Basic foot care

You spend years on your feet. In fact, the average moderately active person takes about 7500 steps a day. That’s almost 216,262,500 steps in a lifetime.

So, the right thing to do is practice good foot care. Take a look at your feet often; use a mirror to look at the bottoms of you feet. Look for cuts, blisters, and ingrown toenails. Ask a member of your family for help if you need it. If you have diabetes, be sure to check your feet every day.

Remember to put your feet up when you are sitting down. This helps the circulation in your feet. So can stretching, walking, or having a gentle foot massage. A warm foot bath is also helpful. Make sure your feet are dry before you put on your shoes. Wear shoes when you’re outside. If you are sitting for a long time, stand up and move around every now and then. If you cross your legs, reverse or uncross them often. Don’t smoke.

If you have a problem with your feet, your family doctor can help, or you can see a podiatrist.

The National Institute of Health has these recommendations for how to buy the best shoes for your feet:

Wearing comfortable shoes that fit well can prevent many foot problems. Here are some tips for making sure your shoes fit:

  • Shoe size may change as you age, so always have your feet measured before buying shoes. The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day when your feet are largest.
  • Most of us have one foot that is larger than the other. Make sure your shoes fit your larger foot.
  • Don’t buy shoes without trying them on first. Shoe sizes can vary depending on the kind, make, and style. For example, the size you wear for sneakers may not be the same size you need for dress shoes.
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they feel right. The heel of the shoe should not slide up and down when you walk.
  • Choose a shoe that is shaped like your foot. Styles with high heels or pointed toes can hurt your feet.
  • Stand up when trying on shoes to make sure there is about ½ inch between your toe and the end of the shoe.
  • Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.
  • Don’t buy shoes that feel too tight and hope they will stretch.
  • The upper part of the shoes should be made of a soft, flexible material.
  • Soles should give solid footing and not slip. Thick soles cushion your feet when walking on hard surfaces.
  • Low-heeled shoes are more comfortable, safer, and less damaging than high-heeled shoes.