Your feet work hard, and you ask a lot of them every day, from running to catch a bus to pounding on the pavement on your morning jogs. So it’s strange that many people decide to shove them into cramped, ill-fitting, unsupportive shoes all day.
The truth is, if you don’t take care of your feet, they won’t be able to take care of you.
Dr. Kelly Geoghan in Lutherville, Maryland, has seen how quickly poor footwear choices can take a toll on healthy feet. In this blog, we outline a few basic do’s and don’ts for outfitting your feet.
Do exercise in shoes designed for your sport
Walk into any sporting goods store, and you’ll see walls lined with shoes categorized by activity. That’s because basketball players need something much different on their feet than cross-country runners need.
We recommend buying shoes specifically designed for whichever sport you’re playing. Doing so takes into account foot structure in motion, protects your feet from injury, and enhances your game.
Don’t wear high heels for long periods
High heels are a staple in women’s fashion, and they may even be part of your workplace dress code, so we’re not recommending that you give them up entirely. However, we suggest limiting very high heels to special occasions.
High-heeled shoes increase your risk for joint degeneration, knee osteoarthritis, and even ingrown toenails.
Comfortable heels that are no taller than two inches are acceptable to wear around the office for longer periods, but even then, you should wear flatter shoes whenever possible.
Do toss your old, worn-out shoes
Every good thing comes to an end, especially where your shoes are concerned. Even the best pair of shoes eventually wears out, and when that happens, the shoes become more of a liability than an asset.
Check for signs of wear-and-tear, including worn-down soles, holes, and rips. Runners should replace their shoes every 300-500 miles.
Don’t wear flip-flops all of the time
We get it: Flip-flops are easy and perfect for the warmer months. However, they don’t offer the support your feet need. To top it off, the open-air concept of sandals makes you vulnerable to stubbed toes, cuts, and ankle strains and sprains.
Do your best to keep flip-flops as a pool or beach accessory, and invest in a pair of supportive leather sandals.
Do change out of sweaty footwear
A game of basketball or a morning spent in the yard can make your feet sweaty and create a breeding ground for athlete's foot. Change out of sweaty socks and shoes shortly after your activity, and make sure to wash your socks and disinfect your shoes regularly.
Don’t wear the same shoes every day
Everyone has a favorite pair of shoes, but we recommend wearing a few different types of shoes to keep your feet limber. Plus, giving your trusty flats a break helps them air out and get rid of odors.
Do have your feet measured
Children seem to cycle through shoe sizes every time you turn around, but they aren’t the only ones who go through foot changes. As you age, your feet can change sizes, making your shoes ill-fitting. Head to your local shoe store and make sure your shoe size is still accurate.
Don’t wear hand-me-downs
You may find a great deal on a pair of designer shoes online, but if they’ve already committed to someone else's footprint, understand that it’s difficult to get them to adjust to yours to provide proper support and comfort.
If you have to buy with your budget in mind, focus on shoe quality over brand names. We can point you toward great off-brand shoes that give you everything you need without breaking the bank.
Do team up with an expert
By far, the best thing you can do for your feet is to get support from an expert podiatrist like Dr. Geoghan. We provide the best, most advanced treatments and education for all of your foot care needs, and we can help you make the best decisions for your feet.
If you’d like more information about footwear and foot care hacks, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Geoghan. Call our friendly staff to find an appointment time that works for you, or request a time through our online booking tool.