Mistakes You’re Making With Your Shoes (And How to Fix Them)

photo of brannock device

You Never Measure Your Feet

When’s the last time a salesperson pulled out one of those steel slide things to measure your feet? (It’s called the Brannock Device.) With age, your arches fall, and gravity and weight stretch ligaments, so your foot can widen and lengthen. Get them sized every time you shop, or at least once a year. One foot often is larger than the other, so measure both and try on the pair. And be sure to stand. Your full weight expands your feet.

photo of high heels

Your Heels Are Too High

A study showed that older women who had mainly worn high heels were almost twice as likely to have bunions — painful bony bumps alongside the big toe joints. High heels put pressure on the balls of your feet. This can cause pain, numbness, and even ankle injuries. Doctors suggest a heel height of no more than 2¼ inches. If heels are a must sometimes, wear them as little as possible and go with a comfy low-heeled shoe the next day.

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You Think Inserts Aren’t For You

Those shoe insole displays aren’t just for people with “foot problems.” Arch supports can give your shoes a more custom feel. Gel inserts can save the day if you stand up a lot. Heel cups offer extra cushion as your skin thins with age. Try them out in the store if you can. Inserts aren’t serious fixes, though. If you have diabetes, poor circulation, or any other foot concerns, see a podiatrist about custom orthotics.

photo of man tracing his foot

You’re Stuck on Size

Swear you’re an 8 but that 9 fits fine? Ignore the number on the box. So-called size differs across shoe styles and brands. Trace the shape of your foot before you go shopping. If a shoe that catches your eye doesn’t fit your outline, move on. When you get a potential winner, try it out. Can you wiggle all your toes? Does your heel feel snug? (Nix a rigid back. It can cause a bony heel bump called Haglund’s deformity.) 

photo of man trying on shoes

You Think You Can ‘Break Them In’

“Not broken in yet” means “too tight.” Your new shoes should be comfortable right out of the box or off the rack. Be sure to try them on with the socks or hosiery you’ll wear with them, too. Don’t buy a pair the salesperson has to stretch. Yes, your shoes might loosen up over time. But it’s easier to choose another pair than to put your feet through pain and even harm to get there.

photo of runners on street

Your Shoes Don’t Match Your Sport

Basketball players need high-tops that support the game’s quick-change moves. Runners rely on shock absorption and good arch support. If you play a sport at least twice a week, it can hurt more than your game to wear the wrong shoes. A sports shoe expert can help you find a pair that can handle the action your game requires. Be sure to replace them regularly.

photo of wet foot print on cardboard

You’re Not Up on Your Arches

Hey baby, what’s your arch type? It’s key to know and easy to find out. Dip your foot in water and step on a sheet of cardboard. Study the print:

  • Is the middle part of the print filled in about halfway? Your arch is normal.
  • Footprint filled in? You have a flat arch. Look for a good walking shoe that keeps your feet from rolling inwards.
  • Scarcely a print? You’ve got high arches. Seek extra cushioning to boost shock absorption.

photo of worn out shoes

You Wear Worn-Out Shoes

Shabby shoes can put too much stress on your heel bone and connected tissues. This can lead to plantar fasciitis, which is when the band of connective tissue under your foot stretches and tears. It’s the most common cause of heel pain, and it hurts a lot. Heel spurs are another painful result of shoes past their prime. These bony growths under your heel bone can form when your foot muscles and heel bone membranes overstretch and strain.

photo of pointy heels

Your Toe Box is Too Tight

Those pointy shoes might look smart, but they spell one tiny toe box. Add high heels, and the pressure on the ball of your foot will smoosh your toes into that tight triangle. This can lead to hammertoe, where your toes (usually the second one) start to curl up at the first joint. The more you wear shoes like this, the more the muscles attached to your toes can weaken. Look for a roomy square or round toe box that lets your toes lie flat.

