Whenever September rolls around I get that ‘new-term’ feeling. Even though I’m no longer a student, when you add up all the years that I have been studying in one way or another (yes, I’m even counting primary school), we’re looking at upwards of 20 years in education. So it’s no wonder that I still see September as the start of a new chapter – and still use an academic diary! I see it as a time to kick off some resolutions. In fact, it’s probably a better time of year to make resolutions than January, as you’ve got the end of the year as a marker for quantifying your goals. Whether it’s learning a new language (yes, I’m trying to learn Spanish this year), getting fitter, changing your working habits or improving your savings, I think that September is a great time to start.So, why am I talking about new goals on a Tuesday Shoesday? Surely this blog post is about shoes, right? Right! But my new shoes are linked to my new-term resolutions, and here are the reasons why: I took a bit of time off over the summer and it was only when I got back into the swing of full-time work that I realised just how bad my back and neck is. I went for physiotherapy earlier this year to correct a neck problem (caused by a historical whiplash injury over 10 years ago) and I thought everything was getting better. Over the summer, I barely noticed anything wrong with my neck and all those headaches were gone. However, as soon as I got back to my desk it became obvious what the problem was – my working environment. All the aches and pains came rushing back and it was difficult to get through a full day of work. So here’s my solution, and how it links to the shoes:I’m now a standing worker. I realised that sitting down all day was causing a lot of problems; heavy legs, pins and needles, bad back and strained neck. No matter how ergonomic my desk set-up was, I needed to get up off my bum and work standing up. So I gave it a go by moving my computer onto a higher work surface for a couple of days to see how I got on. It worked miracles. No problems at all. Apart from one small thing; my feet ached. My cheap flat pumps were clearly NOT made for standing all day! It reminded me of working in hospitality jobs when I was running around all day and really needed a foot massage at the end of the day. So one problem solved ended up causing another problem, but there was something I could do about that…
If you need new sports clothing I think that Fabletics (designed by Kate Hudson) can’t be beaten for style and performance.
I’ve reviewed comfort shoes on my blog in the past and I discovered that, for heels, Hotter cannot be beaten. However, I’ve always struggled to find a decent pair of comfort shoes that are also a little more on the sporty side. Most flat comfort shoes are a little bit too ‘old lady’ for me (no offence) and I’ve shied away from them, preferring basic low-cost pumps when I want to wear flat shoes. I read some reviews about sports shoes and zumba shoes online (read the article at NicerShoes.com) and now I’ve finally found a pair of comfort shoes that I want to show off – they’re sporty, available in great colours and are SO comfortable it’s unreal.
I chose the Strive “Florida” shoes in grey and pink. Similar in style to the Sketcher’s Go Walk shoes, these are the kind of shoes that you can wear on the way to the office, whether you’re cycling, walking or picking up a faster pace. If you’re working at a standing desk like me, they are the ideal for keeping your foot in an ergonomically balanced position. It limits the stress on your feet by reflecting the contours of the foot and improves stability (good for clumsy ol’ me). A set of instructions come with the shoe; because they are so different to non-comfort shoes, some people find it difficult to wear these trainers for the first time, so Strive recommends gradually changing over to wearing the shoes – 1 hour on the first day, 2 hours on the second day and so on. I followed the recommendation kinda but I already found them to be so much more comfortable than my normal pumps that I didn’t really want to take them off.I’ve already noticed a huge improvement in my feet (no more aches) and the shoes seemed to be improving my back too. When I read through the information on the footbed technology, it does claim to help with knee and back pain, to correctly align the body and feet AND to improve muscle efficiency to reduce fatigue. I’m not sure I’ve been wearing them for long enough yet to improve my muscles, but I have noticed improvements in terms of end-of-day pain already and I’ve not even had them for a week yet.While I still need to work on a proper sit/stand desk solution, and perhaps get a more ergonomic chair, at least my feet and body feel better when I’m standing up, thanks to these shoes. I got my Strive shoes from FyFo.co.uk using the 10% discount code FYFOTREAT10. The price is comparable to most other comfort and sportswear brands out there and I absolutely agree with spending money on something that’s going to improve my life this much. In terms of sorting out aches and pains, I’m already feeling much better AND I have found that I want to be more active, just by putting the shoes on. I’m going for walks more often, I dance around at home and even doing the occasional lunge at my standing desk to stretch out – so it’s certainly helping with my resolution to fix my back and be a bit more healthy for the rest of the year.Let me know if you to have tried out comfort shoes and how they’ve impacted on your levels of activity. And do you work at a standing desk? I’d love to know what ergonomic solutions you have in your workspace so please do get in touch to chat more by leaving me a comment below or tweeting me @Cassiefairy.