We don’t like to think of our feet as fragile. As a matter of fact, we know that our feet are amazingly good at taking a beating. However, too much of a beating, and too long with the wrong kind of treatment can lead to pain, and chronic injury. For a strong, healthy foundation for years to come, stop doing these things that destroy your feet.
THE TOP 9 THINGS YOU ARE DOING TO DESTROY YOUR FEET
1. You Go Barefoot:
We get it. You like the freedom. Going barefoot occasionally is a great way to let your feet breathe and stretch. But going barefoot constantly is a recipe for disaster. Without proper arch support, your arches will flatten over time, causing flat feet, and the painful injury of plantar fasciitis.
2.You Wear High Heels:
High heels are literally everything that is wrong for your feet. Narrow toeboxes, zero arch support, and forced unnatural position for your foot and ankle. High heels completely change your natural walking gait, and can even shorten your calf muscles, and damage your lower back. As with everything, wearing your heels for a hot date here and there is one thing, but wearing them daily to work is a bad idea.
3. You Wear Flip Flops:
Flip flops might seem the perfect answer to wanting to experience the freedom of being barefoot while still wearing shoes, but they’re simply not. Flip flops damage your feet by not offering any arch support, and there is little to no cushion to help preserve your heel fat pad— the natural cushion below your heel. Over time, this flattens, and your heel bone begins to grind into your tissue, causing pain. Plus, you are more prone to clumsiness and tripping in flip flop shoes.
4. You Don’t Exercise:
Weight gain and simply remaining inactive is one of the worst things you can do for your feet. Extra weight contributes to flattened arches and plantar fasciitis. Getting up and getting busy can go a long way in not only preserving your body’s full health, but also your foot health through healthy weight maintenance.
5. You Smoke:
Smoking causes blockages in the arteries, which in turn causes bad circulation. Bad circulation contributes to painful nerve damage, and your feet are often the first place to be affected. By quitting your smoking habit, you’ll improve your heart health, lower your risk for lung cancer, and improve your circulation. This means better whole-body health, and healthier feet to boot.
6. You Wear Shoes That Are Too Narrow:
Stuffing your toes into a toebox that is too narrow is the first step to chronic toe injuries and deformations such as Morton’s Neuroma, Hammertoe, and bunions. These can be painful, and are often difficult or impossible to correct.
7. You Wear Shoes That Are Too Wide:
Many people have grown accustomed to wearing shoes that are too big for their feet. This originates largely from our childhoods when our mothers would buy shoes just a little too big so we could “grow into them”. Unfortunately for us as adults, that means that shoes that fit correctly (with a good snug heel and just a quarter inch between the toe and the front of the shoe) feel restrictive and too tight. You might think that it doesn’t matter as long as you are comfortable, but this is not true. Shoes that are too big pose a myriad of problems such as:
Any arch support is placed on the wrong part of the foot, causing bruising to the muscles, and an unnatural shape of the foot.
Rubbing on the heel as the shoes slip off your heels can cause blisters and calluses.
When shoes are too big, you run a higher risk of tripping or clumsiness.
8. You Don’t Wear Socks:
Socks protect your feet from unwanted friction, and help your feet breathe by wicking moisture from sweat or outside sources such as rain or snow. They also help protect your skin from debris, like rocks. Not wearing socks can lead to skin abrasions and introduce bacteria and fungi. This often results in cases of athlete’s foot and toenail fungus.
9. You Don’t Give Your Foot Muscles A Second Thought:
Just like your muscles in your arms and back and abs and legs, you foot muscles need exercise and challenge to stay strong and healthy. Doing foot exercises each day, and stretching morning and night can help keep your foot muscles flexible and more resilient to injury.