Thwart Toe Trouble
Give them room. Whether you’re buying dress shoes, walking shoes or sandals, pick a wide, deep toe box. Wiggle room for toes helps keep them from blistering, cramping and making foot deformities worse. A narrow shoe can cause a Morton’s neuroma—fibrous tissue formation around the nerve tissue. Most people will describe a feeling like having a pebble in their shoe or walking on razor blades.
Find your marbles. Add a little fun to your toe exercises. Keep 10 marbles in a short cup near your kitchen table, favorite TV lounger or even your desk. Scatter them in a small area of the floor. Then pick up each marble with your toes and drop it back into the cup. Don’t dawdle—your goal is to do 1 repetition every 4 seconds! Do 3 sets for each foot.
Shop near sunset. Don’t hit the mall in the morning unless you decided what you wanted to buy with a test run the night before. Feet swell as the day goes on, so it’s best to try on shoes later in the day.
Avoid Arch Agony
Think buckles, bows and bootstraps. Straps don’t only come on boots. Your goal is to buy shoes that you can adjust for your foot no matter what time of day it is or how hot it is outside. Lace-up shoes or ones with adjustable straps or buckles give you a more personalized fit.
Pamper yourself with a hands-free foot massage. You can make your arches say “ahh” without having to bend over or strain your thumbs. Just set a tennis ball on the floor and roll your foot over it. If you have pain, use a frozen, 20-ounce water bottle instead or try the FootSmart HeatFreeze Arch Massager.
Trade in flip flops for a supportive running shoe . Cheap, flat, easy-to-fold flip flops don’t give your feet enough support, which can invite tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. It’s time to put your feet first and step up to higher-quality running shoe that have more support and a thicker sole.
Head Off Heel Hazards
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Slather on an exfoliating moisturizer every day to avoid heel cracks from dry skin. Heel cracks hurt and can lead to infection, as well as discomfort. Rub cream all over your foot except between your toes.
Roll in your bed. Before you roll out of bed in the morning, do gentle ankle rolls. These stretches help keep your tendons and ligament flexible. Flexible ankles reduce your chances of injury during everyday tasks.
Out with the old. Your once-comfy shoes suddenly hurt your feet, your insoles are a likely culprit. Replenish insoles regularly.
Number 10: Everybody’s Favorite Tip
Go ahead buy another pair. Podiatrists recommend that you don’t wear the same shoes two days in a row. Your shoes need a full 24 hours to dry out. Wearing damp shoes means you’re walking with bacteria and fungus that can lead to athlete’s foot and plantar’s warts.
Ready to Shop?
The College of Podiatry: “Bunions/toe deformities”
Mid-Tennessee Bone & Joint Clinic Foot/Toe Exercises
“Selecting the Right Insoles and When to Replace Them”
“Ways to Prevent Foot Pain and Get Around”
American Podiatric Medical Association: “Must-Know Tips to Avoid a ‘Flip-Flop Fiasco.” Video
American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine: “Q&A”