What your shoes can tell you

When is the last time you looked at the bottom of your shoes? If it’s been more than a year, you might be surprised. You could discover uneven wear or spots that are nearly worn through. Both of those can cause balance problems and lead to slips or falls.

12-07 Page 4A.inddThe fix, however, isn’t as simple as going out to buy another pair of whatever you’re currently wearing. If, like some of us, you haven’t bought new shoes in many years, you’ll be surprised at how your feet have changed and what’s available now.

If you have any problems with your feet or don’t know what type of shoe to buy, your first step should be to ask your doctor for a referral to a podiatrist. There, you’ll be examined and have a shoe type suggested.

If you have your doctor or podiatrist recommend a shoe type, you’ll know that you’re getting something that will help, as opposed to hurt you. At the same time, there are shoes that Medicare may pay for if you have diabetes. If it turns out that you need a little arch support, a podiatrist will be able to advise you on what will work best.

One walking shoe that comes to mind is the New Balance 577. It comes in all sizes and three widths. Not only are they a popular walking shoe for all ages, but they come with both laces and tab closures.

When you go to buy shoes, shop at a regular shoe store where trained clerks will know how to measure and fit you for the right shoe. This is not the time to try to grab a bargain at a big-box store.

(c) 2016 King Features Synd., Inc.