The correct footwear allows for pain-free walking, reduces the potential of foot problems, can
assist in correcting some foot problems, helps us to remain active and can reduce the likelihood
Here are some tips:
Check the current condition of your shoes: check the wear pattern and slipperiness of the soles as
well as the condition on the inside of the shoes. Discard shoes that are now uneven or too
smooth on the soles.
If at all possible, try to have several pairs of shoes to allow you to alternate them. This reduces
the wear and tear on one pair and changes your foot function slightly so that one set of foot
structures (muscles, tendons etc) are not working all the time.
Check your feet: corns and callouses can cause pressure or rubbing in some shoes.
Shop for shoes in the afternoon when most foot swelling occurs. This reduces the chances of
buying shoes that become too tight with swelling.
There should be a space equivalent to the width of your thumb between the tip of your longest
toe and the tip of the shoe when sitting so that there is adequate space for forward movement
of the feet.
Choose shoes that are appropriate for your planned activity i.e. walking shoes for walking, hiking
boots for hiking, water (Wellington) boots for wet yard work and gardening.
Shoes that have some kind of fastener e.g. laces, buckles and Velcro (hook and loop) fit better
than slip-ons as these latter need to fit tighter to stay on the foot.
Avoid pointed and shallow shoes that pinch and constrict the movement of toes, can cause corns
and contribute to the progression of bunions. Straps that rest on the joints of the toes can also
Avoid thin soled shoes especially in higher shoes as this puts much pressure on the ball of the
Heels should be no higher than one inch as these can result in shortened Achilles tendons, knee,
hip, back, and even neck pain. On the other hand shoes that are too flat in the arch/ instep area
can cause pain of the arch, heels and shins.
Buy shoes based on fit rather than insisting on a particular sized shoe as your feet may have
changed in size; or the style of the shoe may result in a smaller or larger size than you normally
Aim for comfort rather than style.
GENERAL FOOT SKIN CARE
Wash feet thoroughly, especially between all toes with soap and water at least once a day
In the bath, use a foot file or pumice stone to exfoliate (remove) dead skin especially around
heels, ball of foot and tips of toes at least every two days
Dry feet thoroughly especially between all toes
If feet perspire a lot, apply a small amount of antifungal powder between the toes
Moisturize feet with a heavy cream or lotion, especially around heels but do not cream between
If feet perspire a lot, apply lotion at bedtime only
Have a pedicure at least every 6 to 8 weeks
Do not apply acrylic, gel or tips to toe nails
Use lighter nail polishes on toe nails or go natural for at least one week every 6 to eight weeks