So often we just think of our feet as, “those smelly things that get us from one place to another.” That attitude is not good for anyone because it often means that we are neglecting our feet. If you have ever had foot pain you know that it is awful. It is awful because the pain can be horrendous, and suddenly, you are in pain any time you want to go anywhere. Feet are actually amazing and complex structures. A quarter of all of the bones in your whole body are found in your feet (there are 52 bones in a pair of feet), and the soles of your feet have more than 200,000 nerve endings.
Here are some quick and easy things you can do to make sure that you are not neglecting your feet and keep them in tip-top shape.
Buy Shoes that Fit
The number one way to take care of your feet is wear shoes that fit. Shoes that fit should give you enough room in the toe box so that you can wiggle your toes comfortably (sorry, that means high heels are out). Shoes that fit should also not slip off of your heel when you walk. Shoes slipping is most common when you are walking uphill or up stairs. When you go to try on shoes, do not be afraid to walk around in them for a few minutes--walk up a ramp in the store or go up and down stairs in the shoes. So often when we are trying on shoes, we have someone who is helping us ask us to wiggle our toes, and then that person either declares that the shoe fits or it does not. Our feet are complex enough that you can not really tell if you have comfortable shoes just by wiggling your toe and pressing down on the front of the shoe. You are only going to know that you have found the most comfortable shoes by walking around in them for a few minutes. Also, be sure that look for a shoe that contours to your foot, like KURU shoes with their KURUSOLE™ and HEELHUGR™ technology.
Go for a Walk
It might seem counter intuitive to say that going for a walk is the best way to keep your feet healthy, because walking is exactly what causes so much pressure to be put on your feet. But, it turns out that mother nature knew what she was doing when she created feet, because walking stretches out your feet and uses all kinds of different muscles. Standing still is actually the hardest thing for your feet to handle, because the small group of muscles that help you stand still are being used the whole time and they do not get a break. Walking is also great because it is the perfect exercise for people of all fitness levels and it can help improve circulation and control weight.
Put Your Feet Up--WAY Up
Because our feet are the things that are farthest from our heart, problems with circulation are often first seen in the feet. Experts recommend that you try on shoes in the late afternoon because almost everyone’s feet are larger in the afternoon due to swelling from a slight lack of circulation. It is great for foot care to help out that circulation process a little. We recommend that in the late afternoon, or before you go to bed, you take a few minutes to help that circulation along by inverting your feet. The easiest way to do this is to sit on a floor or a bed and lie down with your feet touching a wall. Walk your feet up the wall and scoot your bum closer to the wall so that your feet are up the wall. Ten to fifteen minutes in this position will help drain excess fluid from your feet and help with overall circulation.
For years doctors told people with foot pain to wear large padded shoes to take some of the pressure off of their feet. Modern findings are suggesting that padded shoes do not actually absorb the pressure from walking. It seems as though those 200,000 nerve endings found in the soles of your feet can get confused when you wear padded shoes and you actually end up clomping your feet harder than you would if you were barefoot. So give your feet a little break at some point every day and walk around barefoot so those nerve endings can do their job.