Taking care of the feet.
First of all we should remember! WE fit the shoe to the foot, not the foot to the shoe. Professionals suggest having your feet measured for width as well as length. Or, if you want to get more creative, stand on a piece of paper and trace around the shape of your foot. Then place your shoe on top — if you can see any foot tracing lines overhanging the shoe then this shoe is too narrow or not the right shape for you. Another tip is going shoe shopping in the afternoon after any natural swelling has occurred.
Then there is the question of heels.It’s said, that high-heeled shoes can lead to an increase in foot pain and the development of painful corns and calluses, referring to a study of just under 100 women between the age of 40 and 66. However, the study also showed that wearing heels did not seem to lead to any statistically significant increases in deformities or joint disease on x-ray.
However, everybody has a different type of foot. Whether looking for sports or dress shoes, you need to find what suits you. For example, you can choose a different heel which is more comfortable for the foot. You might have a larger surface area heel with platforms so you’re getting that height but you’re not getting [such an] angle.
If finding the right shoes to support your feet is a struggle, there is always the option of orthotics. These are inserts fitted into the shoe that can help reduce or redistribute pressure in the foot and provide support for correct foot function.
What is becoming quite significant is that off-the-shelf, pre-fabricated orthoses are just as beneficial as custom-made orthoses. There was a study that analysed the effects of a mass market insole. Although it was a small sample, the team found that the use of the insole — which is designed to improve the function of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (the big joint of the big toe) — led to a probable increase in walking efficiency as well as comfort.
BUT! If you wear orthotics or arch supports these will not work properly if your gastrocnemius muscles are tight. Professionals recommend regular calf stretching.
As well as correct footwear, cleaning and keeping toenails trimmed are important aspects of foot care. Although feet should be cleaned daily, soaking them can destroy the natural oils in the skin and should be avoided. Furthermore, make sure you dry your feet well and pay particular attention to areas between the toes as this can potentially create athlete’s foot.
Foot care can become more difficult as people get older. Reaching down to cut toenails and clean and moisturise feet can be challenging, and this population is more likely to have underlying conditions, such as diabetes or arthritis. Furthermore, people often gain weight as they get older. Usually, family member can help with cutting toenails and, if that is not an option, many of the local organisations offer toenail-cutting services for people over 50. Taking care of feet is important part of sustaining movability.
And SLIPPERS. Podiatrists are against wearing slippers. “They can become sloppy, are unsupportive, and individuals run the risk of tripping and falling over”.
Another issue for some older people is a reluctance to seek help if they have foot pain. “Older generations were copers, they just got on with it,”.
But, please, let’s stop it! Foot pain should not be seen as an inevitable part of ageing.
BeNailed consultations are free.
040 355 83 44 WhatsApp for all the questions and appointment!