General tips for healthy feet

You feet are important, taking your full body weight in most exercises from walking, jogging/running to sport. An average person takes around 8,000 steps covering several miles every day. However it is very easy to take your feet for granted. But there are several easy things you can do to help ensure your feet stay healthy and pain free.

Daily Routine
  • Wash your feet properly in warm soapy water.
  • Dry them well, especially between the toes.
  • Powder them including between the toes. If you have signs of athlete's foot or your feet are smelling at all, use a proprietary, over the counter athlete's foot treatment powder. If symptoms persists, see your Chiropodist/Podiatrist for advice.
  • Dry areas of skin on the feet can have a suitable oil massaged into them, but never oil between your toes.
  • Rough areas of skin can be treated with appropriate abrasion methods. If you are unsure how to do this without causing futher damage to your feet, Irene will be happy to demonstrate the correct procedure for you.
Other tips
  • Cut your toe nails regularly, using the correct technique, which is straight across and not rounding the corners (which can lead to ingrowing toenails). Don't cut them too short, leaving just a small overlap with the front of the toe. If you are unsure of the correct technique, Irene will be happy to demonstrate the procedure for you.
  • Check your feet regularly for signs of warts, verrucae and athlete's foot. If found, treat appropriately, or better still see your Chiropodist/Podiatrist to ensure you are getting exactly the right treatment.
  • Make regular appointments with your Chiropodist or Podiatrist for check-ups and to obtain the latest and correct techniques and treatments where required, in much the same way as you should make regular appointments to your dentist to check your teeth. Your feet are no less important to happy and healthy living than your teeth are.

The importance of wearing the correct shoes cannot be emphasised enough. So many foot problems such as corns, bunions and Hammer Toes to name a few, can often be avoided by the wearing of correctly fitting and appropriate shape of shoes.

  • Never buy a pair of shoes that are too tight, that you hope will stretch with wear. The correct size of shoe will be comfortable to wear when brand new.
  • Shoes should fit snugly and support the foot all round.
  • Correctly sized shoes will have a small gap about 5-6mm in front of the longest toe (often the second toe).
  • Heels should not slip or rub when walking.
  • Avoid high heels. Flat shoes that raise the toes slightly are best for your feet. Don't be tempted to do permanent damage to your feet for the sake of fashion.
  • Heels should be low and wide. High heels may look good, but prolonged use can cause foot, ankle, leg and back problems.
  • Try to purchase good quality shoes made with the appropriate materials that will support the foot with a good sole and upper and will allow the foot to breath with uppers made from materials such as leather.
  • Your shoes should match the shape of your feet. Buy shoes with a straight inner edge and that don't have points which squash your toes out of their natural shape. The shape of the front of the shoe must allow the toes to remain straight even when under the stresses of walking and exercising.
  • Buy shoes with fastenings, such as laces, buckles or velcro which can be adjusted to suite you. Very many people have slightly different sized feet which require individual adjustment. Avoid slip-on shoes, where the shoe remains in place by being either too tight, or which require you to curl up your toes to hold them in place.
  • Try not to wear the same pair of shoes two days in succession, especially trainers, to give them an opportunity to dry out. This reduces the chances of fungal infections getting into your feet.
  • Get your feet measured before buying shoes. Your feet do change even in adulthood, but checking the size of children's feet is especially important with every purchase of new shoes.