Foot Care Basics and Buying Shoes

Did you know that a quarter of all the bones in your body are in your feet? Most of us are on our feet a lot throughout the day and we tend to neglect proper care needed to sustain healthy feet. Below are a few basic foot care tips you may find helpful when venturing out to purchase your next pair of shoes.Always buy shoes in the afternoon when your feet are the most swollen so that the shoes can accommodate for this on a daily basis and do not feel too tight.

    1. Due to the variety of shoe size inconsistency, use the general “rule-of-thumb”. Make sure that when you have a shoe on that you can fit a finger to a thumbs width between the end of the longest toe and the end of the shoe. This should allow toes to wiggle and breathe and helps prevent corns and toe pain and deformity.
    2. Utilize shoes with a breathable cloth or perforated real leather to decrease problems with infections such as athletes foot. Stay away from synthetic leather or rubber materials that could cause the feet to perspire.
    3. Utilize materials in socks that help wick moisture away from the feet such as cotton and not nylon or polyester.
    4. Use lighter colored socks in the summer to help cut down on hot feet.
    5. Shoes should fit the activity for adults and kids. Tennis shoes are structured for side-to-side movement and running shoes are structured to support forward movement.
    6. Use the laces. They are designed to stabilize the foot in the shoes which can decrease rolling or turning the foot and ankle. They help keep the toes from jamming into the end of the shoe which can cause toe pain and nail injury.
    7. When wearing clogs (i.e. Crocs), make sure the toes will not slide forward and touch the end. This can cause nail damage.
    8. Heels or flats? Neither for long periods of time. They are not structured for good mechanical support of the feet and not only cause foot problems, but also muscles elsewhere in the body have to work harder for ambulation leading to early fatigue.
    9. Try not to exceed 1 1/2 inch heel height which can help reduce leg fatigue and the risk of stress to the ankles.
    10. Try not to wear open shoes too often as this can cause dry feet and cracked heels from the evaporation of the foot perspiration.
    11. Feet that are used heavily should have a checkup at least once a year. Prevent the problems before they put you in the shop.

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