April is National Foot Health Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to reinforce the importance of proper shoe maintenance in achieving better foot health.
Even though we live in a disposable society, when shoe soles or heels wear down,there’s no need to replace the shoes, especially if they’re better-quality leather shoes.
Heels that are worn down at the sides or back will prevent you from standing upright, which can contribute to back issues. So when you see those heels being to wear, have them replaced at your local shoe-repair shop. It’s cost-effective and also gives your footwear a more polished appearance.
Next, check the soles of your shoes regularly. These can also wear down, especially if they’re rubber or a synthetic compound. While not all outsoles can be replaced, such as those on athletic styles, there are many that can be swapped out to prevent sliding on wet surfaces as they lose their traction.
Foot health is most commonly related to the temperature inside a shoe. Since feet can sweat even in the colder months, consider new footbeds for your shoes — many are available at drugstores and comfort and athletic stores. Many come with arch supports and enhanced cushioning, adding to the comfort of the shoe. And if you rotate wearing a few different pairs, it gives both your shoes and their insoles a chance to air out.
Superfeet GO premium comfort full-length insole; $69.95; superfeet.com
Make sure shoes are dry before wearing them after a rain. Since leather can absorb water, even changing the shape of a shoe, consider using a shoe tree when drying shoes to help maintain their original shape.
Woodlore men’s Ultra Shoe Tree; $34.95; woodlore.com
Lastly, shop around for styles that can be machine-washed. Allbirds, a direct-to-consumer collection, makes its shoes from temperature-regulating and sustainable merino wool that can be washed in the machine, including the removable insoles. Simply use the wool/delicates cycle with cold water, then air dry them. The brand also offers replacement insoles.