photo of online shoe shopping

You Shop for Shoes Online

And if the shoe doesn’t fit … you wear it anyway, because it’s a hassle to return that clunky box, right? There are lots of problems with virtual shoe shopping. The shoes might not fit your foot shape, or they could look great in the photo but be cheaply or poorly made. People — especially women — tend to skew small on size, too. If you keep and wear these bad fits, you’re at risk for calluses, corns, and more serious issues.

photo of man in shoe store

You Buy Into Brand Hype

Flashy brands tend to suggest they’re made just for you. You know they aren’t. Trust your judgment. If the ad calls them “comfort shoes,” but they feel like “cruel shoes,” walk on by. Your shoes need to fit, feel good, and work for your life. Try to shop a store with a good selection at different price points. You’re more likely to find your perfect — and stylish — fit.

photo of woman shopping for shoes quickly

You Shop for Shoes in a Hurry

Your feet deserve more than a quick detour into the shoe department. Take your time. Lightly mash the tips to make sure there’s about a half-inch of space from your longest toe to the end of the shoe. Feel the insides for tags or seams that might bug you. If you can, walk around on different surfaces. Notice the balls of your feet. Do you need a wider shoe? Check out the soles. Will they do the job?

photo of couple shoe shopping

You Shoe Shop Too Early in the Day

No matter how you spend your time, your feet can swell as much as 8% as the day wears on. So it’s a good idea to hold off until afternoon to shop for new shoes.

photo of shoes on shelf

You Wear the Same Pair Every Day

You put time and thought into buying your perfect pair. Now you can’t wear them every day? It’s a good idea to rotate your shoes every couple of days. They can use space to breathe. If you sweat a lot, they need a chance to dry out. Your soles and heels will last longer, too. If you keep them clean and in good shape, they’ll serve you even better.


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My heart cries out for the American church to stop muddling,
muffling, cheapening, distorting and merchandising the pure
gospel. How we need to return to the simplicity of evangelism that
cuts to the heart, produces repentance and reveals the Son of God.

For several months I´ve been asking the Lord to make me his
trumpet. In my quest He´s shown me some of the qualities that
shaped biblical prophets into His mouthpieces. I pray all of us will
adopt these same characteristics.

1. A prophet is bold. True prophets have steel backbones and
foreheads of flint. They do not cower when the majority disagrees
with them. Like the apostle Paul, they are compelled to preach
because a holy restlessness churns inside them. They are
possessed by God, and they must release the fire inside. Will you
pray for this boldness and say with Isaiah, “Here am I, send me”
(Is. 6:8, NASB)-even when you know you will be opposed?

2. A prophet stays biblical. So much of what is passed off as
prophecy today resembles what you might find in a daily
horoscope. The so-called “prophetic movement” in the contemporary
church has been tainted by silly fads and charismatic witchcraft.
One prophetic e-mail list sent out a word recently saying that
dormant angels were being awakened out of the walls of our
churches. (That´s not remotely scriptural.) Another predicted that
God would begin to speak to people through the names of candy
bars and blue jeans.

So much of our prophetic verbiage sounds like warm and fuzzy
fortunetelling. This type of “imitation prophecy” can titillate and
thrill those with itching ears, but it is pablum designed for babies
who don´t want to grow up. What we need is a word we can sink
our teeth into-true meat that is the Word of God.

3. A prophet does not compromise. Nathan was willing to confront
King David´s sin, even though the prophet was on the palace
payroll. Yet today, we practice the “you scratch my back, I´ll
scratch yours” rule. We prophesy what people want to hear so we
can get an honorarium and an invitation to return. This has caused
some whole groups of prophets to collectively follow each other
into a ditch.

Beware of the herd mentality! Don´t just swallow and follow! You
cannot go along with something just because everyone else is
doing it or preaching it. Stay close to the Lord, develop keen
discernment and listen to the nagging voice of your conscience.

4. A prophet is compassionate. Some prophets today refuse to
confront because they are too nice. Others speak rashly “like the
thrusts of a sword” (see Prov. 12:18) and their words are delivered
with a bitter, vindictive spirit. Neither of these prophets will receive
his reward. We must speak the truth, and we must do it in love.

