Monday, August 23, 2010

These Feet Were Made For Walking...

Vincent Van Gogh

I have been away from my computer for the better part of this weekend, because I have been outdoors -- walking. The weather is cooler, and is more conducive to going for long strolls. It's wonderful. My biggest problem is that I have to walk with my feet, and I have -- arguably -- the world's worst feet. Most of the people in my family have lovely, slim, dainty feet, but that particular gene skipped me.

When I was growing up on Vancouver Island, I wore shoes as little as possible. I could walk over gravel or hot coals with my bare feet, and it didn't bother me at all. But I guess eventually one pays a price for that. When I was working for law firms, I always "dressed up" and wore high heels, and fortunately I felt comfortable wearing them. When my daughter and I were in Paris, she convinced me to buy a pair of flat shoes. They were gorgeous -- a soft buttery leather with a latticework pattern and a little leather bow. When I put them on, I could hear my feet saying "Thank you...!". I have worn flat shoes ever since then, and my high heels now languish at the back of my cupboard.

Here are some interesting facts about feet -- everything you never ever wanted to know:

1. During a lifetime it is thought that a person has walked enough steps to have circled the planet more than four times, which is approximately 115,000 miles.

2. Women suffer from four times as many problems than men. This is believed to be a result of their cruel high heel shoes.

3. Women on average walk three miles farther every day than men.

4. Socrates once claimed "When our feet hurt, we hurt all over".

5. Runners hit the ground with a force of two and a half times their body weight.

6. The average foot gets two sizes longer when you stand up.

7. A 2½-inch high heel can increase the load on the forefoot by 75%.

8. Each foot produces more than a cup of perspiration per day.

9. There are 28 bones in the human foot.

In the evenings after work, I love to sit and massage cream into my feet and pamper them a little bit.  I feel that if we look after our feet, they will look after us.


Kathryn said...

One of my favorite things as a massage therapist is to pamper people's feet. That just doesn't happen often enough. Feet are usually so neglected.

I wore 3-4 inch heels for about 4 years when i was working as an office manager at a company. It was during a time when i "did" expensive clothes quite a lot. I'm glad i had that time, but glad it is behind me too.

My right foot has a small bunion on it. It seems to run in our family. But what i find interesting is that my youngest sister has larger ones on both her feet. I find this interesting because she has never worn a 4 inch heel in her life. I don't think she's ever done heels at all.

And, while our feet are nearly the same size, she wears a shoe 2 sizes larger than i. She says it is because our mother was freak-a-zoid about not having shoes too tight & that she would "grow into them" & she got used to the loose feel & hates tight shoes.

I think it just shows that some things are quite a matter of genetics & not always the stressors.

One of the things i love as a massage therapist is working barefoot. I wear flip-flop zoris most of the year & love it! (And my feet are about the prettiest part of me.)

Maha said...

I love walking bare-footed too, i almost never wear shoes at home. I think those massages will do me good, I got some issues with walking, I am addicted to it and everyone knows me to be hyperactive. I used to wear heels but quitted when a friend of mine told me they make me look huge.

The Bug said...

My arthritis cured me of heels - not that I was very adept in them anyway. Such a klutz! It also cured me of going barefoot very often - I need better support or my hip starts hurting. So at home I wear Croc flip flops - I love them!

I always put lotion on my feet after every shower. My mom never pampered her feet & her heels were always rough & dry. I was determined to not do that to my feet!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I am very grateful to my feet for all they do for me, but I am usually in too much of a rush to put lotion on them although I always mean to.

I will now. They deserve it!

DJan said...

When I was in Thailand for a conference (twice), I discovered the foot massage ladies and visited them every single day. They spent an hour on each foot and I felt like I was walking on air after that.

Glad you ditched the heels, Jo. They are so hard on us, and I now wonder why I ever wore them at all.

Charlene said...

I never wear shoes at work or home. I wear them to work and home, but they come off when I'm indoors. As a kid in the summer, I only wore shoes when we went to church or to town.

I used to get pedicures. Oh my that was nice. She moved out of town and I've not found someone I like to do those again.

I like that cream massage idea. I wish I had a handy dandy person I could wheel out of the closet like a vacuum to do it though!

Cloudia said...

foot massage!

Aloha from Waikiki :)

Comfort Spiral

Country Girl said...

It's been so hot here that walking is the last thing I want to do after a long day at work. You'd think that with the cooler weather we've had the past few days that I'd be out there, but I am embarrassed to say that I have not. And I want to thank you for this post. Hopefully, it will spur me on.
Those feet ladies in Thailand sound wonderful, don't they?

Anonymous said...

Foot massages are heavenly. Try it.

