From backyard barbeques to weekend road trips, there’s never a shortage of fun during the summer months in Toronto. In just a few short days, the Princes’ Gates will open to mark another season of excitement at the Canadian National Exhibition. While you’re planning which food trucks you’re going to visit at the CNE, the team at Bayview Sheppard RMT will be wondering, “What shoes are you wearing?”

Bright coloured and convenient flip-flops are as synonymous with summer as ice cream cones on the beach. And, how can we blame you? Flip-flops are easy to throw on, economical in price, and available almost everywhere at this time of year.

It’s not until you’ve been on your feet for a few hours that the regret finally kicks in leaving you wondering, “Why did I wear these shoes? My feet and back are killing me!”

There’s nothing worse than that uncomfortable moment when you start to awkwardly shuffle in your flip-flops trying to give your aching feet a tiny bit of respite. You may even feel your feet clenching as you struggle to stay on the shoe’s footbed, something that we call toe clawing or gripping.

Finding the right footwear is like finding the right mattress or pillow for your body. It’s essential for your everyday health and wellbeing. We recommend considering the following things when selecting your footwear:

  1. Do they provide arch support?
  2. Do they provide stability and balance?
  3. Do they cushion your feet and provide shock-absorbency?
  4. Are they the right size?

The quality and style of your shoes can have so many implications across your entire body. A supportive pair of shoes will help you maintain healthier posture habits, help distribute pressure more evenly as you move, provide stability, and help reduce the load on sensitive areas like your Achilles tendon. Twisted ankles, heel spurs, and tendonitis are just some of the concerns we see with our clients, and footwear is often a contributing factor.

Sometimes, we see a rise in cases of plantar fasciitis during the warmer months. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia – the thick band of tissue extending from your heel bone to your toes that supports the arch of your foot. Plantar fasciitis can be incredibly uncomfortable for some people. When we wear shoes that do not provide adequate support to the arches of our feet, our plantar fascia can become tight and strained leading to inflammation.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Pain in the bottom of the midfoot and heel
  • Pain ranging from dull/achy to sharp/intense
  • Pain when standing after a period of rest

Luckily, our skilled and dynamic RMTs offer massage therapy treatment options to help you manage any type of muscular discomfort you might be experiencing this summer. In cases of plantar fasciitis, our RMTs use a variety of massage techniques beginning with Relaxation or Therapeutic and slowly progressing to Deep Tissue Massage to help realign the deeper layers of muscles and connective tissues. Your RMT will communicate with you during treatment about pressure and work within your tolerance if you are feeling sore or tender. We’re also happy to provide remedial exercises that you can practice at home to get you on the road to recovery sooner.

In cases like plantar fasciitis, pain alleviation may be your end goal. But, remember that massage therapy also promotes improved circulation, stress relief, and more. We have over 30 RMTs to choose from at Bayview Sheppard RMT, located in the heart of North York for your convenience. We offer customized treatment options for the entire family, including specialty treatments such as Fascial Stretch Therapy (FST), Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD), Bioflex Laser Therapy, and cupping.

As you head out for some fun and fresh air this summer at the CNE, don’t forget to choose a supportive pair of sandals. Your RMT and your feet will thank you!