If the Shoe Fits….

 Align the Feet to Align the Body                                                                   

We take our first step about one year of age and by the time we are adults we take an average of five thousand steps a day. That’s thirty five thousand a week  and one million eight hundred twenty steps a year. Knowing how to choose shoes, how your shoes effect your feet and how your feet effect your entire body is monumental in your overall health.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Sheila McCullough owner of Fleet Feet, a store on Augusta Road in Greenville SC that sells everything for running and specializes in shoes. Sheila’s knowledge and enthusiasm about feet and shoes has really impressed me. It makes sense she would own a store to help people make healthy choices about their shoes and running apparel, since her interest and love for running started back when she was in high school, then continued through college and has grown over 25 years. I share her basic philosophy “align the feet to align the body”.

Dr. Horner–  Sheila, Even if you are not a runner or athlete can the right fit in a shoe fix or prevent foot problems?

Shelia –  Most definitely. You don’t have to be a runner or athlete to benefit from a good shoe with a proper fit. Many of our best customers are people who are not runners but are on their feet all day at work. We sell work shoes as well as athletic shoes.

1)   Over pronation or walking on the inside of the foot putting more weight and stress on the big toe creates bunions and

structural problems in the knees, hips, low back and neck.

2)  Neuromas are irritations of the fat pads at the balls of the feet that become very painful. The correct shoe with an insert to lift

the ball of the foot and the area under all the toes will correct the cause of neuromas and prevent further foot damage.

3) Plantar fasciitis effects the under surface of the foot.  Fascia is a thin membrane that connects the

heel bone to the toes. Very high or very low arches can be the cause of plantar fasciitis, the right shoe supports the arch

allowing plantar fasciitis to heal or preventing it from happening.

Dr. Horner –  Can a person do harm to their feet by wearing a shoe not correctly fitted or suited for them?

Shelia –  Yes. At Fleet Feet we don’t ask you what size you wear but take the  time to measure your feet and watch you walk to get the right size, fit and style. We often see runners and many times teens with shoes not suited form their feet. A person with  high ridged arch needs a flexible shoe and a person with a low arch or flexible foot needs to be wearing a more stable, firmer shoe. Most people do not know if their shoes are fitted correctly.

Dr. Horner –  Do you see shoes having an effect on the spine and other joints in the body?

Shelia –  Many back and neck  problems start with the feet.  Feet often are the cause of shin splints, hip pain and knee pain and can be corrected with the right shoe or shoe insert that puts the foot back in a neutral position. Feet and the shoes we wear set up the alignment of everything above them. When people tell us their back or knee pain goes away when they sit or lay down in the evenings we can suspect the feet are a contributing cause.

Dr. Horner – Tell me about some of the ongoing programs and events Feet Fleet has to promote a healthy body.

Shelia –  We have several running programs and all our training programs meet twice a week and receive clinics from local experts and weekly training from experienced coaches. We have two beginner’s training options;

  “The One Mile Program” and  “The Couch- to- 5K” program.

Both are designed for beginners who would like to run but have no experience and may have fears about whether they can do it. We take out all the fear by starting slowly and encouraging participants to progress at a comfortable pace. Some start walking then advance to a walk-run then run a 5K.

For those who have completed the 5K and want to take it to the next step we have our “10K group”.

Our “Half marathon Program” is for first time marathoners and experienced runners.

Of course we also have a “Marathon Training Program” for novices and veterans.

Our “Pub Run” allows you to enjoy a 3 or 5 mile run and then an ice cold beer afterwards.  With a rotation around town that hits all of the great local bars, it’s a great way to enjoy a run with a great group of people.

For fun every few months we have a “Diva Night”. Lots of food, drinks, give-aways and sales on our women’s apparel. We give special attention to sport bra fittings.

You can learn more about us and check out our complete schedule at www.fleetfeetgreenville.com

Dr. Horner – Sheila, thanks you so much for taking the time to speak with me.

Sheila – My pleasure.


What I have learned  “Respect your feet. They have mastered the art of staying grounded while moving you forward”