starts with standing measurements. The device that most of us have seen in shoe store is know as the Brannock Device. This measures foot length and width in standard US sizes. Keep in mind that there are different sizes for men's and women's shoes, so make sure you are using the correct measuring device. The size measured is a good starting point. Keep in mind that the sizing of shoes during manufacture is not a uniform system. Sizing can vary between brand and styles of shoes. It is important to try shoes on along with the sock or stockings you want to wear to check for fit. For most people, the thickness of the thumb between the longest toe and the end of the shoe suggests the appropriate length. The sides of the shoe should touch the sides of the feet without excessive pressure. The top of the shoe should not put undue pressure and should be able to be loosened to accommodate for swelling of the feet toward the end of the day. If there is any question as to proper fit, seek the assistance of someone experienced in shoe fitting. Shoe fitting is especially important for people with loss of sensation or poor circulation as shoe injuries can lease to skin breakdown and infections. These issues are common in people with diabetes. This prompted Medicare to enact the so called Shoe Bill, which provides for one pair of extra depth shoes and 3 pairs of accommodative insoles every year for diabetic patients. We are happy to be able to provide this service for our patients as our office is a registered durable medical goods distributor with Medicare. We also have a retail Micro Shoe Store in our office for all of our patients, featuring the Propet brand of fashion forward, comfort foot wear. Stop in and check it out! We can measure your feet too!

Paul Betschart, DPM Dr. Betschart has over 26 years of experience in treating patients of all ages with all kinds of foot and ankle conditions. His mission is to provide you with helpful information about foot and ankle issues and the latest developments in healthcare.

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