Our guide to taking care of your feet.
While bunions can be hereditary, footwear and even socks can play a big role in how much they hurt, how severe the angle gets and even if they appear at all. More often than not all of those factors can be affected by shoe and even sock size. Bunions are also affected by certain types of gait, especially in a foot that over-pronates, and we would often recommend seeing a podiatrist in these cases.
However, when it comes to footwear fitting to either prevent the formation of, the exacerbation of, or help with the pain of bunions, certain things must be taken into consideration. Shoes without a fastening will put you at a higher risk of getting bunions and making bunions worse. Where footwear does not have a fastening, such as high heels, slip-on pumps and loafers, the foot will have a natural tendency to slide forward in the footwear. This footwear usually has to be worn in sizes smaller than that with a fastening which means that toes can easily be restricted and squashed.
To treat bunions, a podiatrist is your first port of call. When it comes to fitting footwear, our fitters will often look a different style of footwear that will help ease pressure on the joint and allow for a natural forward movement of the foot to lessen the discomfort felt and to prevent footwear from making the bunion worse.
When thinking about foot health and foot function socks are very important. It is very easy to restrict a growing foot by wearing socks that are too small and do not allow the toes to spread and flex properly. Just like with shoes, it should never feel like a sock is restricting what your foot naturally wants to do. Socks should be checked regularly, and can often change how they fit after washing and especially tumble drying.
For people who suffer with diabetes, or for people who have especially sensitive skin, seamless socks are available from a variety of brands. Socks should always finish higher up the leg than the highest part of the shoe, if it does not it can cause friction and possibly a blister. And just as important as both socks and shoes, baby grows if too small can also restrict little toes from spreading or encourage toe curling which is not ideal for development.
Toe nails can be a real pain, especially if left too long or cut too short. Regardless of age, toe nails should be cut back to roughly 1-2mm remaining. Too long and too short both have problems that can cause a great deal of discomfort.
If you have trouble cutting your own or your children’s toe nails please feel free to book in with our chiropodist who will be more than happy to help you (chargable service). If you do regularly take care of your toe nails and are still in discomfort we advise that you seek medical advice.
Blisters are caused by heat generated through friction. They are the bodies defence mechanism when the skin breaks from damage through heat so that new skin can form.
Various things can cause blisters, the most common in relation to footwear is on the heel. This occurs when the heel of the foot is able to move up and down because it is not secure in the shoe. It can often be more prevalent in people with narrow feet, and with shoes that have not been fitted professionally to ensure that there is no movement before purchase.
Blisters on the toes can be caused if footwear is getting too small or worn too loose and the foot is sliding back and forth. This back and forth movement can also cause blistering under the foot, especially if using an orthotic.
If you do get a blister, we highly recommend you use Compeed Blister Plasters, we have tried many different brands and they really are a lot better. Do not pop the blister, it’s there to protect the damaged and inflamed area underneath and will go away itself once the new skin under the blister has formed. If you are unsure what has caused the blister please come in with the shoes (and the feet) and we will happily give our best advice.