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Health: Foot Care and the Right Pair of Shoes

Be kind to your feet. As we age, the years of wear and tear can be hard on them. Disease, bad circulation, poorly trimmed toenails, and wearing shoes that don’t fit can also harm your feet. Nurse Gina has discussed many times within the FirstLight Home Care family that foot problems are sometimes the first sign of more serious medical conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, and nerve or circulatory disorders. Her recommendations…. practice good foot care.

The National Institute on Aging recommends that you look at your feet often; use a mirror to look at the bottoms of your feet. Look for cuts, blisters, and ingrown toenails. They also suggested that you put your feet up when you are sitting down. This helps the circulation in your feet. So can stretching, walking, or having a gentle foot massage. If you have a problem with your feet, your family doctor can help, or visit a podiatrist.

One way to help your feet is by wearing comfortable shoes. We know you don’t want to hear this as you get older and have to wear boring shoes like your grandma use to wear, but the better the shoe fits and feels on your foot, the better you will feel. Shoes that fit well can prevent many foot problems. Here are some tips for making sure your shoes fit:

  • Shoe size may change as you age, so always have your feet measured before buying shoes. The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day when your feet are the largest.
  • Most of us have one foot that is larger than the other. Make sure your shoes fit your larger foot.
  • Don’t buy shoes without trying them on first. Shoe sizes can vary depending on the kind, make, and style. For example, the size you wear for sneakers may not be the same size you need for dress shoes.
  • Walk in the shoes to make sure they feel right. The heel of the shoe should not slide up and down when you walk.
  • Choose a shoe that is shaped like your foot. Styles with high heels or pointed toes can hurt your feet.
  • Stand up when trying on shoes to make sure there is about 1/2 inch between your toe and the end of the shoe.
  • Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.
  • Don’t buy shoes that feel too tight and hope they will stretch.
  • The upper part of the shoes should be made of a soft, flexible material.
  • Soles should give solid footing and not slip. Thick soles cushion your feet when walking on hard surfaces.
  • Low-heeled shoes are more comfortable, safer, and less damaging than high-heeled shoes.

If you have questions about foot care, please reach out and ask our own Nurse Gina.

Data Source: National Institute on Aging 2015

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