Most of us rely on our feet every single day to work, play, travel, and everything in between. The average person is on their feet for anywhere from four hours a day onward, including everything from going to the grocery store to getting coffee from your kitchen.
Unfortunately, despite how much we rely on them, we often neglect our toes and feet. This can lead to long-term problems down the line, ranging from irritating bunions or ingrown toenails to debilitating cases of things like plantar fasciitis or Morton’s neuroma.
To help you avoid these problems and keep your feet healthy and happy, keep reading to learn four of the most common mistakes people make with their feet and toes.
#1. Wearing the Wrong Shoe Size
While it may be tempting to buy shoes that are a little bit too small in the hopes that they’ll stretch to fit your feet, or too big in the hopes that the material will shrink, this is actually a very bad idea.
Shoes that are too small can cause all sorts of problems, ranging from blisters and bunions to pinched nerves and hammertoes. On the other hand, shoes that are too large can cause just as many problems, including pain from lack of support and calluses.
To avoid these problems, it’s important to make sure you’re wearing shoes that fit your feet properly and naturally. This means having enough room in the toe box to wiggle your toes without feeling cramped – try out these wide toe box shoes.
#2. Neglecting Toe Stretching and Exercises
If you’re not taking the time to stretch and exercise your toes on a regular basis, chances are good that they’re not getting the blood flow, strength training, and flexibility they need to stay healthy. This can lead to all sorts of problems, from cramps and pain to permanent deformities.
If you want to keep your feet strong, there are a few easy exercises you can do at home for just ten or twenty minutes a day. These include things like picking up marbles with your toes, using toe separators to stretch your feet, and doing repetitive movements like heel and toe stretches.
#3. Not Trimming Your Nails Correctly
This may seem like a minor issue, but if you’re not taking the time to trim your nails properly, it can actually lead to some pretty serious problems. Cutting your nails improperly can create ingrown toenails, which can become quite painful and may even require surgery in extreme cases. You can also become at higher risk for fungal infections.
To trim your toenails correctly, use a pair of toenail clippers rather than fingernail clippers. Cut straight across in a line without rounding the edges down, and don’t cut them all the way down.
Making even just one of these four common mistakes can lead to serious problems with your feet and toes. But, by wearing the right shoes and keeping up with basic footcare, you can ensure your feet stay healthy for years to come.