Tag Archives: Footcare

Your Foot Needs Support

Woman kicked off her shoes at home

Most of us learn fairly quickly that trying to look our best is an investment of time and energy. Skincare and makeup take a lot of effort to learn how to use properly no matter who you are and all of the little mistakes along the way can end up physically hurting in some cases. Trying to wear stylish outfits also tends to have mixed results as they aren’t always the most comfortable things. All of this brings to mind the old saying that “Beauty is pain”. The idea is to accept a certain level of discomfort as normal when trying to look one’s best, but some people end up taking it too far. They accept actual pain as a normal part of things. This is especially true when it comes to our feet. That’s not a very good idea given it isn’t just heels that tend to cause problems: our beloved flats do too. Your feet need proper support and without it, they start to suffer.

Straining Pains
Much of the potential pain that comes from flats is connected to their lack of support. Feet need a degree of support in many cases so that movement in shoes helps maintain the foot’s natural shape. Causing the foot to lose this natural shape and thereby reduce the overall ability of the foot to maintain proper distribution of weight causes damage. One of the most painful ways in which this can happen is plantar fasciitis. In essence, this condition is caused by the lack of support leading there to be excess tension along a major ligament at the bottom of the foot. This tension can end up stretching and tearing the ligament and causing major pain. This pain is typically center around the heel but can be distributed throughout the foot as well. None of this is good for the health of your feet or your stress levels. To make matters worse, this isn’t even the only way in which flats can end up causing you pain.

Bunched Together
We tend not to think about our toes much if they’re not going to be out and exposed to the world. That’s unfortunate given our toes are a major part of adequately distributing the weight in our feet. Their natural spread helps to ensure adequate distribution along the bones of the feet so that no one bone takes the strain more than the others. Unfortunately, a lot of us have gotten in the habit of accepting shoes that bunch our toes together at the front of the shoe. This isn’t healthy and flats tend to be a major offender. Without that distribution, the weight of your body begins to damage your feet in various ways. The most common result is a degree of nerve inflammation in the foot as the nerves take damage. This can eventually turn into pain or other issues if it goes unaddressed. So, if you must wear flats, remember to ensure that your toes are comfortable in them to avoid causing this problem.

woman wearing ballet flats at home among other shoes

Echoing Pain
Weight distribution issues might not seem like that big of a deal for many of us. After all, we’d like to think that being at a healthy weight might mean we’re immune to such issue. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. A healthy weight decreases the rate at which these problems manifest, but it doesn’t protect us from them in their entirety. Over the long term, wearing flats too much can lead to pain spreading from your feet to your knees, hip, and back as other load bearing portions of your body end up needing to distribute more weight on themselves. The pain from this sort of thing ends up being long term too because it is a manifestation of damage having been done to your body over time and reducing your body’s ability to keep itself intact. Your feet need to be allowed to be in their proper shape and supported to keep your body healthy.

We need to stress here that, despite all we’ve highlighted above, you can still wear flats. You just shouldn’t wear flats exclusively. Flats are good for a short outing where you won’t be out for more than a few hours. You can look stylish and then take them off later and relax. We should all be wearing support shoes the majority of the time we’re wearing shoes though. This will help minimize potential problems and support long term health.

Take Precautions Against Tinea Pedis

Woman listening to music with her feet propped up

Exercise is one of those things that we cannot genuinely go without. The human body evolved under circumstances that required fairly consistent movement to find the necessary foods to survive. It helped to shape everything from the tastes we value to the rate at which our metabolisms work on average. Despite our cultural and technological advancements, our bodies are still quite solidly back in the hunter-gatherer era and expect a certain level of movement. Our bodies suffer if we don’t get it. Overcoming the initial hurdles to exercise such as the difficulty in starting and maintaining motivation can be difficult, but once you do it the rewards tend to help you keep going. Admittedly, it does start creating circumstances where tinea pedis, more commonly known as athlete’s foot, will affect us. Taking precautions against that can ensure we get our exercise without dealing with an uncomfortable condition.

Socks Are Your Friends
One of the easiest ways you can minimize your chances of athlete’s foot is simply to wear socks. These seemingly easy to overlook articles of clothing provide a barrier between your skin and contact with various kind of bacteria that can end up leading to athlete’s foot. Wearing socks most of the time will provide you with two kinds of protection. The one we’ve already covered helps by ensuring you don’t accidentally pick up bacteria from the floor of your home or another interior area where you’re walking around without shoes. Additionally, socks offer a good way to draw moisture away from your feet. Keeping your feet from being habitually moist helps to stop them from providing an environment that supports the growth of the bacteria responsible for athlete’s foot. As a result, socks are a wonderful way to protect your feet. The reasons for this all point to another good habit to cultivate to help you avoid experiencing athlete’s foot.

Woman drying feet after a bath

Dry Your Feet
Damp feet are a major risk factor for athlete’s foot. As we highlighted above, it relates back to the fact that a damp environment helps support bacteria growth. Most of the time we’re not going to have terribly damp feet as long as we’re wearing socks, but certain circumstances do create that situation. The most common one is getting out of the shower or bath. Not only are our feet damp, but the room tends to be damp as well and a lot of the time we’re going to be barefoot. This makes the bathroom a very clear place one can pick up athlete’s foot. Another one is a pool and the changing rooms or bathrooms. The entire area is once again damp and promotes bacteria growth. Pools tend to be a bit more egregious about this than bathrooms though given how many people will be walking around. Try to remember to fully dry your feet when getting out of the shower or pool for this very reason. It will support the health of your feet.

Wear Shoes That Breathe
In continuing with the theme of avoiding damp feet, make sure that you wear shoes that permit at least some airflow over your feet. Air flow is important as it helps to further reduce the chance that your feet will be damp. Drier feet are less likely to be a problem. Additionally, this simply makes shoes more comfortable overall. It is worth noting that sandals and similar shoes are even better thanks to the greater level of air flow. The fact that they are also exposed to the sun doesn’t hurt either. We do need to stress that most of these benefits do hinge on you wearing socks in addition to the shoes. Remember that the interior of your shoes can end up damp or pick up bacteria too. Even the surfaces of sandals can end up being a problem quite easily. Without clean socks, your feet are potentially exposed and you will have to deal with the consequences.

Athlete’s foot is a very common worry and yet typically shouldn’t be a big issue in clean environments. If you regularly clean your bathroom, you probably won’t pick it up there. The biggest worry is typically just avoiding your feet being damp for too long. Even if you do get athlete’s foot, it isn’t that hard to treat. It is always worth taking precautions to avoid a simple problem though. You’ll be all the happier for the effort and your life will be far less disrupted.