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20 Foot Facts You Probably Don’t Know

20 Foot StatisticsEyes are the windows to the soul. Lips are always getting kissed. And we can’t stop talking about the heart. But feet?

Feet are the unsung heroes of the body, carrying us 8,000 to 10,000 steps each day and 100,000 miles over the course of a lifetime (that’s approximately four times around the world!)

Feet might not be the most glamorous body part (in all fairness, we’ve never met a pair of stinky eyes), but a little research reveals that our pedal pushers are incredibly interesting–and sometimes downright strange.

Let’s get to steppin’!

1. Toes Sometimes Surgically Replace Lost Thumbs

Did you know that if you ever lose your thumb, you could have it replaced with your big toe? While it might sound bizarre, the surgery is fairly common–and successful. The transplanted big toe, known as a “thoe” once it’s attached to the hand, allows people to regain all the benefits of the lost thumb, including opening doorknobs, holding a pencil (and plenty of other objects) and eating many types of food.

2. Shoes Date Back 40,000 Years!

The first pair of shoes appeared on the scene approximately 40,000 years ago. The oldest pair in existence was found buried in ancient sheep dung in a cave in Armenia. The 5,500-year-old leather moccassin is older than Stonehenge!

3. Bones in the Feet Continue to Mature Until We’re 21

Foot Facts - baby feet

While it’s true that a full quarter of the bones in the human body are found in the feet, we aren’t born that way. Those adorable chunky baby feet we love so much are mostly cartilage–and don’t have an arch yet! It’s one of the many reasons babies can’t walk when they’re born. As we grow, our arch develops (around the time we turn 2), and the cartilage in our feet hardens. This process continues until we’re 21 years old!

4. Foot Cheese Is an Actual Thing

If anyone’s ever told you that your feet smell like stinky cheese, rattle off this piece of trivia: It’s totally possible to make actual cheese with bacteria from foot sweat. In fact, Ireland held a Foot Cheese Exhibition in 2013 that featured several varieties of foot cheese, as well as varieties that evolved from belly buttons and armpits. Yum! (Don’t worry, the exhibition didn’t feature a tasting room).

5. Ticklish Feet Are a Good Sign

With almost 8,000 nerves, it’s no wonder that feet win the award for “Most Ticklish Body Part.” But don’t lament the tickles–having ticklish feet means that all those nerves are firing correctly. Feet that don’t respond to a soft tickle could indicate a problem like neuropathy, or damage to the nerves and tissue of the foot.

6. Our Feet Are Growing Over Time

Not only do your feet continue to grow throughout your lifetime (one of the most common reasons you should check your shoe size every few years as you get older!), but feet size is increasing in the United States overall. The College of Podiatry released a study in 2014 indicating that the average shoe size had gone up by two full sizes in the United States over the past 44 years. Why? It’s speculated that our feet are adapting to our taller, heavier frames.

7. Toe Wrestling is a Competitive Sport

Toe Wrestling

Toe wrestling has been a thriving sport in several counties since 1970, complete with a men’s and women’s division and a Toe Wrestling World Championship. In this sport, opponents attempt to pin and hold down their opponent’s bare toes for three seconds. Best two out of three rounds, wins!

8. We Flirt With Our Feet

When it comes to flirtation, feet can reveal our feelings–well, for women anyway! UK researchers showed that a woman who is feeling flirtatious will position their feet out and away from her body. If she’s not feeling the chemistry, she’ll cross her legs or tuck her feet beneath her. Mysteriously, the same phenomenon wasn’t observed in men.

9. Feet Can Do Pretty Incredible Things

In the absence of arms or hands, many individuals have learned to do some pretty amazing things with their feet. In 2008, Jessica Cox became the first pilot to fly a plane using only her feet. Others have successfully mastered driving motorcycles, shooting a bulls-eye in archery, painting masterpieces, writing beautiful calligraphy, and playing golf.

10. Feet Have 250,000 Sweat Glands

There’s a reason sweat is associated with feet. You have a whopping 250,000 sweat glands in your feet. And just how much sweat can those proliferous sweat glands produce each day? Up to half a pint. How’s that for incentive to change your socks?

11. The Largest Feet In The World are 1 Foot 3 Inches Long

Who holds the Guinness World Record for largest and smallest feet? Brahim Takioullah from Morocco comes in first place for the largest feet. At 1 foot 3 inches long, his feet require a European size 58–which can be pretty spendy, and impossible to find in a retail store. One cobbler quoted him more than $5,000 for a custom pair of shoes. As for the smallest non-bound feet, the award goes to 19-year-old Jyoti Amge from Nagpar, India. Her tiny feet are just 3.72 inches long!