Most people think Jeremiah was angry and judgmental, but
actually he wept when he confronted Israel´s sins. It is not enough
to prophesy the Lord´s word-we should aim to speak with His
tone of voice. We must be willing to intercede for and identify with
those we confront.

5. A prophet stays pure. When Moses made the tabernacle, God
told him to make silver trumpets that were “hammered work” (Num.
10:2). If we want to speak for Him, we must be willing to endure
the smelting process. (In other words, prepare to be hammered!)
Before Isaiah could be an effective prophet to his nation, his lips
had to touch burning coals from God´s altar (see Is. 6:6-8). We
must be willing to visit the uncomfortable furnace of sanctification.

God is not so much interested in the booming voice, the rousing
delivery, the charisma or the technological savvy that we expect
today from celebrity preachers. What matters most is pure content,
and that can only flow through a pure vessel.

6. A prophet faithfully embraces the call. Jonah tried to flee as far
as possible from Nineveh, but the God of the second chance used
a strange vessel to get the prophet back on course. It involved a
visit to a fish´s stomach, where Jonah spent three days in
darkness, stewing in digestive juices. When the fish vomited him
on land, he was better prepared to speak heaven´s words.

~From “Becoming a Trumpet of the Lord” – http://fireinmybones.com



Prophetic Word: Do You Believe the Lord Will Make a Way?


I heard the Lord say, “Watch Me make a way where there appears to be no way. Will you put your trust in Me? Now is the time to rise up in faith for the battle is Mine. There is a mighty battle taking place over the unfolding destiny of the U.S.A, but My people will see that the battle is Mine, for I am coming to overturn injustices and to bring justice.”

Exposure of the Enemy’s Plans

“I am coming to expose the darkness and to uproot what is evil. What the enemy meant for harm I will turn for good. As the enemy’s plans and schemes are exposed, that will be the very catalyst that propels My plans and purposes. Just as in the time of Esther, where Haman was hung on his own gallows, the plans of the enemy will be exposed and will be the very thing that causes the demise of the enemy’s plans and a rise of My plans and purposes.”

Stand Firm in Faith

“I am not a man that I should lie. Speak forth with boldness the turnaround that is coming. Posture your hearts in faith and thanksgiving, knowing I am faithful to bring to pass all I have spoken. Decree the overturning of the evil agenda and the breaking forth of My plans. Now is not the time to step back or to doubt, but to stand firm in faith, standing on the promises I have given. My Word does not return void but accomplishes all it is sent forth to fulfill. Align your words with Mine and speak forth My Word.

“Many are confused by what they appear to see unfolding in the natural and are beginning to doubt what I have spoken, but now is the time to look only to Me, to hear only My words and to stand in faith for the fulfillment of all I have spoken. Every step is in My hands. Much is occurring behind the scenes, and I am orchestrating the path ahead. The spiritual battle continues to rage, but as My people partner with Me, they will see victory is Mine. Stand in My strength and the power of My Spirit. Do not be dismayed but know that I change the times and seasons, and I remove and establish kings.”

Hebrews 10:23 encourages us: “Let us firmly hold the profession of our faith without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

“God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He spoken, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” (Num. 23:19).

“It is He who changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who know understanding” (Dan. 2:21).

Path to Greater Freedom, Alignment and Truth

“My ways are higher, and the unmasking of the plans of the enemy will lead the nation to a place of greater freedom than would have occurred had this path not been taken. The unmasking will lead to an uprooting of evil that would otherwise have remained hidden. Surely, I work all things for good.

“As the plots and schemes of the enemy are uncovered, this will launch the nation into a position of greater alignment and restart the nation from a more solid foundation of truth and righteousness. This platform will be established on the back of My divine intervention and justice for I am coming swiftly and My justice will be seen. My faithful ones, now is not the time to grow weary, for the day of harvest for all that has been sown in prayer and intercession is coming.”

