Things tend to go pretty fast nowadays. Everything needs to be quick and snappy as it flies past, likely forgotten soon after the next few dozen quick, snappy things fly by.
Lists and life hacks make advice easier to digest, and we totally get that. But we don’t want good advice to be forgettable advice, either. What good is a useful tip for life if you don’t make it part of your actual living?
We have compiled some of our favorite foot care health tips below, in an easily consumable form! But just because you can read through them quickly doesn’t mean you should just skim and forget. A lot of these tips are little, but making them a steady part of your day-to-day (if they’re already not) can have significant effects on your foot and ankle health over time.
So, who’s ready for a tip-a-palooza?
Tips for Daily Hygiene
- Wash your feet thoroughly. This includes warm water, soap, and a washcloth. Just standing in the shower and enacting a “trickle-down economics” policy on your feet is not good enough.
- Dry your feet fully. Once out of the bath or shower, dry your feet completely before placing them in socks and shoes. Extra moisture on your feet can make it easier for fungi to thrive, increasing risks of fungal toenails and athlete’s foot. Make sure to dry between your toes, as that’s where excess moisture can most easily collect.
- Trim your toenails properly. Toenails should be cut straight across, with corners gently filed down, if necessary. Heavily rounding your nails can increase risks of ingrown toenails. Also, use larger toenail clippers and not the smaller variety made for fingernails.
Tips for Fighting Foot Odor
- Switch between your footwear. Wearing the same pair of shoes every day does not give them much chance to air out and dry, making them more prone to odors. When you wear a pair of shoes, give them at least 24 hours of downtime afterward.
- Bring backup socks. If your feet sweat profusely during the day, bring an extra pair of socks to change into halfway. Not only does this help keep odor down, it can also just feel a lot more comfortable.
- Deodorize your shoes. There are multiple at-home ways to do this. Put them in a sealable bag in your freezer overnight. Line the bottoms with cat litter overnight (but don’t forget to dump it out and clean with a damp cloth). Boil black tea bags, let them cool, and place in your shoes for about an hour (you can also make tea as part of this, which is a bonus).
- Use deodorant or antiperspirant on your feet. Sure, there are specialty products made for the feet, but anything that works on your underarms can also be effective down there.
Tips for Standing and Moving
- Improve your work environment. If you have a job that makes you stand all day, install or ask for a stress-reducing mat to stand on, if possible. Even if you have a desk job, a rug beneath your feet can be more comfortable than a hardwood floor.
- Warm up before any intense activity. Our bodies are not like a cheetah’s; they were not built to go from rest to full bore in the blink of an eye. Taking several minutes before a game or workout to stretch, jog, and lightly move around can help prepare your muscles, tendons, and other moving parts for the work you’re about to make them do, reducing your risk of injury.
- Stretch and move even when you’re not about to work out, too. Remaining still for too long can have negative effects on your feet. Taking time out each hour at work to get up and move a bit can work wonders, as can performing some light foot stretches while seated or standing.
Tips for Choosing Footwear
- Have the right shoes for the job. Running shoes. Walking shoes. Basketball shoes. Each type of shoe is made to best accommodate the expected forces on the feet and ankles during that activity. Use them.
- Replace your shoes before they start falling apart. A shoe that is worn down no longer provides your feet support, and can even start to cause you more pain. Don’t wait until they’re on death’s door. Look for signs such as uneven treads (do they lean when you set them on a flat surface?) and just not feeling right.
- Get your feet measured, even as an adult. Many people think their foot size doesn’t change in adulthood, but that’s not true. They change more slowly than during childhood, but they can still very much change. Make sure you stay up to date and get your shoe size checked every time you get new shoes to avoid buying any that are too large or too small.
- Keep off the high heels. The longer you use high heels, the more your feet will suffer. It’s that simple. If you can’t avoid heels, however, try to be as reasonable with them as possible. Try to keep the height two inches or lower, try to avoid spikes, and don’t spend all day in them as often as you can.
- Never share your shoes with anyone. It’s enlightening to walk a mile in another person’s shoes, but only figuratively. Literally, you don’t want to walk a mile in anyone else’s potential fungus! The shape and wear of another person’s shoes can also cause you problems if they don’t align with your feet.
When Tips Aren’t Enough, Come to Us
Sometimes, even when you follow all the best practices for foot and ankle care, something comes along that brings you pain or grief. In these cases, and whenever you have questions about your podiatric health, we’re here to help!
Reach either of our offices in Chandler or Gilbert by calling (877) 866-2417.