Your foot health is important. Here is a guide with everything you need to know about how to properly care for your feet, along with tips depending on the scenario.
Anatomy of the Foot
Knowing a little bit about the anatomy of your feet is useful is the basic understanding of what all goes into your foot health. One single foot contains 26 bones in total, and 33 joints. There are over 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your foot that are what make your feet function properly and move. If one of these muscles, tendons, or ligaments, are injured, then your foot mobility can be greatly hindered.
Foot Care Tips
One of the major aspects in keeping your feet healthy is protecting them from the elements and weather conditions in general. In colder weather, wearing cotton and wool socks is key in keeping your feet from getting too cold. Frostbite can happen and it does major damage to your feet. It is also necessary to only wear dry footwear or waterproof footwear in snowy or rainy conditions. Warmer weather has its own list of risks as well. Summer is a time when bacteria are thriving, and can easily affect your feet. Do not walk barefoot at swimming pools or any public areas, especially if the area is damp. Avoid walking on cement barefoot and apply sunscreen to your feet when they are exposed; your skin will thank you.
Choosing the correct footwear not only helps support good foot health, but also helps you perform your best.
For those who are in football and soccer, find cleats that are low cut and fit snug. If the shoe is too loose then you can easily trip and fall on the field. However, also make sure that the cleats aren’t too tight or else the friction can irritate your feet. Finding the right fit in your shoes is needed for all sports and all footwear.
Basketball players must focus on getting ankle support. Without proper ankle support, sprains and strains are more likely to occur. Usually, the top of the shoe covers the ankle to help stabilize it.
With any sport, make sure that you have good arch support for your feet. If the footwear you own does not come with it built in, you can purchase orthotics/ shoe inserts to put inside. Custom made orthotics are also an option.
When picking out shoes that you want to wear everyday, your comfort level is the most important aspect. Wearing shoes daily that you and your feet dislike is not enjoyable!
At the store when buying shoes, make sure there is at least half an inch room for your toes. Also make sure that your heel is not rubbing against the back part of the shoe. Remember, throughout the day your foot can swell. Buy shoes around noon when your feet have already swelled up. This will more accurately help you find the right size.
Do not forget to wear the socks you will be wearing in the shoes to the store. Wear your socks and the shoes you are considering, and walk around the store to see how they feel. Be aware if there are any points in the shoe that are causing friction or discomfort. Lastly, do not purchase shoes that provide arch support. Without proper arch support, your feet will fatigue and you can over time get collapsed arches.
If you are ever experiencing any pain or notice anything unusual, schedule to see your podiatrist. It is also key to develop a good relationship with your podiatrist as you age and if you are in sports. Do not ignore your foot health, because our feet are what keep us moving!