Feet: they carry us where we need to go, bear our weight, help us to run, jump and dance. Yet most of us don’t give them much thought – at least, until they cause us problems or sustain an injury. And being a well-used part of the body they often are common targets for pains and complaints.
When foot ailments do affect us it can be hard to pinpoint the problem at times. Pains are often treated with rest and inflammatory painkillers, to target any swelling, and so largely recover on their own. We think that we may have pulled a muscle or sustained a sprain – but it may well be that our problems are caused by things we can very easily change.
Hotter Shoes, a shoe company who are dedicated to providing comfortable footwear, report that 70% of foot problems are caused by badly fitting shoes. This means that by seeking the right advice about your footwear and finding the best to suit your feet you can reduce your risk of suffering foot complaints. As Hotter also describes, over 90% of people in the UK are affected at some point in their life by one or more of 300 known foot conditions and so proper shoe wear is something that would benefit many people.
Choosing the right type of shoes is essential for keeping your feet healthy. Here are a few tips to help you pick the best pair for daily wear.
- Avoid wearing vinyl or plastic shoes, as they don’t stretch or “breathe”. To avoid rubbing on skin and tender joints, select shoes made from soft leather with smooth seams .
- Make sure your new shoes feel comfortable, and there is enough room for your toes to wiggle and flex.
- Ultra high heels and shoes with pointed toes can put a lot of pressure on your toes, so try not to wear them too often.
- When shopping for a new pair of shoes, try them on at the end of the day when your feet are slightly larger. This will help you with finding the best fit.
The National Health Service also recommends wearing flip-flops to prevent catching athlete’s foot and verrucas when you use public areas in gym, swimming pools and hotel bathrooms. Although don’t wear them all the time you as flip flops don’t support your feet and can cause you heel and arch pain.
Pamper feet by washing daily using warm and soapy water . Dry your feet with a soft towel and remember to dry between your toes. Pumice stones are useful for removing hard or rough skin and using a moisturising cream can help prevent dry and cracked skin from returning. A light sprinkling of foot powder to finish off can help retain a feeling of freshness.
Being active is also crucial in caring for healthy feet. Exercising through walking, dancing, swimming or cycling improves blood flow throughout your body and right down to your toes. Remember to wear shoes with extra support and are designed for your favourite activity. Care for your feet becomes even more important when you’re over 60 and the NHS recommends seeing a podiatrist every six months. Look here to find more hints and tips on how to take a better care of blisters, corns and foot infections.
So remember to spare a thought for your feet now and then – considering all that they do for us, they deserve a bit of TLC!
Miakael Johansen is a freelance writer working for a marketing agency. This post has been written for Hotter Shoes.