12. Your Feet Absorb Tens of Thousands of Pounds a Day

During a typical day, your feet bear the collective load of hundreds of thousands of pounds. On average, your feet absorb a total force of 26,000 pounds. That’s two African elephants. Add a 2.5-inch heel to the equation? You increase your load by 75%. In other words, 45,500 pounds. Think twice before spending significant time in heels, and properly support your feet throughout the day!

13. We Love Our Pedicures

In 2016, nail salons generated 8.5 billion dollars in sales. While a regular pedicure might seem like an indulgence, it can have some terrific health benefits, including improved circulation from the massage and handling of the feet! Proper shaping and trimming of the nails can also prevent problems like ingrown toenails. And let’s face it, bright, beautiful, beach-ready toes are good for the soul!

14. The Longest Toenails Are 6 Inches Long!

If it’s been a little while since you sat down with the toenail clippers, don’t worry. You’ve got a long way to go to beat the current world record for longest toenails. Louise Hollis of California holds the current world record for longest toenails in the world. Each toenail is approximately 6 inches long and requires a full two days of care and grooming each week. That’s some serious foot love!

15. There Are 10 “Personality Types” of Feet

Did you know there are a total of 10 different generally-recognized foot types? While there’s not any actual science to back the claim up, many people believe that it’s possible to describe your personality by determining the shape of your foot. See for yourself!

16. Women Experience More Foot Problems

Women Foot Problems

Women experience about four times as many foot-related problems as men. Heels are generally regarded as the culprit, because of the extreme strain they add to the arch and the unnatural pressure they place on the toe box. Surprisingly, women started wearing high heels to look more masculine. Male Persian warriors were the first ones to sport the high-heeled look, and women adopted the trend soon after.

17. .1% Of Children Are Born With Extra Toes

While uncommon, about 1 or 2 in 1,000 children will be born with an extra toe or two, a condition known as polydactylism. In fact, one Chinese boy was born with six extra toes (and five extra fingers). Typically, the extra toes are removed, since it can make wearing shoes uncomfortable.

18. There Is A Foot Condition Where Toes Overgrow

Speaking of unique foot conditions, one of the rarest is known as Macrodactyly. In this congenital condition, one or more toes becomes extremely enlarged due to overgrowth of bones and tissues in the foot. Thankfully, the condition is benign.

19. Podophobia is the Fear of Feet

A phobia of feet, known as podophobia, manifests itself as anger or extreme revulsion to the sight of feet. Many people with podophobia are also upset by talking about feet, reading about feet, or touching their own feet. In extreme cases, podophobia can have a detrimental effect on an individual’s health if it impacts someone’s ability to put on or remove socks and shoes or properly wash the feet, leading to infections or other problems.

20. Sepak Takraw is Foot Volleyball

Did you know that in Southeast Asia a popular sport known as sepak takraw is played? The game is played with a net and two teams on both sides, and is basically volleyball–except hands aren’t allowed! Feet (and sometimes heads) are used to volley the ball back and forth, with three touches allowed on each side of the net before the ball is returned.

Do you love your feet a little more? Take those toes out for a pedicure, treat your arches to a pair of cushioned orthotic inserts, or have a long soak in the tub tonight!

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What Does Science Say About Epsom Baths for Plantar Fasciitis?

Epsom Bath for Plantar FasciitisEpsom salt soaks are one of oldest go-to home remedies for a wide array pains and inflammation.

But does science back up the impressive claims of their effectiveness? Are epsom salts really a miracle cure? What about epsom salts and essential oils?

While epsom salts come highly recommended as a home treatment for plantar fasciitis, evidence suggests you’ll want to take these claims with a grain of, well, salt!

In this post we’ll explore how epsom salts work, the evidence for their effectiveness in treating plantar fasciitis and heel pain, and other at-home remedies to try:

Do Epsom Salts Really Work?

The short answer to “Do epsom salts really work?” is yes! The active ingredient in epsom salts, magnesium sulphate, has been approved for use as a laxative by the FDA. Studies have also shown magnesium sulphate’s usefulness in treating heart arrhythmia, tetanus, and eclampsia.

Unfortunately, the evidence for epsom salts’ effectiveness at treating pain–including plantar fasciitis and heel pain–is more meager. While there’s no conclusive evidence that epsom salt baths or foot soaks are detrimental to plantar fasciitis, there’s also no real body of evidence that epsom salt baths are significantly more effective that a regular bath or soak.

