Our feet are certainly invaluable to our daily lives, yet they are often overlooked – that is, until a problem arises. The health of your feet is critical: it impacts your entire skeletal system and, ultimately, your way of life. Here are some of the most surprising everyday habits that harm your feet (and what you can do instead to keep your tootsies happy!):
You Attempt to Fix Issues Yourself
We get it – ingrown toenails are a pain (literally). It’s so tempting to try to take measures in your own hands and dig out that pesky toenail yourself. Doing so, however, can make things worse. After all, you’re not using sterile tools and don’t know the proper techniques to remedy the problem. Don’t take the chance – call your podiatrist about any issues that arise, including ingrown toenails, toenail fungus, corns, calluses, and more!
You Run in a New Pair of Shoes
Ever get a new pair of running shoes just for an upcoming race? You might feel inclined to wait until the day of the race to try out your new kicks, but doing so can give you blisters and shin splints! Take it from us – avoid pain by breaking in your new pair of shoes first.
You Regularly Wear Flats
Who doesn’t love the comfort of flip-flops, ballet flats, and flat sneakers like Converse shoes? If these are your go-to duds, you’ll want to find an alternative for your commutes and walks. They have little shock absorption and don’t provide the arch support your feet need. In time, you can develop bunions, hammertoes, Achilles tendinitis, or a collapsed arch if you wear these shoes all day, every day. Do your feet a favor and invest in a lightweight, supportive athletic shoe for your daily adventures.
You Walk Barefoot in Locker Rooms
If you really want to increase your risk of picking up athlete’s foot, warts, and fungi, then by all means, go ahead and walk around barefoot in public locker rooms. These damp communal spaces are the perfect environment for these viruses and fungi to thrive in. Take our advice, though: wear shower shoes or flip-flops at all times in these spaces to keep your feet healthy and happy!
You Walk Barefoot on Hard Surfaces
Do you have any hardwood, ceramic tile, stone, or cement flooring in your home? If so, you should consider protecting your feet. After all, there’s nothing between the floor and your feet, and in time the padding in your feet will deteriorate. The solution: don a pair of supportive, comfortable slippers whenever you shuffle into the kitchen for your morning cup of joe.
You Habitually Wear Running Shoes When You’re Not Running
There’s a reason why there are so many different types of shoes out there. Each is specifically designed to support your feet during various types of motion. Walking shoes are for walking, running shoes are for running, and basketball shoes are for – you guessed it – basketball. If you choose to run in basketball shoes, which are made for side-to-side movements instead of forward motion, you up your risk for injury. Do your research and find the appropriate footwear for the physical activities you love – your feet will appreciate it!
You Like Wearing the Same Shoes Every Day
We all have our one favorite pair of shoes – the ones that make us feel like we can completely take on the world singlehandedly. As much as you may want to keep rocking your favorite pair, remember: variety is the spice of life (and is oh, so good for your feet, to boot!). Switch it up between various pairs of supportive, comfortable shoes to avoid foot fatigue and pain. Are your shoes wearing out? Make sure you replace them about twice a year or so to keep your gait natural and as pain-free as possible!
You Stick to One Shoe Size
Here’s a fun fact: your shoe size will change with age! Often, feet grow wider and longer as the years pass, so don’t automatically assume that you’re still the same size. Make sure that you test out new shoes in-store before purchasing them whenever possible, and get your feet professionally measured every once in a while as well!
You Ignore Aches and Pains
Pain is never good. If you’re experiencing aches or ongoing pain when you walk or exercise, the worst thing you can do is sweep it under the rug. Ignored discomfort can easily worsen and develop into more worrisome conditions. If something doesn’t feel right, call up your podiatrist for a thorough examination! Remember, if you’re experiencing discomfort or notice anything out of the norm, the friendly and knowledgeable doctors at The Foot & Ankle Center are here to help! Call us today at (314) 487-9300 to schedule your appointment with us!