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My foot goes numb when I walk---what's up??? Help?

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As a school teacher I have the luxury of all the time in the world now that school is out.....I began again my healthy eating and walking program. I was always "too good" to just walk before, but man, after a couple of surgeries and being sedentary, I was feeling like a good walk was just what I needed. When I started a month ago, I just used my regular tennis shoes. Almost immediately after I start walking, my left foot goes numb. I chalked it up to inactivity and forged on, but it keeps happening even after a month of steady exercise, so I went and bought "walking" shoes. STILL GOES NUMB.   / : Dang it.

I do stretch good, before and after. I am drinking TONS of water. I do not know what in the world is causing this numbness and I'd really, really like it if someone could tell me how to stop it!

Thanks, ladies! ( :
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Is your shoe laced too tightly across your arch?
oh god, mine did this too it ats so annoying after a while it just stopped, i think its cause i was used to wearing skate shoes all teh time and my feet were used to being free and the minute i put any constriction on them in my excersize runners they would automatically go numb, but theyre used to it now, it might stop in a while.
I have tried experimenting with loosening and tightening the laces--even to the point of stopping while i am walking and making changes, but it always eventually goes numb again--although loosening them does initially help.

GACK--do you think it might just be my feet rebelling? I do almost always, rain or shine, winter or summer, have some sort of sandals on. I hate socks and shoes, but walking in flip flops seems unwise.....
Make sure your laces are loose and wiggle your toes every now and then.  Sometimes I even pick my feet up one at a time and rotate my ankles and wiggle my toes.  This happens to me on the elliptical sometimes, but stops when I change to going backwards.  Can't do that on the treadmill tho :)
MY feet go numb all of the time too!

Don't wanna go snowboarding, you'll never feel your feet again! hahaha...

i wonder if it has something to do with circulation?
You guys rock! ( :

It was better today. Walked for about an hour and was only numb for the last 10 minutes or so. I did loosen the laces to a point the shoes -feel- loose and that seemed to help, but now that same foot feels raw, like it rubbed back and forth too much--which I guess it did. =P I spent more on those dang walking shoes than I'd like to admit, thinking I was investing in my health and that's ok, but dang.

ANyone think an insole might help--if so, any suggestions?

Any other walkers out there with tips on how to mximize my walking workouts? I already walk with 2 lb. hand weights which seems to have helped me shape my shoulders and back and build some muscle behind my pecs. Yay!
Don't go over the 2pound hand weights.   It's ok to walk with em, but going heavier can lead to injury.

For the shoes...

Lace em up loose for your toes then where they go through the toung... make em go through that loop but on the other side loop them around the lace below (for both laces.. it's kind of like twisting them together)... then continue lacing the rest of the way.   What this does is it keeps your toes able to wiggle while allowing  you to tie them tighter up top so your ankles don't move around and create blisters.

One you feel comfortable enough about walking, maybe give running a try.   You don't have to run fast... just a slight jog will do.  The Learn to Run thread on this forum took my overweight self from never in my life being able to run any serious distance (and I'm 33) to being able to run 4 miles non-stop.

Running will help you get better circulation through your legs and feet and it'll help you lose weight and tone up too.   There's an 80 year old man I see that runs all the time in the city i live in... so I don't think age has much to do with it.  It's all a matter of eating enough protien and getting plenty of calcium and potassium.  But it seems like you could seriously benefit from running.

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Find a custom shoe fitter -- ideally one with a really good return policy -- and get professional help. I went through 8 pairs of shoes before doing this and I finally can work out without numb feet.

The place I went said I needed a wide shoe on one foot -- I had no idea! I had been getting too small all along. They also laced them differently for me. They had a 30-day return policy, even if you had worn them. So I could try them out doing different exercises to see if they really did fit. It was $100 for the shoes, but well worth it!
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I too am a school teacher and spend a good deal of my time on my feet. Being a runner as well has forced me to finally get it through my head that I need good shoes for both the classroom and running. I concur with eskate. A good physical therapist can evaluate your walking mechanics and recommend orthotics or in my case my pt recommended an over the counter product that worked great. GOOD SHOES MEAN EVERYTHING! : )
Thanks for all the great ideas! I think I goign back to the shoe store for some help ( ; 
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