While one 2009 study and several 2007 studies showed some effectiveness of magnesium in reducing pain, a greater number of studies contradict this finding, showing no difference in pain reduction.

Does this mean you should give up on a soak with epsom salts if you suffer from heel pain? Not so fast.

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Benefits of Epsom Foot Soaks for Heel Pain

While it’s true that claims about the effectiveness of magnesium sulphate in epsom salts don’t have much basis in peer-reviewed studies, there’s no reason to discount the large body of anecdotal evidence for epsom salts and soaking your feet in general.

Taking a long, hot soak in the bath gives your feet time to rest and rejuvenate (something almost all podiatrists and doctors recognize as one of the most important parts of recovery!). A soak in the bath–especially with epsom salts, which can soften the skin–can also have tremendous benefits to your mental health, relaxing your body and reducing levels of cortisol (the stress hormone), which can be a major player in inflammation.

If you’re interested in trying epsom salts, there’s very little reason why you shouldn’t. At worst, you’ll enjoy a warm, relaxing bath and softer skin. At best, you may find that your heel pain does, in fact, improve. After all, an entire box of epsom salts, found in the pharmacy section of your local grocery store, will cost you somewhere in the neighborhood of $2!

Most websites and individuals who recommend the use of epsom salts recommend adding two or three tablespoons of epsom salts to a shallow bath meant for a foot soak alone. The water should be hot, but not uncomfortable, and feet can be soaked twice a day for about fifteen minutes. If you prefer a whole-body soak, add approximately one cup of epsom salts to an entire bathful of water.

Epsom Salts and Essential Oils

Essential Oils for Heel Pain

Epsom salt baths and essential oils are a popular combination. And while, like epsom salts, the scientific evidence for the effectiveness of essential oils in treating plantar fasciitis is meager, there are still many potential benefits to using essential oils in combination with epsom salt baths, especially if you find a particular scent soothing or pleasant.

A relaxing soak with epsom salts, followed by a self-massage session with essential oils can calm the mind and body, as well as improving blood flow to the feet and heels. The pleasant smell and feel of essential oils can provide extra incentive to massage the feet regularly, one of the most important aspects to healing!

Other Home Remedies to Try

In addition to (or in lieu of) soaking with epsom salts, try the following proven home remedies to reduce heel pain and treat the underlying cause of plantar fasciitis. It’s also worth noting that while home remedies like epsom salt baths and essential oils may indeed improve symptoms, the true healing of plantar fasciitis begins with treatments that address the damage and inflammation to the plantar fascia and surrounding muscles and ligaments.

Treatments for plantar fasciitis like these stretches and simple exercises can have a big impact in the amount of pain you feel on a daily basis (especially in the morning!). While these stretches may seem simple, they can be incredibly effective in improving blood flow, strengthening the plantar fascia and surrounding tissues, and increasing flexibility. Many people also find success with icing their feet regularly to reduce inflammation and pain.

Affordable, specialized orthotic inserts are one of the most effective at-home treatments for plantar fasciitis. These inserts can be added to almost any pair of shoes and stimulate your body’s natural healing abilities by targeting pressure points and raising your arch to the optimal level.

The good news is that because treatments like epsom salts, essential oils, orthotic inserts, and stretching are both affordable and low-risk, you should try any combination of these treatments to find what works best for your pain and lifestyle.

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Everything You Need to Know About X-rays for Heel Pain

X-rays for heel painThe human body can be a big mystery–particularly when it comes to pain.

You know your feet and heels hurt.

But why?

Is it plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, or something different? The hope of finding out exactly what’s going on beneath the surface encourages many people to seek out X-rays to determine the exact cause of heel or foot pain. After all, a Superman-style peek into the inner workings of your feet should reveal all, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not quite that simple when it comes to X-rays and plantar fasciitis or heel spurs.

While X-rays may be helpful in many cases, they’re not quite a magic bullet for diagnosing the root cause of heel pain. Here’s everything you need to know about X-rays and plantar fasciitis:

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Are X-rays Needed to Diagnose Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spurs?

While X-rays are a popular first line of defense when it comes to determining the cause of foot pain, they aren’t particularly helpful in diagnosing plantar fasciitis. Why? In large part because X-rays are much better at showing bones rather than soft tissue like muscles and ligaments. And since the main player in plantar fasciitis is a ligament–the fascia or arch of your foot–it’s difficult to determine the presence or extent of damage through an X-ray.

