Our house has hardwood floors, and hardwood stairs, so wearing socks, or even most kinds of slippers indoors is a risky proposition: one wrong move, and you might well slip and go flying down half a flight of steps. (In fact, while shlepping a heavy box down into the basement, wearing too-loose backless sandals, I did just that, twisting and breaking my ankle into the bargain.)
Since I work from home — and have for the best part of 30 years — I need to wear well-fitting footwear with treads that grip on a slick surface. So for years, I’ve worn decent quality running shoes, virtually all day and evening long.
Turns out that was a good decision. When I started talking to foot care professionals for a story aimed at retirees, at least one commented that he sees people who begin experiencing foot pain once they leave work permanently, and begin spending a lot of time at home wearing slippers or other non-supportive footwear.
But while age-related changes such as thinning of the fat pad on the sole of the feet can increase the odds of developing pain and other problems, there are some simple strategies that can help keep you striding through life in relative comfort.
My heartfelt thanks to the interviewees who so generously shared their time and expertise:
- John-Paul Gordon, a podiatrist with Body Quest Health and Wellness Centre in St. John’s, NL.
- Howard Green, a podiatrist in South Surrey, BC, who is now president of the British Columbia Podiatric Medical Association.
- James Hill, past-president of the Ontario Podiatric Medical Association, who practices at the Foot Care Institute in Windsor, Ont.
- Bradley Sonnema, a podiatrist at the White Oaks Foot and Ankle Clinic in Edmonton, who is also an executive officer at the College of Podiatric Physicians of Alberta.
- Joseph Stern, a Vancouver podiatrist who is now past-president of the Canadian Podiatric Medical Association.
- Nadine Webster, a chiropodist at the Kawartha Total Foot Care Centre in Bobcaygeon, Ont.