Putting Your Best Foot Forward

Working on your feet all day can be a real pain in the…foot, as well as legs and hips. Professions such as teachers, nurses, waiting staff and sales attendants can spend between 8 and 12 hours a day on their feet and to complicate matters most of these do not allow comfortable and supportive footwear such as trainers as part of the strict business attire.

If you are on your feet here are some tips for a more comfortable day.

Wear the right shoe in the right size
If you have to stand up or walk around all day you won’t get very far in ill fitting shoes so when you are buying a new pair of work shoes take advantage of getting your feet measured so that you can be sure of a perfect fit. Likewise don’t choose fashion over function – my favourite go to place for work shoes is Clarks! Select quality shoes that have wide toes and sturdy flat soles to keep you feeling supported and light on your feet all day long.

Mix it up
Don’t rely on one pair of shoes to do all of the work otherwise they will soon quit. If you have several pairs on rotation you will not only benefit from your shoes lasting longer, a more fabulous work wardrobe but your feet and legs will benefit from a change in position so you don’t end up with repetitive aches and strains or those dreaded blisters. What better excuse to buy multiple pairs of shoes do you need!?

My favourite lunch time view on a warmer day

Change of pace
Even if you have to be on your feet you can vary how you do this throughout the day. Try and get a mix of standing and walking as well as bending and stretching your legs so that you relieve pressure off of certain muscles, build a stronger support system in your legs and reactivate tired muscles with a short burst of activity. Going for a lunch time walk is a good way to do just that – not to mention the fresh air! I love to go and sit in my local park on the warmer days.

Choose extra support
Feet are not all the same and your feet will have individual support needs that can’t be supplied by off the shelf footwear.  If you have feet that pronate for instance you may want to consider specially made orthotics to take the pressure off your knees and hips. You can also buy orthotics and cushioning inserts off the shelf. Look for ones that include poron so that they are breathable and lightweight to avoid smelly, sweaty feet!

Sock it to them
If you can always wear socks rather than tights or bare feet. Socks have technology in them to actually protect the feet from undue pressure caused by shoes as well as keep them smelling fresh and clean all day. 

Find a different floor
As well as changing your shoes and whether you walk or stand look to vary the surface you’re standing on to vary the weight and pressure on your feet. If you can swap concrete for grass sometimes – even better as a more natural surface underfoot will give you a more natural feeling in your feet at the end of the day.