Our feet may not be the prettiest part of our body, but they have an important role and giving them the proper care and attention that they deserve is essential. If you don’t take care of your feet properly it doesn’t just cause problems there but can affect your hips, back and knees too. So where should you start in giving your feet the treatment they deserve?
1) Wash your feet properly
We are up and down on our feet all day and they can get sweaty and dirty. Washing them properly helps to keep them clean and healthy, and prevents any nasty infections. You should wash your feet with warm, soapy water every day, but try to avoid soaking them for too long as this can dry your feet out and strip them of their natural oils. Instead, make sure you keep them well moisturised to prevent any dry skin developing. Creams that contain Vitamin E or coconut oil are great for this and if you leave them on overnight your feet will feel much softer in the morning.
It’s also important to dry your feet thoroughly after washing, as water between the toes can lead to fungal infections like athlete’s foot. This can result in red and flaky skin around your toes and feet, which can be itchy and sore, especially if blisters develop. You should ensure you are wearing a good pair of socks throughout the day, as hot and sweaty feet can also lead to infections and once developed, they are unlikely to go away on their own. Wynsors stock a great range of socks and hosiery to go with all styles of shoe, and ensure you feel comfortable and look great.
2) Treat your feet
Just like the rest of your body, sometimes your feet just need some good old pampering. Regular foot massages can be a great way to look after them and will help to improve blood circulation in your legs, as well as relieving any discomfort and reducing aches that may develop. This is a great way to relax if you have a job that keeps you on your feet constantly, and using oils at the same time will keep your feet soft and moisturised too. Foot massages can also help with joint pain and are a great way to boost your recovery after an injury.
3) Check your toes
Regular maintenance of your toes is important so don’t forget about them. Whether you love getting weekly pedicures, or you’re the type of person who can’t stand someone touching their feet, you need to regularly check your toenails and make sure they are in good health. Clumsy trimming can lead to ingrown toenails, which can be extremely painful, so make sure you only cut your nail along the top rather than down the sides. Nails can also become brittle as you get older so they are just as important as your feet to keep well moisturised, particularly if you regularly use nail polish and nail polish remover, both of which can dry them out.
4) Wear the right shoes
Wearing the correct shoes is one of the most important things you can do. Our feet are in shoes for the majority of the day, so we need to make sure that they are comfy and not causing damage to our feet. The first thing you should consider is whether your shoes fit. Yes, it sounds silly, but you should always make sure that your shoes fit properly. Shoes that are too small can cause painful blisters, as well as corns and bunions, which can lead to longer-term problems. The number of adults who wear shoes that are not the correct size is surprising, and they have little idea how damaging this can be. If your toes are cramped into a space that is too tight, for example, you could develop a condition called crossover toe where the second or third toe actually crosses the toe next to it, due to the constant pressure on it – not nice. This is one of the most common foot problems yet it can be easily avoided by taking the right precautions.
Wearing the correct shoes for your purpose is also important, such as running or playing sports. If you are a keen runner you should ensure you are wearing shoes that provide appropriate support to you. Everyone is different so it is best to seek the help of an expert and get properly measured for your shoes. Most places will offer advice free of charge and let you know exactly what type of shoes you need for what you intend to do. Choosing the right pair of shoes now can help you avoid injuries down the line and potential problems with your knees and back.
Buying new shoes regularly is also important, as the older your shoes get the less support they provide for your feet, particularly shoes intended for athletic pursuits. When you do invest in a new pair of shoes it is important to wear them in gradually, without hurting your feet in the process. You should try wearing them for set periods, rather than a whole day, which will gradually stretch the material slightly to fit your feet. You can also protect the areas of your feet that are prone to blisters for the first few times you wear them. If they rub slightly on your heels wear a plaster or blister pad and keep that area well moisturised. See our shoe care section where you can find a full range of gel pads, heel grips and even insoles. If you can wear socks, make sure you are wearing a thick pair that will protect your feet.