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Feb. 18 footwear side

February 19, 2002

Four steps for better footwear



Like a Jeff Foxworthy comedic riff (If... you might be a redneck), California nurse Patti Glick has a few dos and don'ts when purchasing a new pair of shoes.

If you can answer in the affirmative to any of the following scenarios, "that's not good," Glick says. "It's not a good shoe."

1. Grip the shoe at the toe and heel, bending upward. The shoe should bend in the area where the ball of the foot goes.

If not, if the shoe bends more toward the center, the shoe can contribute to development of plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of tissue on the bottom of the foot.

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2. Hold the shoe by the toe and heel and twist it as if wringing water from a towel. If it can be wrung like a sponge, Glick says, "that's not good."

"You want a shoe that is a little stiff because that's going to give you side support."

3. Pinch the back of the shoe's heel with the thumb and forefinger. If it collapses, the shoe will not provide enough support for the heel.

4. With the thumb, push on the underside of the shoe heel on its sole. If it can be pushed in, the shoe will lack stability. Glick says those with weak ankles will be susceptible to sprains.

- Kevin Clapp

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