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9 Ways to Care for Your Feet

 One of the most abused and neglected parts of the body is your feet. But there are simple ways to take care of your toes and make yourself happier and healthier. Here are nine crucial tips you should keep in mind:
 
1. You wear the same shoes every day
foot pain from shoes

While it may seem like common sense to find a great, supportive pair of shoes you love, and with that, wear them nonstop, this isn't doing your feet any favors. According to foot surgeon Jackie Sutera, wearing the same shoes day in and day out which can cause foot fatigue because you are constantly using the same areas of the foot for support and walking. Keep a few pairs of comfortable shoes and rotate them throughout the week. 

2. Your shoes are too old

While breaking in new shoes may be a drag, having shoes that are too old will mess up your gait, causing pain. Dr. Sutera says,  “When shoes are old and worn out, they will tilt your feet, forcing you to strike the ground in an awkward way,” adding that, “even the slightest angle can hurt your feet and cause back and hip pain.” As a rule of thumb bear the following in mind, replace the shoes you wear daily, this includes your running shoes, every six months. For other shoes keep an eye on the soles and replace or re-sole them when you notice that the support is getting low. 

3. You wear flats to commute
foot pain from shoes

While ballet flats and sneakers or flipflops may seem like a comfortable option, they don't provide good arch support. This means that if you wear such shoes on your walk to work Monday through Friday you are putting your feet at risk for bunions, hammertoes, and a collapsed arch.

4. Your toenails are cut funnily

If your toenails are cut too short or they are rounded it can result in ingrown nails. The nail starts to grow into the skin causing discomfort. Shoes can also irritate the situation more by rubbing or squeezing the feet together. The best option would be to make sure that the nails are cut straight as this would avoid the development of any ingrown nails. 

5. You run in tennis shoes (or play tennis in running shoes)
foot pain from shoes

Gym sneakers are not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to exercising and sports. Dr. Sutera says “There is a lot of technology that goes into the design of sneakers,” adding that “Each activity has specific qualities necessary for the correct shoe. For example, running and walking shoes are made for straight-ahead motion, while basketball and tennis shoes are made for side-to-side movements.”

6. You always carry your bag on the same side

Do you constantly carry a briefcase or heavy purse on one side? Then you are likely creating a shift in weight that causes tendinitis, as well as neck and back pain. So be sure to alternate the side you carry things on or carry two smaller bags to help distribute the weight more evenly. 

7. You ignore dry or scaly patches
foot pain from shoes

If you have dry skin on the bottom of your feet it may eventually lead to skin fissures. But over time they may worsen or could lead to infection. A great way to go about it is to use a pumice stone in the shower and to regularly moisturize to keep your feet healthy. If your feet are scaly then you may have a fungal infection. In which case, the best way to get rid of scales is with antifungal cream. 

8. You exercise in bare feet too much

While there are times where working out with no shoes can't be avoided, such as yoga and Pilates, make sure that you have enough variety in your routine. Dr. Sutera says “People who do the same barefoot workout several times a week may experience tendon pain, heel pain, and even joint pain.” To save yourself from more pain, make sure you incorporate a mix of sneaker-wearing workouts and low-impact barefoot exercises. 

9. You don’t wear slippers at home
foot pain from shoes
“We underestimate how much time we spend at home with no shoes on,” says Dr. Sutera. “Especially for people who have hardwood floors, marble, or tile, there is nothing between the floor and your feet. Over time, the natural fat pad on the bottom of your feet wears down, leaving you later in life feeling as if your foot is just skin and bones.” Dr. Sutera recommends you try an orthopedic slipper for foot support at home.
 
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