by Anthony chips Chiappetta, Certified Pedorthist

A topic that we confront on a daily basis is the concept of comfort.  Over the last few years most of the new customers of Chiappetta Shoes decide to come in looking for help with a foot problem, most often plantar fasciitis.  In dealing with offering a solution to these problems, comfort is the name of the game.  The term itself is relative to each person, their level of pain tolerance, as well as the scope of the problem we are dealing with.  In the ideal world, “comfort” really is not having to think about anything and just go.  Sure running a marathon or powerlifting is not comfortable in nature, but being able to pick up and go during your typical day is what we are talking about.

Being in the footwear and pedorthic business, we tend to “study” people’s footwear.  Jim Cramer of Mad Money documents this habit beautifully in one of his commercials from a few years ago (love this commercial!).  During our daily studies, we have come across a new phenomenon.  This phenomenon is puzzling due to the fact that it could be easily corrected.  The phenomenon is what we call RFS, or Restless Foot Syndrome.  RFS is an annoying condition where men, women, and children shift their weight from side to side because their heels hurt too much.  We have all had a bout of RFS in our lifetime and it’s definitely not comfortable.  Coming up on the holiday season, most people will find themselves standing a lot more.  Standing in line for the hottest Christmas gift, standing in the back of church because you (or your significant other) cannot get anywhere on time, or standing because you are working longer hours.  Even if you can deal with constantly shifting from left to right without much pain, is that really comfortable?

Within footwear there are a few misconceptions when it comes to comfort.  Most people think of comfort in footwear as cushion.  Everyone has seen the commercials with Joe Montana and Brooke Burke hocking Sketchers and all their wonderfully comfortable shoes… not so much.  Here’s the deal people.  Cushion or spongy foam, is certainly not bad for the feet.  We have many nerves that end in the foot which makes you respond to cushion positively.  Anyone can kick on a pair of Relaxed Fit Sketchers. BUT!  Mechanically, the body needs contour and structure when we are going about our daily tasks.  The time when you are standing or walking for hours on end is when we need to talk about “contour” over “cushion”.  When looking for good contour, you are looking for a higher medial arch and metatarsal support.  Two examples of good contour are the Birkenstock and Dansko brands, where all their shoes and sandals have very defined contour with little actual cushion.  The main idea we are trying to convey is that with greater contour or support, the body’s weight is more evenly balanced on the bottom of the foot, leading to a better gait (how you take a step) as well as better posture.  When it comes to your feet and comfort, footwear is the first line of defense.

So what does comfort mean to Chiappetta Shoes?  Comfort, in relation to your feet and footwear, is to have the freedom to move without the risk and worry of being in pain.  Comfort essentially is the lack of feeling.  On the opposite end, Restless Foot Syndrome is when you feel everything.  You end up constantly switching from side to side to avoid having too much pressure and pain on the heels.  So for this holiday season, save yourself the worry, pain, and irritation from RFS and shop at Chiappetta Shoes.  Check out our Foot Health page for more info as well.  Check back often because we will be adding more an more great information for you on a regular basis!


A small note!

As a way to promote thought and conversation, Chiappetta Shoes will be posting repetitive and relevant topics written by us as well as other interesting people.  We will be covering the concepts of comfort, community, creativity, and many more great topics that we .  The interesting part is how these concepts play a role in our lives.  If you have any topics you think are interesting OR would like to contribute an article please email us at info@chiappettashoes.com.

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