Tips on taking care of your feet
Most of the time your feet take a beating without you even realizing it. Often, it's not until you feel pain that you begin to consider the health of your feet.
Did you know up to four times your body weight gets placed on the joints in your feet during every step?
With all that weight, it’s a good idea to give your feet a little extra attention. Here are a few tips to help take care of your feet and prevent foot conditions:
1. Be shoe smart.
Too many smart people often wear not-so-smart shoes. It's important to take a few things into consideration when you're buying a shoe. The first is to go shopping in the evening. Late in the day, your feet are tired and most relaxed/stretched. By doing your shopping in the evening, you'll be able to get the right fit for the whole day.
Next, be extra sure that you're buying the right size. If you shoe length or width is too small, it can cause a number of conditions like hammer toes, corns, ingrown toenails etc. With that said, overly large shoes can cause problems like calluses and blisters. As you can see, finding the right fit is very important. If you'd like more detail on selecting the right size shoe, check out our previous post.
Finally, pick a style of shoe that has the right support for you. A comfortable every day shoe that breathes well and doesn't trap your toes is a smart style choice. Most high heels do not provide support and can be extremely damaging to your foot's structure. Pick a round toe shoe so that each of your digits has enough room to be stretched out fully, with no cramping or pinching inwards.
2. Get daily foot exercise.
Each foot is made up of 26 bones and a collection of ligaments, tendons, nerves, and muscles. It's important to get your foot muscles the exercise they need to stay strong. Go out for a walk every day if you can. The length of the walk isn't as important as just getting out there and doing it. Keep your ligaments, tendons, and joints flexible and loose while strengthening the muscles in your feet!
3. Wash your feet thoroughly.
Make sure you give your feet an extra scrub every day. Your feet tend to be a hotspot for bacteria and fungus. No special foot washes or scrubbers are needed, just some good old-fashioned h2o and soap. If you are diabetic make sure your washing with the correct temperature water and soap that does not irritate your skin
For those of you who have dry and cracking skin, it's important to put on lotion. We recommend 2x/day. It doesn't have top be a specific brand, but try to get a colourless, non-scented lotion. REMEMBER: do not put lotion in between your toes!
5. Wear socks.
Wearing socks gives your feet an extra layer of protection. Calluses and blisters form much easier when you don't wear socks regularly. Additionally, if you are over-weight, are prone to varicose veins, or have bad circulation it is important to wear compression stockings. Compression stockings will assist with blood flow and alleviate added stress on your veins. Compression stockings are recommended for:
6. Avoid immediate skin contact in public areas.
Children, teenagers, and adults alike should all bring personal footwear when you're around a public pool, shower, change room, etc. These areas are common breeding grounds for bacteria, viruses, fungus and other pathogens. By bringing and wearing your own footwear, you will decrease direct contact and prevent spreading. Likewise, if you do have any foot condition it is important that you always wear shoes in public area's to avoid passing it along to others.
Please contact us at the Waterloo Foot Clinic if you have any questions about any material mentioned in this blog post or any of our other posts.
The Waterloo Foot Clinic Team
It is getting close to that time of year again – BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING! We all know how active children can be, and with all that activity chances are you've got new shoes on your shopping list. Let's work together to make sure those shoes are the right fit for your little ones foot type.
Shoes come in all different sizes and shapes. So how can you tell if the SHOE fits YOU?
Well tip number 1 that most people don't realize is you should always go shoe shopping in the evening. This is because our feet have become tired from the day's activities and tend to expand. The expansion comes from stretched ligaments and tendons as well as over worked muscles. Therefore by shopping while your feet have expanded, you decrease the chances of buying a shoe that is too tight.
It is not that uncommon to have one foot bigger than the other. Infact, it has been reported that differing foot size occurs in 60% of the population. If this is the case for you, always fit your shoes to the bigger foot.
Many people are also unaware that shoes come in different widths. We do not want a shoe that fits too tight. This can cause unnecessary irritation, blisters, callus, nail damage, wounds and more. So how do we know what width we are? Well, shoe length and width go hand in hand (or should I say foot in foot). Infact, proper shoe length is also dependent on arch length. All of this is made easy by using a Brannock Device. You may not have recognized the name, but it's the shoe fitting you've probably seen in your local shoe store. This device can help make sure you are being fitted correctly before you buy your shoes.
The following is how-to guide for using a Brannock device. Most shoe personelle should be able to fit you correctly. If not, the following directions will help. You are also more then welcome to come into the office and we will help get you the correct dimensions and size.
As you can see there are many different components to measuring your foot, and they are all needed to find the correct shoe for you and your children! Remember the shoe should also feel comfortable, dont sacrifice a comfortable shoe for style.
I hope this helps you find a back to school shoe that perfectly fits your feet! Check back soon for another post to help you learn more.
Matthew Doyle DCh
Matthew Doyle DCh, Chiropody Foot Specialist