1. Skipping the warm-up wiggle
Before you are going to tackle any exercise, you need to make sure you think about your feet first. Having a warm-up wiggle, including toe stretches and ankle rotation, are essential for warming up the muscles. This ensures that you can take on the day and any activities ahead.
2. Shoe seduction over support
All of us have been in the position where we have fallen for that gorgeous pair of heels, but don’t let them distract you from what matters. You need to make sure you consider proper arch support in order to improve comfort and better foot health, so it may be time to put those stilettos in storage.
3. Ignoring toenail TLC
Cutting your toenails back is a key part of maintaining hygienic feet, but this is something that many people overlook. If you aren’t trimming back, you can catch your nails and rip them, plus it’s just kind of gross for everyone involved. If you’re going too short and uneven, though, it can lead to ingrowing toenails.
4. Rampant sock abuse
Socks are a key part of foot maintenance, but it’s important to make sure you choose the perfect socks for your lifestyle. Opting for breathable fabrics that will help to keep your feet cool, dry, and comfortable, and ensure you reduce the chances of any potential foot fungus.
5. DIY pedicure perils
Giving yourself a pedicure could seem like a thrifty and creative way of being able to have great looking feet. You need to make sure you keep your feet well-pampered; scrubbing away dead skin is important, but you don’t want to go in too hard and remove the feet’s natural defenses. Plus, unless you’ve got a steady hand, at home painted toenails can look pretty messy.
6. Arch enemy heels
High heels might help you appear sexy and confident, but they can also give you plenty of foot problems following long term wear. This includes the shortening of the Achilles tendon, which can make it incredibly painful to wear normal, flat shoes. Think Barbie feet – but worse!
7. Flip-flop fallout
Flip-flops are your best friend for summer vacations, and are fine for lounging on the beach or around the pool. However, flip-flops are not ideal for more intensive, and anything that requires you to have a bit of foot support will render flip-flops inadequate.
8. Neglecting foot muscles
Your feet need to be worked out and exercised effectively, and this is going to have a number of benefits – including improving your support and balance. Maybe try to use your toes to pick things up off the floor, this can have a great impact on the muscles in your feet.
9. Overzealous callus removal
Calluses are an annoyance in some cases and can look pretty unsightly, but they can also be a necessary evil. Whilst removing some calluses is fine, you need to be careful not to take everything off, because your calluses can provide a natural buffer to painful friction.
10. Shower shoe shyness
Public showers are necessary, especially if you love camping or are an avid gym goer, but they can also be a hotbed for bacteria so you need to be careful. Protecting your feet whilst you’re in this environment is something that you can achieve with a pair of shower shoes. Forgetting this can put your feet at risk of bacterial infection.
11. Incorrect shoe sizing
Choosing shoes that are too small is a big mistake that a lot of people make with their feet. If you choose incorrect sizing, this can cramp your toes, and lead to things like corns which can make your feet even more sore. You have to make sure you choose shoes that are the right size, and allow your toes enough wiggle room.
12. Speedy shoe shopping
Shoe shopping is something that you need to take seriously, as it’s often not as simple as picking any old thing up. You need to try to shop around in order to ensure you get the perfect pair of shoes. Shop in the afternoon, when your feet swell to their largest size, to find the perfect size that’ll fit you all day long.
13. Running shoe relay
Running shoes are integral to the process of exercising, and you need to make sure you’re replacing them once they lose their support. This is believed to be after around 300-500 miles, and replacing with a fresh pair after this time is crucial.
14. Forgotten foot sunscreen
Sunbathing is a great way to relax and unwind, but you need to make sure you protect your skin as much as possible. Don’t forget to lather up your feet and toes with sunscreen as well, as this is a body part many people often miss. Stop yourself from burning and improve your skin health, as well as your sun-kissed glow, in the long term.
15. Weekend warrior syndrome
If you live a more sedentary life during the week, then you need to ensure you ease yourself into a more active lifestyle at the weekend – just know your limits! Rushing in and going crazy is going to invite blisters, as well as causing your feet to be sore and possibly become swollen.
16. Stairway struggles
Walking up and down stairs over the course of the day is something that is going to help keep you fit and healthy, especially if a lot of your working life is spent sat down. But, in order to achieve this, you need to make sure you spread your weight evenly between toes and heels in order to reduce the risk of injury and opt for more sensible shoes.
17. Prolonged pedi-plunge
Sometimes, after a long and busy day at work, you need to think about how to relax your feet. Soaking your feet in a foot bath with salts and vibration settings is a great way of being able to give your feet the perfect treatment. Ensure you don’t do it for too long, though, or you might get wrinkly, waterlogged skin.
18. Arch-enemy flats
Flat shoes might look great and they may even feel comfortable at first, but they are not the right choice for your feet long-term. With a lack of arch support, you might have to deal with conditions like plantar fasciitis, which is inflammatory and notoriously painful. This also may prompt you to need to use inserts for your arches, which is an avoidable inconvenience.
19. Ignoring foot pain
There are a lot of different reasons that can lead to foot pain, and this is something that you need to address as soon as possible to prevent long term damage. If there’s something bothering you about your feet, it’s important not to suffer in silence – consider consulting a podiatrist in order to deal with the issue and move on with your life.
20. Mindless massage
Massaging your feet can feel really great, but this needs to be something that is done with knowledge and purpose. The arch, heel, and balls of the feet are the areas that have the most tension, so using your kneading skills on these parts of your feet specifically can make you feel much more relaxed.
