Spring has sprung and it’s time to dust off your running shoes and hit the trails! Whether you just enjoy getting out for a walk, or you’re starting training for the Monumental Marathon it’s important you make good choices when it comes to your feet. Your choice in footwear plays a big role in both the development and prevention of foot and toe problems.
Why Is Footwear Important?
An average day of walking brings a force to your feet equal to several hundred tons—that’s a lot for your feet to endure on a daily basis. Proper footwear can prevent problems such as bunions, calluses, corns, hammer claw and mallet toe. Shoes that do not fit properly make these conditions worse or more painful.
The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) provides the following list of considerations when shopping for shoes:
• Try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are at their largest.
• Measure both feet, and stand while being measured.
• Walk around the store to make sure the shoes fit well and are comfortable.
• Do not rely on the shoe breaking in before it fits comfortably.
• Buy shoes for the larger foot. Feet are seldom the same size.
• Ignore shoe size; pay attention to what feels best.
• Try on shoes when you’re wearing the same type of socks or stockings you expect to wear with the shoes.
General Foot Health Tips
The APMA provides these helpful tips on basic foot health:
• Don’t ignore foot pain—it is not normal. If pain persists, see a podiatrist.
• Inspect your feet regularly—look for changes in color and temperature, cracks, cuts, peeling, scaling or growths.
• Wash your feet regularly—especially between the toes, and then be sure to dry them completely.
• Trim toenails straight across and not too short—be careful to not cut nails in corners or on toes; this can cause ingrown toenails.
• Make sure your shoes are the right size—comfort is what’s most important.
• Alternate shoes—don’t wear the same pair every day.
• Avoid walking in bare feet—you’ll be more prone to injury and infection.
• Be careful when treating foot ailments with home remedies—they can often turn a minor problem into a major one.
As you attempt to attain your 2017 goals, make sure you play it smart and take it one step at a time.