Our feet take the weight of our whole body, so foot problems can quickly lead to discomfort and affect the way we walk. This can in turn cause knee, hip and back pain.
- Each foot contains 26 bones and more than 100 ligaments.
- Our feet contain more than a quarter of all the bones in your body.
- The skin on your feet has more than 7,000 nerve endings.
- There are more than 125,000 sweat glands on each foot, more than anywhere else in the body.
- Our feet produce an eggcup’s worth of sweat each day.
Washing our feet often
We don’t go to bed without washing our feet. If we leave dirt on the skin’s surface, it can become irritated and infected. Wash our feet every evening with soap and water.
Drying our feet well
Dry our feet thoroughly after washing them, especially between the toes which is where germs such as Athlete’s foot can easily breed. Then, apply a moisturising foot cream (not body lotion).
Removing hard skin
Gently remove hard skin and calluses with a pumice stone or foot file regularly.
Cuting toenails carefully
Always trim our toenails straight across, never at an angle or down the edges. This can cause ingrown toenails.
Shoe shop in the afternoon
Shop for shoes in the afternoon. Feet swell as the day goes on and if shoes fit in the afternoon when our feet are at their largest, we can be assured they will always be comfortable.
Footwear tips for work
If we have to wear heels at work, wear comfortable shoes to and from the office and only wear our smart shoes once we’re in the office. Also, we need try to vary the heel height, between low, medium and high. Read how to choose the right footwear for work.
Limit time wearing high heels
Be shoe savvy. Wear high heels and pointed shoes for special occasions only, and always wear the right shoes for the job (so no sandals for mountain climbing).
Changing our socks often to avoid foot odour
Change our socks daily.
Watch out for foot bugs in communal changing areas
Wear flip-flops to avoid catching athlete’s foot and verrucas when you use public areas such as gym showers, swimming pools or hotel bathrooms.
Taking care with flip flops
But don’t wear flip-flops all the time. They don’t provide support for your feet and can give you arch and heel pain if we wear them too much.
Foot pain advice for over-60s
If we’re over 60, foot care becomes even more important. Age takes its toll: our skin thins, our joints begin to stiffen and our feet become more vulnerable to the cold. Some podiatrists say: “Physically, it gets more difficult for us to get to our feet, and failing eyesight doesn’t help. Go to see a professional for a foot MOT every six months and never put up with foot pain as if it is normal. Your feet shouldn’t hurt.”