X-rays can detect the presence of heel spurs–sharp, protruding calcium deposits that may dig into the fatty pad of the heel, causing pain. However, the presence of heel spurs does not necessarily mean that someone has plantar fasciitis. While plantar fasciitis can cause the development of heel spurs as the body attempts to compensate for the damaged fascia, at other times heel spurs develop independently of plantar fasciitis and do not cause pain.

What Can X-rays Do?

X-ray heel pain

While X-rays aren’t particularly good for diagnosing plantar fasciitis, they can rule out other causes of foot pain, including stress fractures, cysts, and other problems related to the bones of the foot and ankle.

If your heel and foot pain does not respond to conservative home treatments for plantar fasciitis, your doctor may recommend an X-ray to explore other potential causes of the pain you are experiencing.

Typically, unless you’ve been experiencing heel pain for more than six months, your doctor will base his or her diagnosis on your reported symptoms along with an examination of your foot, heel, and ankles.

Costs for Foot X-rays

For individuals who do not have health insurance, the cost of a foot X-ray can be spendy, ranging between $200-$1000 depending on the provider, location, and how many views of the foot are taken during the X-ray session.

Even for individuals with health insurance, the out-of-pocket cost for a foot X-ray to diagnose plantar fasciitis can be expensive. Many insurance companies cover only a small percentage or nothing at all for X-rays to diagnose plantar fasciitis, especially as a first resort. Before you decide with your doctor that X-ray is the right diagnostic tool for your heel pain, make sure to speak with your insurance provider to avoid surprise expenses.

Alternatives to Plantar Fasciitis X-rays

Fascia Bar Medical Illustration

Overwhelmingly, if you are experiencing heel pain–particularly with those first few steps in the morning–you probably have plantar fasciitis. Diagnosing this condition is typically a straightforward process that involves evaluating your symptoms in light of your habits, lifestyle, and other risk factors for plantar fasciitis (like your footwear). Your doctor can typically make an accurate diagnosis based on your answers to questions about exercise habits, when you experience foot and heel pain, and when your pain gets worse.

In some cases, your doctor may recommend an ultrasound scan–which is far more useful for examining soft tissue. Ultrasound may reveal a thickened plantar fascia (which can indicate plantar fasciitis), tears in the fascia, and may also detect or rule out bursitis, abscesses, rheumatoid arthritis, entrapped nerves, and gout.

If your symptoms persist, get worse, or you and your doctor suspect that another issue may be mimicking plantar fasciitis, next steps include tests that evaluate blood flow, bone scans, an MRI, or neurological testing to rule out nerve entrapment.

The good news is that the overwhelming majority of plantar fasciitis cases can be treated at home with simple, conservative treatments such as icing, stretching, rest, and the use of plantar fasciitis orthotic inserts. With a few months of consistent attention and treatment, most people find significant relief from their symptoms.

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Graston Technique for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis graston techniqueIf you’re a sports fan, you’ve likely heard of a treatment method known as the Graston Technique.

The Graston Technique, a new, non-invasive treatment for soft-tissue injuries (particularly those where inflammation is present) has been praised by numerous athletes and is gaining popularity outside of the world of sports as well.

What is the Graston Technique? Is it painful? How much will it cost?

And most importantly, does it work?

Here’s what you need to know about the Graston Technique and plantar fasciitis.

What Is the Graston Technique?

In the Graston technique, a physician uses small stainless steel instruments (think of dull butter knives) to apply progressive, targeted pressure to the plantar fascia.

This targeted pressure is intended to break up adhesions in the inflamed, damaged arch, improving blood flow and encouraging the regeneration of healthy tissue. The official Graston Technique is offered by trained physicians who learn how to target and break up adhesions in soft tissue with specialized Graston instruments.

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Benefits of Graston Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Graston Technique

Photo by GTindy CC BY-SA 3.0

Graston Therapy is very similar to other therapies for plantar fasciitis that work to break up adhesions and improve blood flow to the injured fascia (including some remedies you can do at home).

What the Graston Technique offers is highly targeted pressure therapy with specialized instruments. While a rolling pin, golf ball, or mobility ball is quite helpful in breaking up adhesions and improving blood flow, some people find additional benefit in targeted massage and pressure that’s administered by a clinician who can apply highly targeted pressure.

Many people report significant pain relief in the days and weeks following Graston Therapy as blood flow improves and adhesions and scar tissue break down.

