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Health & Wellness

Don't Take Your Feet For Granted: How To Take Better Care Of Them

Athletic Shoes: Good for support, running or walking

Dr. Daralie Wilkerson, a podiatrist at Parkland Hospital says we don't stop to think about the long hours we spend on our feet during our normal daily routine - not to mention all those activities over the holidays like shopping, parties and extra cooking. Skin problems from winter weather don't help either.

Dr. Willkerson shares some tip to better care for your feet in this edition of Vital Signs. She begins with the crucial step of choosing the right shoe.

From Dr. Wilkerson’s interview…

Why it's important to choose the right shoe: All day long, if you’re standing, you have these pressure points. If you don’t wear the right shoes or if you don’t wear insoles, you’ll start to develop calluses on the bottom of your feet. And that’s what causes a lot of pain.  So you have a great shoe. Not an expensive shoe, but a shoe with support

On choosing shoes: Don’t wear high heels or stilettos. You're balancing on a pin, that stiletto. You could fall and break your ankle.  I don’t like the pointed-toe shoes and the round-toe because your feet have to fit into that shoe, and as you walk, the toes are banging up against the closed-in shoe. I see a lot of patients who come in say ‘My toes are hurting. My nails are hurting.’ That’s because your shoes are a little too tight. And I don’t like flip-flops. They are to be worn at the beach. Not around town and at the mall.  And buy your shoes in the evening. Your feet will swell throughout the day. So if you buy your shoes in the evening when your feet are their largest, that’s what you want to fit your shoe to.

Tips for proper foot care:  Stretch your feet ("pull your toes to your nose") before getting out of bed, because there's some muscle at the bottom of your foot called the plantar fascia. And it kind of goes to sleep when you go to sleep, so you want to stretch it out before you step out of bed every morning.

When you step out of bed, don’t walk barefoot. Use shoes with a little support.

Wash your feet and wash between the toes with a soft soap. Moisturize the skin (especially in winter, which dries out the skin).

Wear a great pair of shoes that have support.

For more information:

National Institute on Aging: Foot Care

Men’s Health Foot Care Guide

Ten Tips on Foot Care

Foot Health: Don't Tiptoe Around its Importance