“Uncomfortable feet can make your life a misery" – here are our tips for making sure your toes and soles aren’t causing you a world of pain.
Aching feet can blight your work and social lives - one in 10 people would happily take a pay cut or pay to be able to wear trainers at work, and 41% of women have cut short a night out as their feet were hurting so much. But there’s plenty you can do to make your feet comfy – and it’s not just about throwing those killer heels away.
Here are nine tips for happy feet:
- Buy shoes in the afternoon, as that’s when feet are biggest because they swell throughout the day. People are nearly twice as likely to buy shoes too small (44%) as too big (24%), so make sure there’s 1cm of space between the longest toe and the end of the shoe. The College of Podiatry says the ideal everyday shoe should have a heel height of around 1-3cm, be made from a breathable material like leather, have a round rather than pointed or narrow toe box, and a strap or lace to hold the foot in place.
- If you have to wear heels for work or a special occasion, swap them with trainers or comfortable walking shoes on your journey.
- Use heel grips and insoles, and/or arch supports such as gel arch inserts.
- Sit with your feet up for 10 minutes after a long day, as this helps circulation. Try massaging them gently with a foot roller.
- Wear different shoes every day or two, as feet sweat a lot and changing shoes will give footwear a chance to dry out. Otherwise, shoes can become a haven for bacteria, which can make shoes and feet smell and increase the risk of athlete’s foot.
- Don’t let toenails get too long, but don’t cut them too short either, as it increases the risk of developing painful in-growing toenails which pierce the flesh of the toe. It’s best to use nail clippers and cut nails straight across and not too low at the edge or down the side. The corner of the nail should be visible above the skin. Try cutting the nail after a bath or shower when the skin’s softer.
- Keep feet well moisturised, but avoid using moisturiser between your toes as that can lead to athlete’s foot. The best moisturisers for feet contain urea.
- Don’t pop blisters as this will increase the risk of infection and leave the area vulnerable to more rubbing. Instead, cut a hole in a 1.5-inch piece of foam or felt, forming a ‘doughnut’ over the blister, and tape it in place or cover with a soft gel-type dressing.
- Don’t ignore pain – it’s a sign your feet need help and you should see a podiatrist. Research from the College of Podiatry shows 90% of people experience foot problems, with 20% admitting they suffer foot pain often or constantly. Despite this, only 23% of people who’ve suffered a foot problem have sought professional help, and 16% admit to ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away.” By Lisa Salmon
Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of WA serves the Greater Seattle area, including Everett, Rentonand Kirkland with premium services - give us a call at (425) 678-3877