Linda S. Socha said...

An hour on each foot! Heaven! Nice post Jo


Hi - I love to be barefoot (I guess that's why my shoes last so long).

A few years ago, my husband pulled out his worn military boots; I loved the look of them so much that I put them on our tiled floor (the tiles came from Mexico) - took a picture of it, and it made up for the fact I can't afford a Van Gogh.

When I hung it, a number of people thought it was an original - I guess it's because his painting of the shoes is so well known. Imagine the delight I had in telling everyone the truth.

I use shea butter each night on my feet; put on light socks and keep them soft and smooth.

Katy said...

I grew up barefooted. I didn't even wear shoes in school when I could get away with it. Now I have a fancy pair of shoes I keep under my desk for those times that I have to walk out of my office. Otherwise I'm barefoot... or in sandels.

On a side note, I would love it if it would cool off enough to be able to stand outside. Just for a bite. There is something about 104 that says... "Go back insided... don't even bother"

Single and Sane said...

I started out wearing 3-inch heels, but fortunately, Lady Di came along at the right time, and as long as she was with Charles, she made lower heels fashionable. That got me off of the 3-inch heels early on. By the time the ridiculously high heels came back into fashion, there was no way I could wear a heel higher than 2 inches.

But most of the summer, I wear flip flops as much as possible

joanne said...

A cup a day?? no wonder feet stink! It is such a great idea to treat your feet well, they are really a blessing to have. I say that because I was in an unfortunate fall and ended up losing one of them...worst decision ever. Baby those feet people!

Essie said...

When I was a massage therapist I took a Zen Bodywork class. The Japanese say, "You die from the feet up." I learned that on foot treatment day.

Wolynski said...

All I ever wanted to know about feet and more.

I don't think it's so much the high heels, although they don't help, but having a job where you have to be busy on your feet for hours on end. Waitresses develop horrible feet - restaurants don't tend to be carpeted.

I have good feet - laziness has really paid off big time.

Amy said...

Jo, This was a good reminder re the importance of our foots. Just yesterday I treated myself to a poolside foot soak and pampering, and I too, use lotion every time I shower on those appendages.

And forget the heels - only in the direst of circumstances are they permitted, so they're gathering dust in the back of my closet!

Walking is good for the soul - could I trade places with you today please? It's supposed to get to 108 degrees, that's Fahrenheit!

Anonymous said...

Ha, I want to see high heels becoming fashionable for men before I die. Wouldn't it be a great option for shorter guys?

TC said...

My mother was always heavy and had foot problems wore high heels all the time etc. I said NOT ME. I'm not nearly as heavy or as tall but I have calluses so big you would swear I was trying to grow hooves!! I'm thinking it is genetic after all. Foot massages ARE heavenly, I never ask for one though because I had to rub her feet all the time......

TomCat said...

Josie with a foot fetish? Who whoulda thunk it!! ;-)

Pauline said...

Jo, I just walked some of my 115,000 miles not far from you. I've returned from a week-long Pacific Northwest camping trip and one day had lunch within view of Victoria, BC. I waved at you there around the corner in Vancouver!

Smalltown RN said...

Like you I wore high heels when I worked in an office. Some were comfortable most were not and my feet paid the price.

For the past 20 years I wear nursing shoes or good walking shoes to work, my feet thank me.

I love to have my feet pampered. Again, like you a little self pedicure is in order as often as I can.

I don't know why we women torture ourselves with those ridiculous high heels....granted they can complement an outfit, but look at the cost we have to pay for vanity!

Ien in the Kootenays said...

Try Reflexology, that focuses on the feet, instead of foot massage as part of a whole body massage treatment.
Pure magic, not just for the feet but for the whole body. Don't worry about the state of your feet.
As long as they are clean the reflexologist will not be shocked. You wouldn't stop going to the doctor because you are embarrassed about your body, woud you? Of course a good pedicure never hurts either. I am a reflexologist, and trade pedicures for reflex treatments.....Go feet go!
For information on reflexology see

RiverPoet said...

Eww to #8; Amen to #4!

I used to wear what Steve Martin would call "cruel shoes" back in the day. I walked all over a very large high school campus when I was a teenager, wearing 4" heels! It wasn't until after I had my first baby that I decided to give my feet a break. Now I only put on a very low pair of heels for the company Christmas party or a funeral. Even then I feel as though I'm teetering on the brink of destruction, and my feet, knees, hips, and lumbar spine hurt like crazy afterward. It's really not worth it, is it?

Lovely post!

Peace - D

A human kind of human said...

I have to agree with wise old Socrates. If you want to see a really grumpy Human, put me in high heels.