As we near the end of the great foot extravaganza, here are some general suggestions for shoe and foot happiness:
1. Don't wear heels or uncomfortable dress shoes for important standing concert situations or for long walking distances. If you bring them with you, they'll last longer anyways.
2. Stop wearing flip flops as often.
3. Don't wear heeled boots when you need to walk any sizable distance or when the weather is dubious. (New Yorkers, are you listening? High heeled snow boots and rain boots are a death trap.)
4. Bring some self-care to those tired feet. See post 4.
5. When you do buy new shoes, pay more attention to the fit, the amount of space for your toes, and the heel of the shoe.
6. Walk barefoot in your house, if you can. This helps to restore normal muscular use for your feet, which gets undermined by shoe constriction.
7. If you have children, make sure they wear shoes with flexible soles, especially when learning to walk. If you're a wee little one just finding balance, why do you want to add a big bulky sole and heel for your feet?
8. If you're having serious foot issues, see a doctor. Your foot alignment affects your posture, your knees, spine, head placement...the list is long. It's worth it.
9. If you've had a past foot/toe issue, notice if you walk differently to compensate. Can you come back to a more even gait? Where's the asymmetry in your feet and how does it affect the rest of your body?
10. Even if you're not in pain now (many of you readers are spry and youthful musicians), be aware that your actions now dictate the muscular and bone structures of your future. The soft and hard tissues of your body are constantly changing, strengthening, lengthening, softening, tightening, in response to activity, patterning, and life. Your daily habits create long term repercussions.