10 Top Foot Care Tips
The College of Podiatry has come up with 10 tips to help you keep your feet in good condition and prevent problems.
Foot facts - Did you know?
- Each foot contains 26 bones and more than 100 ligaments.
- Your feet contain more than a quarter of all the bones in your body.
- The skin on your feet has more than 7,000 nerve endings.
- There are more than 125,000 sweat glands on each foot, more than anywhere else in the body.
- Your feet produce an eggcup’s worth of sweat each day.
Wash your feet often
Keep your feet clean by washing them every day in warm soapy water, but don't soak them, as this might destroy your skin's natural oils.
Dry your feet well
Dry your feet thoroughly after washing them, especially between the toes which is where fungal infections such as athlete's foot can develop.
Moisturise and file
If your skin is dry, apply moisturising cream all over the foot, except for between the toes. Gently remove hard skin and calluses with a pumice stone or foot file – don't overdo it though or skin will grow back harder than ever.
Cut toenails carefully
Trim your toenails regularly using proper nail clippers. Cut straight across, never at an angle or down the edges. This can cause ingrown toenails.
Shoe shop in the afternoon
Shop for shoes in the afternoon. Your feet swell as the day goes on and if shoes fit in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest, you can be assured they will always be comfortable.
Footwear tips for work
If you have to wear heels at work, wear comfortable shoes to and from the office and only wear your smart shoes once you're in the office. Also, try to vary the heel height, between low, medium and high. Read how to choose the right footwear for work (archived webpage).
Limit time wearing high heels
Be shoe savvy. Wear high heels and pointed shoes for special occasions only, and always wear the right shoes for the job (so no sandals for mountain climbing).
Change your socks often to avoid foot odour
Change your socks daily to keep your feet fresh. Socks of wool or cotton are advised as these allow the feet to “breathe”. Read advice from the Institute of Chiropodists and
Podiatrists on buying socks (archived webpage)
Read how dirty socks can cause smelly feet.
Watch out for foot bugs in communal changing areas
Take care with flip flops
You can't wear flip-flops all the time. They don't provide support for your feet and can give you arch and heel pain if you wear them too much.
Foot pain advice for over-60s
If you're over 60, foot care becomes even more important. Age takes its toll: your skin thins, your joints begin to stiffen and your feet become more vulnerable to the cold.
Not only that, but as podiatrist Emma Supple says:
"Physically, it gets more difficult for us to get to our feet, and failing eyesight doesn't help.
Go to see a professional for a foot MOT every six months and never put up with foot pain as if it is normal. Your feet shouldn't hurt."
For more information on caring for your feet, read our Foot care page.