Considerations When Using the Graston Technique

While some people experience only mild discomfort throughout treatment with the Graston technique, many individuals do find the process somewhat painful as increased pressure is applied with the instruments.

Common side effects of the procedure are mild and include bruising, redness and soreness in the days following the procedure. Don’t be afraid to communicate with your physician throughout the procedure; the Graston technique can be adjusted and pressure reduced depending on a patient’s unique needs.

Most people undergo Graston therapy for a period of four to six weeks, with a frequency of once or twice a week. Graston therapy may be covered by your insurance provider and typically runs approximately $60-$90 per session.

Supplementing the Graston Technique

Studies on the effectiveness of the Graston Technique are still ongoing, but many reports show promising results. However, some questions remain as to whether the Graston Technique is more effective than simple self-massage with a golf ball or mobility ball.

Compared with many plantar fasciitis treatments, the Graston Technique is non-invasive and inexpensive with few side effects. If you have found success with simple massage tools and wonder if Graston is right for you, there’s little reason not to give this technique a try.

In all cases, Graston Therapy (and other massage and pressure treatments) should be supplemented with treatments that target the root cause of plantar fasciitis. Treating the symptoms without treating the source of your foot and heel pain can result in a chronic condition or worsening symptoms.

Incorporate simple daily stretches into your routine to strengthen the plantar fascia and surrounding muscles and ligaments, wear orthotic inserts to lift the damaged fascia to its optimal height while easing pain, and address other trouble spots like ill-fitting footwear, insufficient rest for your feet during the day, or weight gain that is putting added strain on your arches.

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Best Work Shoes for Labor, Medical, and Service Jobs

Best Work Shoes for nursesWhen you’re on your feet for 10+ hours every day–whether it’s building houses, taking vital signs, or extolling the benefits of the dessert menu–the shoes you wear have a major impact on the health of your feet.

Plantar fasciitis, an inflammatory condition caused by damage and strain to the plantar fascia (also known as the arch of your foot) are commonplace in jobs and industries that require employees to spend most of the day walking and standing.

What’s more, many of these jobs have unique footwear requirements that go beyond arch health (such as non-slip soles or heavy-duty work boots for construction safety).

With these dynamics, finding the right pair of shoes can be daunting.

In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about finding the right pair of work shoes that meet your needs and prevent heel pain too!

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Best Shoes for Waitresses and Waiters

As a waiter or waitress, you spend long days and evenings dashing back and forth across the restaurant and taking orders. In other words, by the end of your shift, your feet need some service.

Wearing poorly made shoes, or shoes that simply don’t give your feet all the support they need, can result in serious foot injuries including heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, and bunions.

Best Shoes For Waitress

To combat the long hours you spend on your feet, you’ll need shoes that provide superior arch support, thick cushioning, and non-slip soles for the many potential surface hazards. You’ll also want to hone in on the following unique qualities:

  • Many restaurants and hospitality venues require a particular dress standard–typically nice black dress shoes–which narrows your options further. Don’t sacrifice style over comfort, though. Fit and support should always come first.
  • Pay close attention to your toe box and heel height. If you choose to wear wedges or heels, you’ll want to stay as low to the ground as possible and watch your toe box. A narrow toe box–especially when combined with a heel–forces your toes downward and can easily lead to claw foot, hammer toes, and bunions.

Top brands for waiters and waitresses include the popular Dasko, which offers supportive and comfortable dress shoes, sandals, and clogs. New Balance also offers several dress-shoe options with rave ratings when it comes to support–and style.

See below for our top work style picks for men and women!

Best Shoes for Nurses, Orderlies, and Medical

There are few jobs more physically demanding than the medical field. Not only are you required to lift, bend, and stay on the move constantly–you’re also often required to stay on your feet for 12 hours straight or longer.
As a nurse, orderly, or medical professional, you’ll want to focus on arch support, shock absorption, cushioning, and proper fit to avoid injury to the plantar fascia or the muscles and ligaments in the foot. In addition to these core attributes, you’ll also want to look for these unique attributes:

  • Slip resistance: The medical industry can be unpredictable–and messy. Slip resistance is absolutely critical.
    Lightweight materials: Heavy shoes are the last thing you need as a medical professional. Choose shoes made from lightweight materials, like rubber.
  • Heel support: While many nurses and orderlies choose Crocs–because of their lightweight, comfortable design–they’re not a great choice for a long shift. Crocs lack heel support, adding more strain to your fascia and allowing the heel to shift while you walk.
  • Many medical professionals swear by the Dansko brand. New Balance, Asics, and Spira are other top brands that cater to the medical profession with comfortable, long-lasting work shoes.

