Even though you use them every day, taking care of your feet might be on the bottom of your priority list. Yet, foot care is something that's really important if you want to improve your posture, gait (aka “strut) and most importantly reduce pain. In order to find out exactly how to take care of your feet (properly) we got some advice from expert UCLA podiatrist, Dr. Singer. He revealed to us the foot care mistakes you are currently making and how to fix them. His advice will surprise you!
- In order to combat shoes that are too tight in the toe area, you are buying shoes that are a half size too big.
Dr. Singer says, "Wearing shoes that are too big increase the risk of it slipping off and causing you to fall. If your shoe is too big it causes movement inside the shoe. For example, if you are walking downhill and your shoes are too big it causes the toes to bang at the end of the shoe. This causes discomfort, ingrown nails, and even causes your toenails to get thicker. So, buying bigger shoes does not actually solve any problems because it comes with its own set of problems. So really just always wear the shoe that fits, or stretch the toe area of your correct shoe size."
- You aren't measuring your feet after you start a new workout routine like running and yoga, or experience a lifestyle change (like having a child).
Dr. Singer explained to us that while lifestyle can't alter the size of your bones, the fluid in muscles in your feet can change, causing the foot to alter in size.
He said "The more you stand on your feet, the more they will fill with fluid, this is because of gravity. There are not very many muscles in the foot, but activity can cause the foot to fill with more fluid which causes it to change size. Activity can also cause the ligaments to stretch over time, and this also happens with age." So, make sure you are measuring your feet as much as you can. We just learned how wearing the wrong size can cause some serious problems so it's always better to be safe than sorry!
- You aren't moisturizing your feet
We were surprised when we asked Dr. Singer the one thing he wished all his patients knew and he responded with --"A lot of people don’t realize that their feet need to be moisturized as well, just like any body part."
- You are focusing on fit issues with your running shoes and not your heels
"What’s funny is that I can’t remember a woman ever asking me about her dress shoes, they’ll ask about their athletic shoes, but no one asks about their dress shoes. I think it’s because what it looks like and the statement it makes is probably more important." Dr. Singer said that one of the best things you can do is ask your podiatrist if your shoe is fitting properly, but women almost never ask and when they do it's always about their workout shoes.
- You aren't treating your blister correctly
When you get blisters it’s pretty hard to resist pulling the dead skin off your foot (it's gross) but Dr. Singer cautioned against that saying “The worst thing you could do is remove the skin that’s on top of the blister. That’s because the skin that’s sitting there acts like a biological band aid, you can cover it with an additional band aid, but removing the skin will increase chance of infection and cause more discomfort."
Thankfully he did offer us a solution-- "The best thing you can do is get a sharp clean object to drain the blister. Open the blister, drain the fluid, you can soak in warm water with hydrogen peroxide or Epsom salt, and then put antibiotic cream and cover it with a band aid."
- You are avoiding pointy toe shoes because they hurt and you're afraid of bunions
Dr. Singer surprised us with the truth about bunions: "There’s this idea that wearing too tight shoes will cause bunions and that’s not true. Bunions are hereditary." So, thank your mom, not your pointy toe shoes for your bunions. While Dr. Singer did caution against wearing shoes that were too tight, if they are your right size there is no reason to avoid pointy toe shoes. And there's always Formé Shoe Shapers to give your toes some extra wiggle room. Pointy toe is too cute not to be worn!