That creeping sense of dread, a chill from head to toe, a slow ache centered in your sole: Like many of the scariest spirits of the season—foot pain can sneak up on you. We tend to take our feet for granted, pushing and punishing them until they’ve had enough and have to let us know they’re hurting. Foot pain is extremely common, and it’s estimated three out of four Americans will face off with foot pain at some point in their lives.But you don’t have to let foot pain catch you unaware! Be on guard against common issues—forewarned about the scariest facts about your feet.The Danger Lurking in Your Own Home
We usually choose shoes based on the conditions outside,but our feet are often most vulnerable at home. Going barefoot around the house steals the support your feet need to be healthy, especially on unforgiving surfaces like hardwood floors! Hard, flat surfaces punish your feet and wear away your fat pad—the natural cushioning that runs beneath your feet from heel to toe.
Common problems like heel pain, plantar fasciitis, and others are often overuse injuries. And while we generally think about overdoing it in terms of working out, we forget how much time we spend on our feet around the house. If you’re getting good heel, ankle, and arch support all day and then coming home and leaving your feet all alone: it’s no wonder they’re wincing!
Wearing supportive slippers or house shoes helps protect your feet when you’re at home, preventing problems from rearing their ugly heads later on.The Fading Fat Pad
Mother Nature knows how to take care of you, which is why your body has natural cushioning that protects your feet. Your fat pad is a band of tissue that runs from heel to toe and absorbs shock and punishment, but over time the hard, flat surfaces we walk on wear our fat pad down like an old portrait of Dorian Gray.
Like any good haunting, it’s easy to overlook the early stages of fat pad syndrome—and it’s often misdiagnosed as the more common plantar fasciitis. Ignoring heel pain, especially heel pain that gets worse when you go barefoot, can make the problem worse. And before we know it, we are looking at a long road to recovery. While taping, resting, icing, and supporting your heel can all help you recover from fat pad syndrome, the best thing to do is prevent the damage from happening.
Avoid shoes that lack cushion and support—high heels, flats and flip flops are some of the most common offenders.Wet With Sweat
Your feet have about 250,000 sweat glands each, and at half a million for the pair you can generate up to half a pint of moisture a day! Besides the discomfort of damp socks and wet feet, too much moisture can make your feet an ideal host for bacteria and fungus that can cause pain or lead to funky odors. One common fungal foe is athlete’s foot, also known by the scarier-sounding name: tenia pedis. Other infections can include warts, or the bacterial infection pitted keratolysis—which creates small holes on the soles of your feet and can cause odor and itchiness.
If your feet are feeling a little like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, banish your inner Swamp Thing with breathable shoes. Lightweight materials and mesh designs increase airflow and help your feet stay dry! Also remember to wash your feet thoroughly with antibacterial soap, dry them fully, and change your socks regularly.Sole-Sucking Shoes
You need different shoes for different occasions, but turning too often to certain kinds of shoes can lead to doom and gloom. High heels can look killer, but the narrow toe box and aggressive angle can threaten your foot health. Heels above 2 inches put extra strain on tendons and ligaments, and force your toes to support more weight.
Candy corn: yes. Corns: no. Combined with pointed toes, the angle and pressure high heels put on your toes can contribute to bunions, calluses, and corns. These can develop over time and make stepping into your shoes excruciating. Heels aren’t the only culprits, though, any narrow shoe that pinches can create or worsen these problems.
Flats or flip-flops might feel like the answer, but if they aren’t supportive enough you may be exchanging one problem for another. Flats do little to protect your fat pad or heel, and flip flops are even flimsier.
Give your feet a break with supportive shoes that you don’t have to stop to take off if the Wolfman starts to chase you.Don’t Wait Til It’s Too Late
Plantar fasciitis, bursitis, Achilles tendinitis and so many other foot pain problems have an origin story in common: overuse. When we suddenly push our body harder or deprive it of the support we need, we begin the slow march toward foot pain. This steady creep can be hard to spot early, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We’ve all seen a horror movie and wondered why they didn’t get out of there sooner: Don’t leave your feet to the same fate!
Changes to exercise routines or physical activity at work should be gradual, going slow and steady to let your body adjust. Regular stretching and exercises to strengthen and flex the tendons and muscles in your feet and legs can prevent or help with plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and other issues. Wearing shoes designed to protect and cushion your feet can relieve pain and prevent wear and tear on your body.Last One Standing
Your feet are complex creatures, and it can be hard to keep up on everything you need to do to keep them healthy. An easy way to promote foot health is choosing supportive, comfortable shoes. Every pair of KURUs features built-in technology to protect and cushion your feet, so you can simply step into them instead of constantly moving costly orthotics or clunky inserts from shoe to shoe.
Visit our Experts Corner to learn more about specific kinds of foot pain and the ways to prevent or treat common issues. Click to shop KURU for men and women, and experience Pain Relief Beyond Belief!