Dragon’s Den star Sara Davies has revealed she is supporting a new foot health campaign based on her personal experience.

The businesswoman is the face of the Joyful Strides for Wider Feet campaign which is encouraging people to rethink their attitudes to footwear. According to statistics 72% of people are wearing shoes that don’t fit correctly.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk the busy mum of two confessed: “I have learned the hard way the importance of looking after my feet because I’ve had issues with plantar fasciitis and I’ve had shin splints and everything. It just dawned on me I spent all this time in my early 20s just always wearing fabulous shoes.

“I can even remember my mam taking me and buying me my first pair of expensive shoes when I turned 30. I remember I put them on and said, ‘I don’t think I can walk in them mam’. And the guy in the shop says, ‘it’s not about that darling – it’s about how good they look’.

“I guess that’s how I was conditioned – it just doesn’t matter. We’re just gonna put up with the shoes and so I’ve done that for so long and I’m just not prepared to do that anymore because I know the price that you need to pay,” she admitted.

“You know when I was first starting out in business, I would go to a trade show and wear a pair of stilettos for 12 hours a day. And then I’d have to sit in the hotel room on a night with my feet in a bath with ice.

“I look back and think what was I doing? At least I’ve had that wake up call now. Because I just think if you get the foundation’s right on your feet, and everything else will be great.

“I think people just always assume it’s one or the other. We can either look good, or we’re comfortable. I look at my mam and she was the one who loves beautiful shoes, and now she’s in her 60s and as a terrible feet.

“So I’ve got my mam involved [in the campaign] as well. It’s nice that we can both wear shoes that are stylish [and comfortable] and I’m trying to learn from her experience and learn this lesson in a good way in my 30s and 40s as opposed to waiting until I’m in my 50s and 60s and it’s too late.”

This extends to her efforts to stay in shape. She has become a keen runner in recent times but is keen to reinforce that she wears the correct footwear. “I really really look after my feet from a running perspective. I’ve been measured for the gait and the right shoes and I’ve been soles made and all the padding and everything.”

According to the NHS Plantar fasciitis is pain on the bottom of your foot, around your heel and arch. The pain can be so bad – in some cases it prevents you doing regular activities. While it is easily treated Sara says the process is a “right royal pain in the a***.”

“I used to just go out and buy a cheaper pair of trainers and go out [walking] and not think anything of it. Now, if I’m gonna walk I want a shoe that gives a little bit of support,” Sara said.

“I think you have to have had some sort of experience to really understand it. I know when I had plantar fasciitis I had to start wearing my shoes to try and rectify the problem. In my everyday life I was having to put some sort of base in to support that arch.

“And I just thought, “prevention is better than cure because cure’s been a right royal pain in the a*** for an awful long time. It gave me six months of uncomfortable issues and not being able to buy the shoes I want. So now I’m going to make sure I’m never in that place again,” she determined.

Sara Davies is supporting the DB Wider Fit Shoes Joyful Strides for Wider Feet Campaign which is aimed at highlighting awareness and the importance of foot health and style.

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