21. Tightening those laces
Lacing up your shoes is ideal for perfect posture, balance, and foot health, but you need to ensure you are not tying them too tightly. If you tie too tightly you can impair circulation, potentially causing nerve compression. Practice tying your shoelaces until you get this right and understand what’s comfortable for you.
22. Barefoot blunders
Feeling the ground beneath your bare feet can be a riveting and liberating experience, something many of us don’t do all that often in our busy, modern world. However, it is important to make sure you protect your bare feet as much as you can, and this means wearing shoes when terrain gets a bit trickier, or you’re in areas where there could be grass or other sharp objects.
23. Neglecting hydration
We all know that you need to make sure you keep hydrated throughout daily life, but you know that your feet need to be hydrated as well? Adequate water intake is vital for your skins health and vitality. Obviously, your feet are made of the same skin as the rest of your body (just slightly tougher!), so upping your water intake can help you to maintain soft and smooth feet.
24. Workout shoe woes
Being able to choose the perfect workout shoes is absolutely crucial for helping to improve your gym routine. However, using your workout sneakers for things they aren’t designed for can cause things like foot injuries and discomfort, as well as wearing away the soles for their main purpose. So make sure you choose the right shoes for activities to prevent further damage!
25. Arch support overload
Arch support is great for helping to ensure your feet are comfortable and taken care of. However, adding them to shoes that already have good support can be overload, and this might cause a lot of discomfort and change the shape of your feet long term – causing more damage than what you started with. Instead, keep arch support for the shoes that require them.
26. Overlooking medical conditions
Medical conditions are not always obvious, but you need to make sure you keep an eye on your feet where possible for any noticeable changes that could easily be sings of something more sinister. Changes to your foot health can be early indicators of conditions such as diabetes. If you think something is amiss, try to consult a health expert.
27. Soggy shoe sin
Wet shoes are really uncomfortable, and can also be breeding grounds for things like bacteria and fungus which can cause havoc with your feet. If your feet get soaked, you need to take decisive action. This means putting dry, fresh shoes on in order to help keep your feet comfortable and odor-free.
28. Stubbornness with bunions
Bunions can be a family trait and, if you have them, it is important to make sure you take steps to deal with them. You can ensure you start preventative measures. This can be done through things like foot exercises and choosing better footwear, both of which can alleviate any potential painful symptoms.
29. Pedicure paranoia
Pedicures are a wonderful way of being able to look after your feet, treating yourself to a super indulgent appointment and ensuring you feel your best. A large part of this, though, lies in finding the right salon for you and your needs. Ensure they also have the correct health and safety practices in place to reduce the risk of any potentially nasty infections.
30. Sitting for too long
It is important to ensure you keep your feet active as much as possible for a whole wealth of reasons, not least because of the damage sitting still can do to your feet. If you’re sedentary for too long, your feet can swell up and become incredibly painful. You need to ensure you are standing and taking a brief walk every hour to keep your blood flowing properly.
31. Being too flat-footed
Walking in a flat-footed way, in which your feet slap on the ground rather than gently rolling, can lead to long-term discomfort. As well as this increased pain in the feet, it can also affect the knees and hips too – causing lasting damage across the body. Make sure you are walking evenly, focusing on the balls of the feet where possible.
32. Wearing the wrong footwear for different needs
One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your feet is choosing the wrong footwear for walking. It is essential to make sure you choose shoes that are snug and comfortable, and that provide the support you require to both your ankles and arches. Making the right footwear choices is something that can protect your feet long-term, and help you tackle any activity life throws at you.
33. Taking steps that are far too wide
The length and width of your stride is essential for helping to avoid pain and injury. If you’re overdoing it, making your stance too broad for the length of your legs and body, it can contribute to long-term injuries such as shin splints. Instead, you need to keep your steps smaller and more controlled.
34. Continuing to stay on your feet when you’re in pain
Another of the mistakes people tend to make is staying on their feet when they are already in pain. Soldiering on through the pain is the worst thing you can do, as this is your feet is trying to tell you something. You need to make sure you rest and get off your feet when you feel any pain or discomfort.
35. Walking at too leisurely a pace
Of course, walking pace entirely depends on your fitness goals, but walking at a good pace is going to be better for helping to boost your cardiovascular activity. If you walk at too slow a pace, then it is not going to make as much difference to your general health and well-being.
36. Not breaking in your new shoes
New shoes need to be broken in effectively, and this is important to remember before you set off on any big outdoor walk. Wearing new shoes that aren’t broken in can lead to things like blisters, so putting them on in the house and getting them used to your feet is really important if you want to limit any potential pain.
37. Not making a plan for somewhere new
Discovering new walks and hiking trails is a great way of being able to increase your experiences and explore new areas, but you need to plan this ahead of time. Making sure you plan your route in advance so that you aren’t walking too far for too long than you can handle is really important for your safety and, ultimately, the health of your feet.
38. Not moving your arms the right amount
It might surprise you to learn that your arms actually play a key role in walking, as they are a counterbalance to your leg movements. Walking without moving your arms can actually cause strain and discomfort in your feet, so this is something that you need to try to ensure your naturally incorporating into your walks.
39. Not being aware of your surroundings
Walking is something we do without giving it too much thought, simply aiming to get from point A to point B – but this doesn’t mean we don’t need to be aware of our surroundings. If you are distracted, then you increase your risk of stepping in the wrong places and potentially causing an injury to your feet, such as a twisted or sprained ankle.
40. Borrowing items
It might seem innocuous, but borrowing other people’s nail clippers, towels, shoes, etc., can increase the chances of transmitting fungus, and causing potential foot health issues long-term. This is something that you should try to avoid where possible, and stick to your own items when keeping up with foot hygiene.