With the holiday and party season swiftly approaching, you’re likely to be on your feet for longer and wearing more uncomfortable shoes more than usual. So here are my 10 tips on how to help you’re feet survive the pressure:
Type of shoe
1. Vary your heel height
Sticking with the same style of shoe for too long has adverse effects. Wear flats all the time? You’ll have flatter feet. Heels too often? Your instep will be so high you’ll find flats difficult to wear and your Achilles tendon will shorten. The best option is to vary the type of shoes you wear as much as possible. So if anyone asks you why you need another pair of shoes, you can say it’s for your health!
2. Beware of the flats you’re wearing
So you might think flats are more comfortable. But think again. It’s worth remembering the following:
Ballet flats – since they have very thin soles they provide you with no cushioning. Meaning they subject your spine to more shock, which can result in back pain.
Trainers – they don't provide a lot of support and will cause your feet to widen if you wear them too often.
Uggs – Again they provide you with no support and cause rolling.
This doesn’t mean you have to avoid these shoes all together. Just don’t rely on wearing them when you’re going to be on your feet for a long time.
3. Choose shoes with a slight platform
Despite what you might think, a higher heel with a platform will hurt less than a slightly lower one without as the platform will cushion your feet. A chunkier heel will also distribute your weight better to relieve pain on the balls of your feet
The best way to avoid them is by buying well-fitted shoes. If they are gapping at the sides, there’s a greater risk of friction. But this rule isn’t so easy to abide by if you have unusually shaped feet and aren’t going to splash out on bespoke shoes. So rub Vaseline on your feet before putting on your socks/tights/shoes. Yes it sounds weird but take it from me as someone who has been plagued by blisters for years – it really works. I’ve even managed to go on long hikes and avoid a single blister with this approach. And, if all else fails, make sure you take a packet of blister plasters with you. They work wonders at alleviating pain. But make sure to leave them on until they fall off naturally, rather than ripping them off as soon as you get home, so as to allow the blister to properly heal.
Whilst bunions are hereditary, they are more likely to develop from ill-fitting shoes. So if you’re prone to getting them, or are already suffering, then steer clear of shoes that are too pointy or too high (luckily I’ve got a post that will help you with that!). Also avoid ones that are strappy or have a side cut.
Professionals recommend steering clear of over-the-counter corn removal plasters as they can move which may lead to their salicylic acid corroding healthy skin. The best option is to see a professional.
7. Ingrown toenails
To avoid ingrown toenails, square off your toenails rather than rounding them and don’t cut them too short. And, again, avoid shoes that crush your toes and fit poorly.
8. Weak ankles
If your ankles seem to give way a lot, causing you to roll over them, they may be weak. And if you’re wearing heels, you run the risk of injury. So once a day do ankle exercises to strengthen them. Rising up and down, and writing the alphabet in the air with your feet are especially good.
9. Keeping your feet smooth and soft
Once a day, rub your feet with moisturising cream. Then, only every 10 days, gently pumice them. More often and you run the risk of more calluses.
10. Nail Polish
Whether you prefer pedicures, or to paint your toes yourself, even in the winter it’s always nice to have your feet looking their best. Many believe matching your fingernails to your toenails is important. But be bold and break the ‘rule’– it can be much more fun, shows personality, whilst looking just as sophisticated. If you’re concerned about clashing, choose colours that are a different tone of the same hue, or are complimentary.
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