March 20 is officially the first day of spring. If you are interested, The Old Farmer’s Almanac provides some fascinating information about the Spring Equinox. Traditionally, spring is the time to spring clean your house. But, what about taking a fresh look at your body, including your feet? If your feet have been hiding under thick socks all winter, it’s time to uncover them and see if they need any help. Your feet have the essential job of supporting the rest of you, so it’s important that they be in tip-top shape. Keep in mind, that even a relatively minor foot issue can end up causing problems with your knees or your back. Here are a few good things you can do this spring to help you stay on your feet for the rest of the year.
Spring Clean Your Closets
You probably have a worn-out, ratty pair of sneakers or a couple other pairs of old, “comfy” shoes stashed in your closet. Time for a purge! No matter how fond of them you are, old, worn-out shoes don’t give your feet adequate support – so, throw them out. Here’s an article from Prevention Magazine explaining when to replace your walking shoes. And, another one from Esquire relating to athletic footwear.
Shop for New Shoes Wisely
Never purchase a pair of shoes before putting them on your feet first. Even if you’re sure that you know your shoe size, it’s amazing how much size variation there can be between different manufacturers. What’s more, your foot size can vary depending on what time of day it is. For the best fit, try shoes on in the late afternoon when your feet will have expanded slightly. If you like to shop online, wear the shoes around your home to see if they’re comfortable. And, only buy shoes from reputable companies with easy return policies. Don’t keep and wear shoes that don’t quite fit right just because you can’t be bothered to return them.
Learn to Love Lower Heels
Ladies, you may think you look sexier in narrow shoes with high heels, but any heels over an inch can end up causing some non-sexy foot issues. Read this article from theSpine Health Institute which explains how high heels hurt your body. Believe it; you can find nice-looking footwear with low heels – choose ones with attractive details like an ankle strap or an open toe box. And, it’s much better for your feet to select shoes that are wide enough. Don’t try to squeeze them into shoes that are too narrow. Your feet will love you more if they are happy in the shoes they are in.
Fungus Likes Spring
Fungus is everywhere where there is moisture combined with warmth. You may have waited until spring to return to swimming. After all, cold weather doesn’t make you long for a dip in a pool. However, areas around public pools, showers, and hot tubs can be teeming with bacteria that cause foot fungus. So, be sure to be thorough about washing and drying your feet after your swim or your laze in the Jacuzzi. When your feet are dry, apply an anti-fungal product especially around your toenails and between your toes. Here’s what the Mayo Clinic has to say about foot fungus.
Spring May Bring on More Foot Pain
The first day of spring may herald a more active lifestyle for you. Your first jog around the park may give you notice that your feet are hurting. If you’re experiencing pain in your feet or ankles, call your podiatrist today to schedule an evaluation. Here at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle, one of our experienced professionals will diagnose and treat your foot and ankle problems and put a new spring in your step.