Why Your Feet are Important…
Over the course of our lives, we put a lot of strain on them, by walking, standing, and exercising- largely on hard surfaces such as concrete. Our footwear also has a huge impact- in fact it’s suggested that over 70% of foot problems stem from wearing the wrong shoes!
Although they’re often overlooked- the condition of our feet can affect our overall health, and often problems in the feet can point to a more serious condition. (see this post for more info!)
It is often underestimated how important it is to care properly for your child’s feet! In the first few years of life their tiny feet need space to develop naturally, so they should be shoe and sock free as long as possible.
When they need to be kept warm, socks with plenty of room and stretch, made of cotton or a cotton and wool mix are best. Regularly check than anything you put on their feet isn’t too tight, and only buy them shoes when they start walking. Many toddlers shoes are too rigid with no give, so make sure the shoes are correctly fitted, flexible, soft, secure and adjustable.
Their feet grow rapidly, so it’s important to get them measured every 8-12 weeks for school age children.
Tip: Take your children to a specialist shoe shop to be measured, and once you know their size try eBay! One of my friends does this every time her daughter needs new shoes, and she has saved a lot of money!
Our feet continue developing for the first 18 years of our lives, which means that teenagers feet are just as precious as when they were children! Of course, teenagers generally want to look cool and aren’t too worried about the damage ‘fashionable’ footwear could cause them!
Flat shoes are very popular amongst young girls, but unfortunately they are very damaging to the feet, as they offer absolutely no support. Teens’ bones are still soft, so can be forced into unnatural shapes.
If your teen refuses to acquiesce, we suggest a simple orthotic slipped into their shoe to give them a measure of support (though we still strongly recommend that they wear better shoes!)
It’s important that into adulthood we continue to regularly check and clean our feet. This will help to prevent the spread of bacteria and foot odor, and to identify problems early so they can be treated.
If you get pain in your feet- don’t ignore it, because it’s probably treatable. Putting up with painful feet will likely lead to less physical activity, which can negatively affect quality of life as well as overall health.
It’s also is still vital for adults to wear supportive footwear in the correct size and width. If you suffer with pain in your feet, knees, or other joints, you may find that the problem stems from your feet, and perhaps you need arch supports or custom made insoles.
In our opinion, it’s certainly worth considering your feet and taking good care of them- even if you feel it’s expensive to do so- after all they have a pretty tough job and we rely on them a lot!
Considering that we walk an average of 100,000 miles in a lifetime, it’s no surprise that as we get older, our feet start to deteriorate. The muscles, tendons and ligaments in the feet start to lose strength and elasticity, causing them to spread, so it’s important not to assume that your feet stay the same size.
Have your feet measured when you buy shoes, don’t buy them based purely on size. Make sure they fit and that there’s enough space to wiggle your toes.
The fatty pads under your feet wear away with age, so it’s a good idea to add a pair of insoles to your shoes for extra shock absorption and support! Wearing slippers indoors can help alleviate pain, and moisturising your feet regularly will help to prevent callus.
We recommend regular foot health checks to make sure you don’t get infections, and by washing and drying your feet each day and wearing a fresh pair of socks you can help avoid thickened and discoloured toenails which can be caused by bad circulation, years of pressure on the toes, or a fungal infection.