These Feet Are Made For More Than Walking: Why Shoe Support & Recovery Matter
Our feet do way more than get us from A to B. Day in and day out, our feet support us through life's perpetual adventures. Whether it's trail-running a rocky mountainside, playing in dance class, or balancing on one leg in yoga, our feet are there for us. Because they support us so unconditionally, we often take our feet for granted. That is, until they start aching.
We don't realize that our bustling feet are tasked with a demanding job. On just an average day of walking, our feet support a force equal to several hundred tons. Across the span of our lifetime, we walk the circumference of the planet about four times—that's approximately 115,000 miles of one foot in front of the other. So to say the least, our feet take on pretty much everything we ask of them. But do we show up for our feet?
Are your feet trying to tell you something?
We all know the feeling of ending a long day with achy, throbbing feet—which may or may not leave us begging our partner for a foot rub. Research shows1 that one in five people (mostly women) experience regular foot pain. While we often dismiss it, that pain could be communicating that something's not quite right. Achy soles may mean it's time to reexamine our shoe choices and engage in a little foot recovery. Get these steps in for happier feet.
If the shoe fits...
That doesn't mean you wear it. We know it's hard to resist the latest shoe trend on your social feed, but good shoes are about more than basic fit. Thankfully, brands like Chaco let you look and feel your best. Our style and feet are chasing after the Chaco Chillos Slide, made specifically for recovering your feet after a dynamic day. And then some: These slides have the signature Chaco LUVSEAT™ footbed—a contoured arch accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association to support the whole foot. A solid pair of kicks has much to do with happy feet, and research agrees2: One study on foot pain revealed that those who prioritized good shoes were 67% less likely to report foot pain.
Your new recovery ritual.
Our feet involve 29 different muscles3, and after a demanding day, they want a good stretch, too. But rarely do we consider the tightness in our feet, though it may be the reason for aches and pains. Set your partner free and give yourself the foot TLC you need:
- Stretch your arches: This is a crowd favorite, thanks to that hurts-so-good feeling. Either standing or seated in a chair, gently roll the arch of your foot over a tennis ball to release tension.
- Stretch your ankle and heel: Sit in a chair with your feet hip-width apart, flat on the floor. Keeping your heels planted, lift your toes as high as you can. Feel the stretch up the column of your heel.
- Stretch the top of your foot: Also seated with your feet hip-width apart, turn the top of your foot against the floor, curling your toes under. Apply gentle pressure to stretch your extensor tendons.
Treat your feet.
Outfitting our feet in the lux support of Chaco Chillos Slide is like a nod of appreciation for all they do while setting the tone for recovery. Set aside time in your day just to unwind, and let these ultralight slides match your mood. Slip them on after throwing off those sweaty cycling shoes, or bring them along for your next pool day. Take one step toward your feet, and they'll keep walking miles for you.
Wellness, from head to toe.
We all want a lifetime of pain-free adventure, movement, and play. But something to consider: Our feet are in it for the long haul. Supporting our feet with the right shoes and recovery practices can have lifelong benefits, making this a wellness practice to prioritize. Chaco has the right idea, creating wellness from the ground up with the expanded Chaco Chillos Slide collection and new styles we can't wait to peep. Now it's time to kick back and put our feet up.
Devon Barrow is a Branded Content Editor at mindbodygreen. She received her degree from the University of Colorado. When she's away from her desk, Devon is teaching yoga, writing poetry, meditating, and traveling the world. She's based in Boulder, Colorado.
Devon's first book, Earth Women, is coming soon. To learn more, join the mailing list, and receive updates, head to www.devonbarrowwriting.com.