We often take our feet for granted by squeezing them into shoes that may not fit the best or neglecting a thorough care routine. But as you probably already know, any kind of small problem like an ingrown toenail or a blister can become very painful and prevent you from participating in your everyday activities.
By keeping your feet happy and healthy, you’ll be able to easily continue with everyday activities. Find out about choosing the right shoes, a proper foot hygiene routine, and general care to keep your feet healthy.
Wear shoes that fit
It sounds like an obvious thing, but it’s easy to make allowances when you find that perfect pair of shoes that’s just one size too small. Shoes that are too small can cause long-term damage to your feet.
Try to avoid pointy shoes that can crowd your toes and result in painful ingrown toenails and calluses. Though we’ve all had those beautiful shoes that result in painful blisters and rubbed skin the following morning after wearing them, it’s never worth damaging your feet.
Rounded shoes that give your feet and toes plenty of breathing space with a sturdy wide heel are best for your feet. When you shop for shoes, try to wear the same sort of socks that you’d be wearing with the shoe to make sure that they are the correct size.
How to choose well-fitting shoes that keep your feet healthy
Your toes shouldn’t be squished into the tip of the shoe and there should be enough space so that your toes can move and be supported. The ball of your foot should also feel cushioned and well-supported at the widest part of the shoe.
Always try before you buy and make sure you can comfortably walk around without any part of the shoe rubbing your foot.
If you’re buying hiking boots or sneakers, try to wear them in before wearing them for long amounts of time or when doing physical activity. This will prevent the shoes from giving you blisters or being uncomfortably tight. Making sure your shoes fit properly and they are worn-in will help keep your feet healthy.
What to do if my feet are damaged by poorly fitting shoes
If you do end up with hardened skin as a result of poorly fitting shoes, it’s important to know how to remove it properly. Try using a pumice stone to softly take off the dead skin.
If you are a frequent runner or gym-goer, it’s important to keep your sneakers in good condition to avoid any long-term foot problems. Replace your running shoes every 300 miles and check for any damage to the exterior or soles that might be resulting in too much pressure being placed on your feet as you move.
Wear heels with caution
While heels can be the finishing touch you need to pull your outfit together for that big event you have coming up, it’s important to limit your use and perhaps avoid them altogether.
Those towering high heels, when worn, tip your whole body forward and change your foot’s natural position. The consistent wearing of heels causes your whole body to be out of position, and can also lead to long-term hip, knee, and back pain.
If you can’t resist wearing heels, choose a pair with a wider heel so you have more contact between your feet and the ground.
Keep your feet clean
Keeping your feet healthy goes hand in hand with keeping them clean. Always make sure to give your feet a good cleaning in the shower at the end of the day or following a workout. Keep an eye out for peeling or scaling on the soles of your feet, as this could be an indication of athlete’s foot. Any discoloration of the toenails could be a sign of a nail fungus.
When you use the changing rooms or showers at the gym, make sure to use flip flops or shower shoes since these places are often packed full of infection-causing fungi.
Following a good thorough cleanse of your feet, you should get into the routine of using moisturizer. All the wear and tear that your feet experience can result in thinner and drier skin that can crack and bleed, causing pain and discomfort. Following your bath or shower, work a thick, heavy lotion into your feet, avoiding the space between your toes to prevent infection.
It’s also important following your shower or bath to properly dry your feet to avoid the growth of fungi and bacteria - both of which thrive in a warm and moist environment.
Even though your friend might have a perfect pair of shoes that match your outfit, you should avoid sharing footwear since this can increase the chance of spreading fungi infections. This includes wearing other people’s socks as well.
Foot & Ankle Care at Voyage Healthcare
Voyage Healthcare offers podiatric services provided by Doctors of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). Our American Board Certified Podiatrists are experienced in foot and ankle medicine with specialty in:
- Preventive Foot Health
- Comprehensive Diabetic Foot Care
- Wound Care
- Sports Medicine
- Foot and Ankle surgery
If you would like to check in with us concerning a foot or ankle issue, or if you would simply like some further advice on how to keep your feet healthy, don’t hesitate to request an appointment with us.