There are some obvious ways that we can avoid hurting our feet: don’t do a hot coal walk. Don’t play soccer with a boulder. Don’t step into a room where a child has been playing with Lego without wearing tactical combat boots. But what about the less obvious things that could be doing damage to our feet every single day?
We really put our feet through it every day, often subjecting them to stresses and strains that we don’t even think about. With that in mind, we rounded up 5 of the most common culprits of foot problems and pain. And even we were shocked by a couple of them.
1. Wearing the Wrong Shoes (or no Shoes at All)
OK, by far one of the worst things you can do for your feet is wearing the wrong shoes. Most of us know that high heels cram feet into small spaces and unnatural angles, but any type of shoe can do damage to your foot if it doesn’t fit properly.
That’s right, those cute sandals or new sneakers could be messing up your feet as we speak. And if they’re too tight, too loose, too narrow or too high, they could be bending your feet and toes into uncomfortable positions causing irritation, pain and pressure.
The solution? Listen to your body! If something feels uncomfortable, don’t risk wearing it, even for a short amount of time. The repercussions aren’t always worth a few hours of looking taller in sky-high heels.
Interestingly, walking around barefoot can actually harm your feet, too. If you’re walking on a flat, hard surface without shoes, you’re causing additional stress on the structures of your feet. This can have some pretty serious consequences like collapsed arches and pain that extends up into the ankles, knees and legs.
Find comfortable shoes that feel good as well as look good. Your feet will thank you in the long run. If you do have some favorite shoes that are uncomfortable due to friction, try PreHeels+® to lessen the rubbing and prevent future blisters.
2. Skipping the Socks
While we’re on the topic of footwear, let’s talk about the trend of wearing shoes without socks. You might think it makes you look like you’re about to go lounge on a yacht, but it’s actually just allowing fungus and bacteria to lounge on your feet.
Socks help keep our feet clean and dry, plus they provide a barrier between our feet and the inside of our shoes, which, let’s face it, probably aren’t the most pristine of places.
So, by skipping the socks you’re actually skipping the protection from dirt and moisture. If you absolutely must go for that bare-ankle-with-boat-shoes look, spritz some Twinkle Toes™ on your feet and shoes first. It’ll eliminate the bacteria and fungus that can cause odors and infection.
3. Too Much Exercise
For your overall health, staying active is a must, but doing too much or doing it too often can be seriously bad for your feet.
Ramping up workouts too fast, running too far or lifting weights that are too heavy can bruise your bones, strain your muscles or even cause a stress fracture. Our feet already bear all the weight of our body and adding anything additional puts them under immense strain.
If you ignore your body’s natural limits, you could make things even worse and ultimately be forced to stay off your feet for a while. Just remember: everything in moderation, and if you have pushed your feet to the limit, let Sigh Of Relief™ soothe away those aches and pains.
4. Eating Unhealthy Foods
While it might not seem like a direct contributor to poor foot health, eating junk food can affect your feet in many ways.
By triggering clogged arteries, high blood sugar levels, nutritional deficits and more, eating poorly plays a role in the progression of heart disease, diabetes, gout and many other conditions that directly affect your feet.
In addition, carrying around excess weight places increased stress on your feet, which can cause a whole host of problems down the line. When our weight fluctuates, it causes the muscles in your feet to either expand or contract, which means that the shoes you’ve been wearing might not provide adequate support anymore.
5. Public Showers and Locker Rooms
While we commend your gym and swim sessions, make sure that you bring a pair of flip flops along for the ride.
Public showers, pools and locker rooms are one of the primary places where athlete’s foot is contracted. A fungal infection that thrives in warm, damp environments, it can be a nightmare to get rid of (and annoyingly itchy while you’re trying).
In addition, simply ignoring the warning signs that your feet are giving you can have serious consequences and can be a symptom of a larger problem. We like to play a game called “If these feet could talk, what would they say?” And if it’s something bad, consider taking a trip to the doctor. Just don’t tell them you were having a long and involved conversation with your feet.