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; mercy and truth shall go before Your presence” (Ps. 89:14).

“And don’t allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming!” (Gal. 6:9, TPT).

Overturning and a Course Correction

“The outcome of this election has worldwide significance and impact, so the spiritual battle surrounding it is great. But this is the hour of the overturning for I have heard the prayers of My people, and I am coming to show Myself strong on their behalf. A course correction will be seen in the nation following My intervention. The day of deliverance is coming, for I will overthrow and overturn the plans of the enemy and relaunch the nation into the greater destiny I have planned for it.”

Stand firm in faith, knowing He is faithful. Continue to partner with the Lord in prayer and intercession to see the plans of the enemy exposed and His plans established. He is the way maker, and He is coming to overturn injustice and to bring a course correction to the nation. All He has spoken regarding the election will come to pass.

Katie Barker is the co-founder of Bring the Fire Ministries along with her husband, Aaron. They live on the Tweed Coast of Australia with their four children. 


Trump Encourages Americans to Gather and Offer Thanks to God

President Donald Trump speaks to the press in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington on Nov. 20, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump has encouraged Americans to gather and offer thanks for the “the abundant blessings in our lives” in celebration of Thanksgiving.

In a proclamation ahead of the national holiday, Trump urged Americans to commemorate the country’s “founding traditions of faith, family, and friendship, and give thanks for the principles of freedom, liberty, and democracy.” It is a custom for presidents to issue proclamations celebrating national holidays.

His comments also called on Americans to “gather, in homes and places of worship, to offer a prayer of thanks to God for our many blessings,” which has received scrutiny from the media for contravening public health expert advice and guidance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation earlier this month asking Americans not to travel for family gatherings in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus. Most people who get the disease show few or no symptoms and the vast majority, over 99 percent, survive.

“The tragedy that could happen is that one of your family members is coming to this family gathering and they could end up severely ill, hospitalized, or dying,” Dr. Henry Walke, the CDC’s COVID-19 incident manager, told reporters during a telebriefing. “And we don’t want that to happen. These times are tough, it’s been a long outbreak, almost 11 months, and we understand people are tired.”

Other health officials have instead recommended virtual gatherings to celebrate the holiday.

Meanwhile, Democratic nominee Joe Biden highlighted the virus during his thanksgiving address on Wednesday, telling Americans to prepare for a “long, hard winter” and to “forego many of the traditions that have long made this holiday a special one.”

“We need to remember we are at war with a virus—not with each other,” Biden said, according to his prepared remarks.

Trump’s proclamation underscored the strength Americans displayed during the pandemic and that the adversity revealed the courage and generosity of Americans.

“First responders, medical professionals, essential workers, neighbors, and countless other patriots have served and sacrificed for their fellow Americans, and the prayers of our people have once again lifted up our Nation, providing comfort, healing, and strength during times of uncertainty,” Trump said. “Despite unprecedented challenges, we have not faltered in the face of adversity.”

He also expressed his gratitude toward U.S. Armed Forces who were unable to return home to their families for this holiday.

As reports of an increase of COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, several governors have imposed harsh measures, citing the pandemic, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who imposed a 10-person limit on gatherings, and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who ordered gatherings to include no more than three households.

Late Wednesday, the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision blocked Cuomo and other New York officials from imposing their occupancy limits set in a previous executive order.

Cuomo’s order mandated that attendance at religious services remain at 10 people or under in so-called red zones and at 25 or under in orange zones.

“Stemming the spread of COVID-19 is unquestionably a compelling interest, but it is hard to see how the challenged regulations can be regarded as ‘narrowly tailored,’” the Supreme Court said in the unsigned majority opinion (pdf).

“They are far more restrictive than any COVID-related regulations that have previously come before the Court, much tighter than those adopted by many other jurisdictions hard-hit by the pandemic, and far more severe than has been shown to be required to prevent the spread of the virus at the applicants’ services.”

The order (pdf) shows Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s three liberal justices—Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor—in dissenting against the majority opinion.