Foot Health Survival Guide

First of all, we need to realize that there is a difference between foot health and shoe fit. Foot health is about taking care of your feet, no matter what you are wearing on them. Shoes can play a role in this, but they aren’t the end-all be-all of foot health and care. They should never be treated as such. Healthy feet will always trump shoes in my opinion. The goal with both is to keep your feet happy and healthy!

1) Try to walk barefoot at least once or twice each day. Keep your feet healthy and free of calluses and corns by going barefoot as often as you can. You might not think this is possible right now, but if you are a student like me, in your dorm room or apartment most of the time, it’s actually very easy to go barefoot around the house. I love walking around my house barefoot all the time. It’s great for general foot health and aids in keeping your feet healthy and strong when wearing shoes.

2) Moisturize! A lot of people neglect the actual care of their feet, even though they are exposed on a daily basis to water (showers), soap (bath), chemicals (cleaning products), etc., which can do serious damage to skin over time if not taken care of properly. I recommend using only natural moisturizers on your feet – jojoba oil, shea butter, coconut oil/milk/oil…the list goes on really! These natural moisturizers will keep your foot skin soft and supple…not dried out like it would be with harsh chemical store-bought moisturizers that dry out skin after just one use. I use coconut oil on my feet after every shower. It works like a dream!

3) Use the right shoes for your activity. There is no reason to wear tennis shoes all day and night, 7 days a week…unless you run marathons or do cross-fit training everyday (which I’m sure you don’t). We are students, and many of us don’t have time to exercise like we should…so let’s just be honest with ourselves here and admit that we aren’t going to be doing much physically demanding stuff on a daily basis. Wearing athletic shoes all day every day, inside and out, is not good for your feet. If you want healthy feet in the long term – which I’m sure you do – then it’s best that you wear athletic shoes when doing physically demanding activities (like running or hiking), but switch back to something more appropriate immediately afterwards (like sandals or regular shoes).

4) Get off of your feet as much as possible while sitting down! Believe it or not, this is actually very important in terms of foot health. When we are sitting down, our circulation gets cut off by up to 30 percent! That means that our blood flow is reduced significantly when we sit still for long periods at a time without getting up from our chair/sofa/bed etc., which can cause serious damage over time if not taken care of properly. If you have ever experienced numbness in your legs or feet, especially when sitting down for long periods of time, then this is likely what caused it. The solution? Get up and move around as much as possible while you are sitting! This doesn’t mean that if you sit still for 2 hours straight that you need to get up and walk around for 2 hours straight too…no way. Just get up at least once or twice every hour. If that’s not possible, then try to take a 10-15 minute break from your work every hour or two where you can stand up, walk around, stretch…you name it!

5) Invest in quality footwear. This really goes for any clothing item really – but footwear is probably the most important because shoes play such an integral role in foot health – whether we like it or not! I’ve learned the hard way over the years…but now I’m sold on buying good quality shoes instead of cheap ones filled with toxic chemicals and crap-quality materials that have no business touching my skin (or yours!). Shoes are expensive though – especially if they’re good quality – which they should be! There are so many options out there these days…so do some research before buying anything new if necessary. You want something with great cushioning (like gel), breathable fabric/materials (for moisture control), durable soles made from 100% real leather (or non-leather options like vegan friendly materials), etc., etc.

Foot health can be better than most of us realize. We just need to take a proactive role in our own foot health, and remember not to put shoes before feet! If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I would love to hear from you! Thanks for reading.

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