Comfortable Feet for Holland’s Street Performer Series and St. Joseph’s Municipal Band Concerts
When we’re getting buried by “lake effect snow” in the winter, it can be easy to lose sight of just how many opportunities we have during the West Michigan summer. Now that the warm weather is here, we hope you’re taking advantage of it by being active and getting outside. And when you do, we further hope your feet are comfortable, healthy, and safe!
In Holland, spending time outside can entail things like going to a local beach, playing sports (basketball, beach volleyball, soccer, tennis, etc.) on any of the city’s beaches, courts, or fields, or simply walking around town.
Walking downtown Holland doesn’t need a lot of extra incentive with all the outstanding local shops, restaurants, and places to grab a drink with friends. However, a popular summertime draw you should consider checking out at least once this summer is the annual Street Performer Series.
Downtown Holland’s Street Performer Series
This year’s Street Performer Series in Downtown Holland kicked off on June 14th and will continue to run through August 30th.
As has been the case for the past several years, every Thursday evening between 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, the sidewalks on 8th street are full of entertainers and spectators. The performers for the event had to apply and were screened in advance—along with needing to obtain a Street Performer permit—in order to participate.
The nature of the actual performances is varied, with musicians, magicians, jugglers, caricature artists, face painters, break dancers, and aerial acrobats performing each week.
There isn’t any cost for attending the event, but tipping the performers is highly encouraged.
Put simply, this is a family-friendly event that can be a great way to spend time with your loved ones.
Of course, fun summer events aren’t exclusive to Holland!
St. Joseph’s Municipal Band Concert Series
Since our second office is in St. Joseph, let’s take a quick moment to highlight one local, family-friendly event you may wish to attend – the 2018 Municipal Band Concert series.
Every Sunday from now through September 2nd, the St. Joseph Municipal Band performs two concerts at the John E. N. Howard Band Shell. The performances are at 3:30 PM and 7:30 PM, with the exception of a solo performance on August 5th. On that date, the band will be performing its second Big Band Concert of the season at 7:30 PM only.
In addition to those weekly concerts, the band wraps up the summer season with both 3:30 and 7:30 performances on Labor Day (September 3rd).
Optimal Foot Comfort for All Summer Events
No matter if you’re from (or visiting) either Holland or St. Joseph, one thing is for certain when you spend time out and about this summer season – you want your feet to feel as comfortable as possible!
The starting point with foot comfort is your choice in shoes.
Finding the right pair of shoes is certainly beneficial if you attend local events and will be on your feet for extended periods of time. This is also an important consideration if you simply enjoy walking for exercise or to clear your mind after a long day at the office.
You want your feet to be as comfortable as possible. Here are some features you should keep in mind when evaluating walking shoes:
Comfort. There are different ways of approaching this particular feature, since it tends to be a bit relative and may vary from individual-to-individual. Most people find shoes that are lightweight and have flexible midsoles to be particularly comfortable. Shoe manufacturers use a variety of different materials for cushioning (such as foam, air, and gel), and what matters most in this regard is how the footwear feels when you’re wearing them.
Breathability. This tends to be an often overlooked feature when it comes to footwear. That can be a mistake since you benefit from shoes made out of breathable materials and keep your feet cool and dry. Breathable materials enable air to flow through the shoes and around your feet. In turn, this allows sweat to evaporate, which then reduces the risk for blisters and dampness (a major factor when it comes to hospitable environments for fungus). Natural fibers and mesh can be good options for allowing feet to breathe.
Support. Comfort and breathability are both incredibly important when you’re walking or standing on your feet for long periods in the summer, but don’t look past support – and particularly for your foot arches. The arches play a key role in absorbing force loads and keeping feet moving forward during the ground portion of a step. Since they work hard to accomplish their responsibilities, your feet are more comfortable when the arches are properly supported.
Flexibility. A good pair of walking (or running) shoes provides support and is durable. At the same time, there needs to be a certain degree of flexibility as well. When a foot lands while taking a step, it starts to undergo a process known as pronation. This biomechanical movement continues from the heel strike to the final push of the toes. Shoes featuring flexible outsole, midsole, and upper units are better able to allow feet to move in a natural manner as they pronate – which means greater comfort for you.
Style. There is no denying the role structural components and features play in a shoe’s comfort (or lack thereof), but you should also give style at least a little consideration. After all, shoes play a role in contributing to your own particular fashion sense. And if you have supportive, comfortable shoes that you feel good wearing, you’re more likely to actually wear them. The good news on this front is that shoe manufacturers have started to develop and produce shoes that both function well and look stylish.
Shoe Buying Tips
Understanding what you need to look for in comfortable footwear so you can enjoy summertime activities—like the Downtown Holland Street Performer and St. Joseph’s Municipal Band Concert series—is a good starting point. However, there’s more to the story.
Some additional tips to help you find the best possible shoes for your feet include:
Know where to shop. There are many different stores in West Michigan where you can find walking (and running) shoes. You can buy footwear at big-box stores like Meijer or Walmart. A better option is to visit a local establishment like Gazelle Sports on 8th Street in Holland. (You could stop by before checking out the street performers!)
The advantage to going to a specialty store is the simple fact that these establishments are usually staffed by men and women who are
active themselves and tend to be well-versed in footwear and foot types.
Know when to shop. It’s quite easy not to notice this, but your feet are wider at the end of the day than at the start. If you consider the tremendous amount of force and pressure the lower limbs endure throughout even an average day, this makes complete sense.
What that means for you is this – if you want shoes that will fit comfortably throughout the entire day, buy new footwear in the early evening (when your feet are at their largest).
Fit matters most. Both “too small” and “too big” can be bad (in different ways) for your feet. You need to wear shoes that fit appropriately. Footwear should have approximately a thumb’s width of space between your largest toe and the front of the shoe. When it comes to width, your toes should not be squished together. Basically, if you cannot wiggle your toes, you need a wider toe box. And when your footwear is laced, your heels should be snuggly cradled and your feet unable to slide back and forth (which causes corns, calluses, and blisters).
Healthy, Comfortable Feet – In the Summer (and Beyond!)
We want your feet to be healthy and comfortable so you can enjoy summer activities and events in West Michigan.
If you are experiencing any foot or ankle pain—or have become aware of any problem in the lower limbs—that is keeping you from doing what you want to do, come see us at Northwood Foot and Ankle Center. Our foot specialists provide comprehensive treatment and will be happy to help you find the relief you need.
For information about our practice or to request an appointment, call (616) 393-8886 or contact us online right now.