The Top 3 Worst Things You Can Do for Your Feet

Always take good care of your feet. Soldiers, athletes, construction workers, and outdoorsmen all know the importance of healthy feet because they have to use them constantly. Just imagine trying to run for your life with blisters or maintaining balance while standing on scaffolding in ill-fitting shoes.

While it's easy to see the importance of having good shoes on the battlefield or jobsite, you might not care as much if you spend most of your day at a desk. Read on to find out why healthy hygiene for your feet is something everyone should be concerned with. By following the tips below, foot pain won't have a foothold in your life.

Wearing the Wrong Shoes

Everyone experiences the feeling of knowing they should opt for the sensible solution while wanting the impractical one instead. It's like when your mom used to take you clothes shopping and always chose those generic, inexpensive jeans that were so not cool. Or it's like every time you see that beautiful red Corvette on the car lot that makes your mouth water.

You don't always have to choose between fun and sensible because sometimes the two come together. There are many great shoe finds that strike a balance between supportive and stylish! Just make sure that when it comes to your shoes, comfort is your go-to option.

Poorly fitted shoes can cause stress fractures, injury, and blisters. In the long run, constantly wearing high heels or shoes that constrict the natural shape of your feet will cause foot problems. Constant weight and pressure on the nerve endings in your feet can restrict healthy circulation causing permanent damage – but more on that later.

If the shoe fits, wear it . . . while also keeping in mind where you plan to wear them. Obviously nobody goes running in a pair of golf spikes, even if they are the best fitting shoes they own.

However, think about choosing shoes for running or working on your feet all day. How can you ensure that the ones you choose are the best option?

  • Shop for shoes at the end of the day when your feet are swollen, it's always better to size up than have them too tight.
  • Know your feet and research the best brands for you and what you do.
  • When shopping, keep in mind the width of your toe box, if you require arch support, or if you have narrow ankles.
  • Choose shoes that aren't made of rigid plastics, and remember that they may change after you 'break them in'.
  • Always walk around, jump, or run in the shoes you are going to buy! If you order them, make sure you can send them back if they don't work.
  • Try on BOTH shoes. It's fairly common for people to have two different sized feet. A lot of shoe companies will sell with that in mind, and if they don't, buy the larger option and use insoles.

You will thank yourself later for opting for high quality over high fashion. Nothing gets old faster than walking around in shoes that hurt.

Poor Posture and Lack of Circulation

Foot drop is an example of an injury due to nerve damage done to the plantar nerves, which branch from the sciatic nerve, or the nerve that runs down your leg. People who have it tend to drag their toes, or lift their legs higher to avoid dragging their toes, as their feet don't have the strength to lift themselves. Drop foot commonly happens to people who constantly cross their legs or sit for long periods without standing.

It's important to keep good circulation in your legs by using good posture, frequently standing, and using ergonomic chairs. It is also healthy to release the compressed nerves in your spine. You can do this by stretching or hanging upside down. Occasionally help the blood flow in your feet and legs move against gravity and back to your heart by laying on your back and stretching your legs up into the air.

Using good posture will become a habit eventually, so it’s important to correct yourself every time you slip. Quick stretches after exercise or in the bathtub when your muscles are warm will also help alleviate tension on the nerves that run through your back and legs. Never push past the point of comfort to injure your muscles causing additional tightness and tension.

Finally, always use good posture while exercising. Running improperly can sever your Achilles tendon or lead to plantar fasciitis (another kind of nerve damage in the base of your foot).

Poor Diet and Bad Hygiene

Developing type 2 diabetes can not only cause nerve damage in your feet, but can lead to complete foot amputation. A healthy diet and exercise is important for circulation, blood pressure, low blood sugar levels, and healthy body weight, which also lead to healthy feet.

Take care to keep your feet dry and clean. Avoid walking bare foot on unsanitary floors. You can catch foot fungus or absorb bacteria through your skin, leading to infections, foot odour, and sometimes even major illnesses. For more tips on keeping your feet healthy, contact your podiatrist today!