If like most of us you lived through a two-year pandemic, then you got used to working from home in your most comfortable slippers. And the few times you stepped out, you probably opted for comfortable footwear to get you through the day. So now that you are most likely back to work, you, like many others are wondering, why would anyone want to wear painful footwear after they have become accustomed to comfortable shoes or being barefoot at home?
Considering that the dress code at the workplace may not always be in harmony with good foot health, we talked to the experts at Align Custom Fit Footwear and Footcare to answer this question and share some practical advice for better foot health. Teressa Dinshaw, Healthy Footwear Buyer & Co-Founder of Align Custom Fit like us, love a gorgeous shoe that complements a killer outfit but she also understands the benefits of taking care of your feet.
A typical foot clinic focuses on pain solutions, they do not care so much about your style and long-term wellness. Their priority is ensuring that over time you do not experience pain in your feet, knees, and back. Align Custom Fit makes it possible for you to have both health and comfort so you can achieve the maximum benefits of foot health and total body alignment with Custom Align Orthotics™ as healthy footwear, well as luxury medical pedicures.
HAVE YOU SEEN ANY CHANGES IN THE FOOT HEALTH INDUSTRY SINCE PEOPLE RETURNED TO WORK?
Teressa: “Many people are just starting to return to in-person work following the pandemic, so it’s still a little early to determine what their new healthy and style footwear habits will be. But one thing we are seeing for certain is the desire not to sacrifice comfort and health, for being dressed up. People want to keep their home cozy comfort and healthy feet while still being dressed appropriately for their workplace.”
Although Teressa expresses how clients are so ready to incorporate sneaker fashion into their work attire, the runways are pushing in a different direction. It may be a bit of trial and error as more people venture back into office culture with their newfound standards for the comforts of home. Luckily we can help, with the styling services we take away the guesswork of finding this balance.
WHAT IS YOUR GENERAL SENTIMENT AROUND DRESS CODES THAT PUSH UNCOMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR?
Teressa: “While respecting your workplace culture is important, pushing the envelope a little and always prioritizing healthier choices over workplace cultures that prioritize dress “codes” over health, is important.
Despite the norm of dressing a certain way and wearing specific footwear in a professional environment, this does not have to compromise our health. Painful footwear can have more serious repercussions than we realize.
Teressa: Wearing ill-fitting shoes can cause most foot health problems, including:
Claw or hammer toe, corns, calluses, blisters
Damage to toenails - ingrown
Tendonitis, ankle sprain, joint pain, heel pain, and spurs
Aggravation of symptoms and progression of bunions, metatarsalgia
Plantar fasciitis & whole body misalignment
TO AVOID THESE HEALTH IMPLICATIONS, WHAT KIND OF FOOTWEAR WILL YOU RECOMMEND?
Teressa: The footwear we recommend for each client is different and based on our discovery of their unique biomechanics in their Body Align Assessment. From minimalist to super structured, ready-to-wear to custom fit and even fully custom, everyone’s needs are different with respect to what creative solutions underfoot will provide them with total body comfort and style!
Above all, we encourage people to wear fashion as personal aesthetic and art, and equally for functional health! It is possible to have both. You just need to understand your unique biomechanics and how that parlays into the specific structure of a shoe, to keep your foot posture and your body aligned and functioning optimally.
IS THERE ANY ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE TO WOMEN WHO LOVE HEELS AND WEAR THEM REGULARLY?
Teressa: “ Yes! Go ahead and wear them with pride, if you want to! Confidence and wellness should go together. We recommend about 2 hours maximum of weight-bearing wear time, plus simple, relaxing post-recovery exercises and tools such as toe spreaders.”
We’re so passionate about it that we patented a design for Pitch Perfects – custom orthotics for high heels that take the pressure off your forefoot and displace your weight more evenly within the high heel, despite the pitch drop of the shoe!
WHAT TIPS CAN YOU GIVE AS PEOPLE TRANSITION BACK TO WORK FOR OPTIMAL FOOT HEALTH?
TERESSA: “DO NOT REVERT RIGHT BACK INTO YOUR PRE-IN-PERSON GO-TO’S.”
Determine your current foot posture and body alignment state before shocking your kinetic chain with a now foreign foundation of your old dress shoes.
In our footwear wardrobe clean, we take the ‘junk shoes’ out of the cupboards and let you know which shoes in your current and new wardrobes are going to be healthiest (and most stylish) for you.
After we discover the root cause of body alignment imbalances and figure out and teach you which shoes are right for you, you’re equipped with the life skill of yourself making healthier footwear fashion choices.