First off, happy April Fools’ Day!!!!! We’ve all been tricked, played a trick, or watched one unfold, but there’s one thing you shouldn’t mess around with: your feet.

Do you have lower back pain after walking/running? Do your ankles, hips or other joints feel achy? Well, I have a (hopefully!) simple solution: it’s your shoes.

Yes, old or improper shoes can cause problems for your whole body.  If you are a runner and put in a decent amount of mile each week (I’m talking 10 or more) you need to change your shoes every six months. Period. This is not something you should compromise on or cut corners with. After that, everything breaks down on the shoe, the insoles, the midsoles, the support, everything.

Even if you are and avid walker, I advise changing your shoes every eight to 10 months. Again, after putting your shoes through a lot of stress, they need to be put to rest.

When it comes to buying the proper shoes, take your time. Don’t pick the most inexpensive one on the shelf, because 90 percent of the time it won’t fit. In other words, there is a reason they are the cheapest. Ask the salesperson for advice; get recommendations; if you have problems, talk to your doc. Make sure you are heading in the right direction.

You also need to ask the right questions: do I need support for my arches? Do I need comfort for my flat feet? Do these shoes come wide/narrow? Among others, these are good things to help the salesperson know what you need. When in doubt, ask!

If you have pain, any at all, that might be related to your feet or the fact that you are on your feet a lot, get a new pair! Trust me, you won’t be sorry and your feet will thank you.

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