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The Arch of the Foot: Stay Supportive
Replacing or repairing worn-out shoes is one way to protect your arches. Read on to learn why it’s important to take care of your foot bridges.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, the average person takes between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day. Over the course of a lifetime, in some estimates, that amounts to four trips around the earth. Each of those roughly 115,000 miles puts immense pressure on the arches of your feet, making it vital to maintain even arch support. Unsupported arches can cause the feet to rotate in or out as you walk, knocking knees and hips out of alignment and putting unnecessary pressure on the shins, thighs, pelvis, and back. Proper arch support keeps the foot's relatively weak muscles from over-extending, preventing fatigue and absorbing the constant shock.
When selecting a shoe, arch support should be a chief concern, especially if you have a job that requires standing for hours at a time, such as a waiter or statue. But because arch height varies from person to person and often changes—when you're pregnant, for instance—finding supportive shoes can be difficult. Over-the-counter shoe inserts and custom-made orthotics can help, and skilled cobblers can reshape shoes to add more support or cushioning. On the same note, much of the blame for uneven arches often lies in normal wear and tear, which can be remedied with another cobbling specialty: the addition of new heels or soles.