Nobody wants to experience foot pain, yet so many patients that I see in my Houston podiatry office are making bad choices that will leave them hurting. Here are some of the five worst foot offences you can commit, along with an explanation of why you should avoid these habits if you want your feet to stop hurting (or never start in the first place!)
- Going Sock-less: Putting your bare feet directly into your shoes creates a dark, moist environment that is perfect for forming fungi that attack your feet with conditions like athlete’s foot. Always put on a sock—the better it is at sucking away moisture the better—to avoid developing this itchy, painful condition.
- Wearing High Heels, All Day, Every Day: I’ve said this so many times, but it's worth repeating. High heels are bad for women’s (and men’s) feet, and can lead to or exacerbate existing problems like bunions and hammertoes. Relegate those pointy-toed stilettos to the special occasion section of your closet, please.
- Wearing worn out sneaks: The longer you wear shoes, especially sneakers, the less effective their shock absorption becomes. If you run in worn out sneakers, you are likely to begin experiencing heel pain or problems with your Achilles tendon. Try sticking to the golden rule of sneakers: if you’ve logged 300-500 miles in them, it’s time to get a new pair!
- Overdoing it: This sin is usually committed by runners, but can apply to any athlete that over-trains in his or her sport. Doing one type of activity, be it running, jumping or kicking, without building in rest days to your regimen or adding cross-training and weight lifting into your routine, can lead to over-use injuries like stress fractures. Mix it up and take a load off every so often to avoid such problems.
- Thinking all flats are a-ok: Think if the shoe has no heel it’s good for you? Think again! Flip-flops and ballet-flats, two all time Houston favorites, are NOT good for your feet—the lack of arch support in both types of shoe can cause pain and discomfort, so, as with heels, you should limit the amount of time you spend in these types of shoes.
Now, just because I’ve warned you that committing these sins will cause you problems doesn’t mean I won’t help you fix things if you’ve ignored my advice. If you’re experiencing any kind of foot pain, schedule an appointment with Dr. Andrew Schneider so you can get your feet back on the right track!