They're the workhorses of our bodies, but we give them so little respect.
So many of us take our feet for granted. We just expect them to perform, putting up with all of the abuse we put them through. From being forced into uncomfortable heels and ill fitting shoes to sweltering inside sweaty socks, we can really put our feet through the paces.
While suffering those indignities, our feet take hundreds of tons of force impact just during an average day of walking. That pounding explains why feet are the body part most likely to get injured or simply ache and throb with pain.
Taking care of your feet doesn't mean paying for a pricey spa treatment. Spending just a few minutes a day on foot care and choosing the right shoes can keep you free of problems that may lead to pain and even disability. Take time to treat your feet!
These simple tips can help your feet stay healthy and happy:
- Make a point to wash your feet (and between your toes!) with a washcloth carefully and regularly. Yes, that means bending over in the shower to soap them up; if you can't balance safely, use a long-handled shower brush or sit on a chair outside the tub as you wash your feet under the faucets. Be sure to dry feet completely, including between the toes.
- If you like to soak your feet, forget the Epsom salts—they're too drying and don't offer any medical benefit. Instead, just use warm (never hot) water and a little liquid soap, such as dishwashing solution, containing skin softeners.
- Moisturize your feet after washing. During dry-skin winter months, you may want to moisturize several times a day. Nothing fancy is needed: basic lotions and creams are fine. Don’t put lotion between your toes, however; you want to keep that area clean and dry.
- Alternate the shoes you wear each day. That may mean having two pairs of your favorite everyday style, but shoes need time to air out to avoid triggering foot odor or infections. Change socks or stockings more than once a day. If you have a problem with smelly feet, soak them in a mixture of vinegar and water.
- Flip-flops and completely flat shoes don't provide arch support. Neither does walking barefoot. Women are especially prone to developing flat feet, which can lead to other foot problems. To keep feet strong and healthy, minimize the amount of time you wear shoes that lack supportive arches.
- In addition, choose your slippers carefully. Look for the same features in your house shoes that you seek in your outside shoes. Slippers should have arch support, shouldn’t constrict, and need a firm, non-slip sole. If you use custom orthotics, look for slippers with removable insoles, and use your orthotics inside your house shoes.
- Check feet for any problems daily and see a podiatric physician at least annually. If you have diabetes, ask your physician to check your bare feet at each visit, as you may not feel the pain of an injury. Call your physician right away if you find a cut, sore, blister, or bruise on your foot that doesn’t begin to heal within a day.
Take care of your feet, and they’ll continue to take you where you need to go. In addition to these tips, wearing the right footwear for your feet will help keep your feet healthy and pain free. That's where ICS Personal Fitting Specialists can help. Give us a call. We’re happy to speak with you about finding the perfect fit!