We are all guilty. When we set aside the flip flops until next year year and get out our toasty cozy socks for winter we often forget about our poor feet under those socks.
It is funny how so few of us think of our feet until there is a complication and we cannot walk that we find out how important our two feet are.
It need not be like that though, a couple of basic steps can easily keep your feet looking and feeling great throughout the year.
1. Keep your feet clean. If possible, wash your feet every night time before sleeping.
This eliminates any unpleasant bacteria hiding in between your toes.
Don’t forget to dry them completely and moisturize with a good quality foot cream (not justbody lotion).
If you do this at night try putting some cotton socks on to prevent the cream making your sheets sticky.
2. Wear shoes that fit. Sounds so self-explanatory I know but around 70 % of the US population are walking around in the wrong sized shoes.
Get your feet measured regularly, many factors including age, pregnancy, weight loss and gain alter the size or our feet so don’t forget to take this into account.
Also when you look for shoes try to do so in the afternoon as this is when our feet are the most swollen.
Finally, if they pinch or hurt in the shop – Do not get them, regardless how great they are, the pinching and rubbing will only become worse.
3. Wear sensible shoes! No, I do not mean the style of shoes your grandma would wear but shoes suitable for the purpose.
In other words, no rock climbing in flip flops! Try not to live and die in the same style of shoe particularly stilettos and flip-flop designs.
Both these type of shoe put strains on your foot, ankles, knees, even hips and back as they shift your center of balance which can cause problems if you continually wear one style.
Sport trainers can also cause fungal infections if you wear them all the time. So try to vary it and wear shoes appropriate to what you are doing. Ladies, try to vary the heel height also.
4. Keep it fresh. Always wear a clean pair of socks everyday and if you can, try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days straight.
Always wear socks, regardless of what the weather, if socks don’t look right with the style of shoe you are wearing you can get the hidden sock liner type that are made not to show outside of your shoe.
5. Remove hard skin and calluses regularly with a pumice stone.
6. Like the rest of your body, feet have muscles and need to be kept in shape.
It goes without saying you can’t give your feet a workout in the gym but walking helps.
Try to go for regular walks, this will benefit your total body not just your feet.
If you feet ache after walking you may need some extra arch supports.
Many retailers have devices that can measure this and advise appropriate supports.
Otherwise consult a podiatrist – prevention is always better than cure.
7. Foot baths. If you want a treat or more appropriately giving you feet a treat have a foot bath.
This softens your skin and for best effects add some Epsom salt and/or essential oils.
8. Clip your toenails often, clipping them in a straight line. Keep them clean too.
9. Safeguard your feet from extreme hot and cold.
Do not place your feet on anything exceptionally hot including hot water bottles or heating pads.
You shouldn’t put them right in front of a hearth or any form of heating.
If you feet get cold in winter buy thermal insoles and wear socks to bed.
10. Keep the blood pumping. Keep the blood flow getting to your feet.
The moment you have opportunity put your feet up (see now you have an excuse).
Also wriggling your toes several minutes daily helps the blood reach the bottom of your toes.