See below for our top work shoe style picks for men and women.

Best Work Boots for Service Professionals

Best plantar fasciitis boots

In the not-so-distant past, work boots came in extremely limited style options that often made plantar fasciitis worse. Thankfully, there’s now quite a few work boots that cushion, protect, and support the plantar fascia and heel.

First and foremost, work boots should protect and support the plantar fascia. Work boots should also provide thick cushioning with extra padding at the fascia or arch, along with the following unique attributes for service professionals:

  • Full coverage is important for service professionals to protect all parts of the foot and heel in potentially dangerous or unpredictable environments.
  • Choose laces rather than straps or zip where possible. Laces allow you to perfect the fit of the boot along all areas of the ankle, foot, and heel more effectively.
  • Look for high shock absorption. Shoes that will absorb shock well have thicker soles and cushioning inside the shoe. Good shock absorption is critical to reducing impact from abrupt movements or sudden impact.

See below for our top work boot style picks.

Top Brands and Styles for Work Shoes

More brands than ever are supporting foot health and arch support. These are a few of our favorite brands and styles for work shoes that help combat plantar fasciitis!

For Men

  • The Brooks Addiction Walker: This casual shoe offers great support, cushioning, and the fit of a running shoe with a dressier style. It’s slip resistant and made of durable leather.
  • New Balance MW928: This comfortable shoe offers high stability, support, and durability. Individuals who are overweight may find that this shoe is particularly helpful in balancing out weight and absorbing impact.
  • Asics GEL-Tech Walker Neo: This shoe is incredibly lightweight with a strong, stable sole and good support. The cushioning is on the light side–meaning you’ll likely want to supplement them with orthotic inserts.

For Women

  • Dansko Professional Clogs: Durable, comfortable, and supportive–there’s a reason Dansko is one of the most popular work shoe brands. Dansko Professional Clogs are made of leather and have a conservative, stylish appearance. They also get great traction!
  • Spira Classic Leather Walking Shoe: Another great option for pairing style with comfort, Spira is terrific on shock absorption and structure for max comfort. Cushioning is a bit sparse, so be sure to pair this shoe with an orthotic insert.
  • New Balance MW928: New Balance offers one of the best options in casual work shoes for both men and women. Terrific arch support as well as shock absorption, with great traction to boot.

Top Brands and Styles of Work Boots

We love the arch support and comfort these work boots offer:

  • Timberland Pro Pit Boss: With solid coverage, durable design, no-slip soles, and laces for the perfect fit, these Timberland boots go the extra mile with cushioning, arch support, and a steel toe to boot.
  • Caterpillar Second Shift: Caterpillar has rightfully earned a name for itself in the construction industry. These boots are built to last with durable full-grain leather, good arch support, cushioning, and additional helpful features like steel toes, electrical hazard protection, and a no-slip sole.
  • Wolverine Raider Boot: Not only are these boots extremely comfortable–they’re also durable, slip-resistant, cushioned, and integrate breathable mesh to keep your feet fresh and reduce blisters.

More Tips for Preventing Heel Pain on the Job

Best office work shoes

While finding the right work shoe or work boot is absolutely critical to avoiding plantar fasciitis and heel pain, it’s not the only way you can protect your feet. Keep the following tips in mind to support that new pair of works shoes!

Take Those Breaks

This might seem like a no-brainer, but during a busy workday it’s all too easy to skip a break or cut your break short. Most employees are covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act–meaning you’re entitled to a full break at regular intervals. Make sure to take advantage of those breaks to sit and rest your feet, since rest is one of the best ways to keep your arch healthy.

Take Your Shoes to the Next Level

While many modern work shoes and work boots include some degree of cushioning, it’s not always enough. Add cushioning–plus targeted arch support–with orthotic inserts made specifically for plantar fasciitis. The great thing about orthotic inserts is that they can easily be transferred between pairs of shoes. In other words, that expensive–but support-free–work shoe you just purchased has a whole new lease on life now!

Stretch and Ice

During breaks, or after you get home from work, take some time to stretch and ice painful heels and feet. Icing and stretching, while simple, are incredibly effective at reducing inflammation, breaking up adhesions, and improving blood flow and healing for overworked feet.

Your job is important, and your your feet take you everywhere you need to go. Take care of your feet by wearing the right shoes for the job, and the right shoes for your arch!

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