Improper Footwear a Concern to Overall Foot Health

Wearing the wrong size or type of shoe can do tremendous damage to one’s feet. It’s a troubling concern often brought on by stretching the useful life a shoe, wearing a shoe that’s too large or too small, or by using footwear for activities outside their intended purpose.

What can happen? For adults, injuries can range from blisters, corns and callouses to bunions, ulcers, plantar fasciitis and hammertoes. The severity of injuries can be as extreme as amputation, particularly when compounded with existing conditions such as diabetes.

In children, many of the same issues can occur, as well as additional ones such as damage to the growth plate at the back of the heel bone. Made of soft cartilage, the growth plate is more susceptible to injury than mature bone.

For many families on tight budgets, buying and wearing proper footwear is easier said than done. But following some practical advice can help extend the life of shoes and help avoid many of these foot health problems:

  1. Be measured for shoes in the afternoon or evening. This is when your feet are the largest and most swollen, allowing for the most properly sized shoe.
  2. Unlace shoes every time they’re removed.
  3. Hand wash shoes with vinegar and water rather than using a washing machine.
  4. Keep shoes as dry as possible. Leather shoes that get wet wear out faster.
  5. Use baking soda to help remove foot odors.

If you need advice on how to treat heel or foot pain, the expert podiatrists at Ankle & Foot Care Centers can help. To schedule your appointment today at one of 19 locations, visit the website at

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