by Jan Goodwin for Self.com
The pampered foot
“We keep our body in shape but ignore and overuse our feet,” says Suzanne Levine, D.P.M., a podiatric surgeon in New York City. Take care of your dogs before they start to bark.
In the shower, scrub your tootsies, including between your toes, with soap and an abrasive sponge or washcloth. Dry thoroughly, especially between toes. Then moisturize and massage. This reduces pain by promoting skin-cell turnover, shrinking calluses and increasing circulation, Levine says.
Draw the letters of the alphabet in the air with your toes once a day. This will help keep your feet limber and relieve tension in your muscles and tendons.
Simple calf stretches against a wall can loosen your Achilles tendon, relieving foot, ankle and leg pain, Levine says. Try three 30-second stretches each day.
Find your perfect pair
Shop for shoes like a foot-care pro with the guidance of Carolyn McAloon, D.P.M., from Castro Valley, California.
Shop later in the day, because your feet tend to swell as hours pass. Shoes bought in the A.M. may end up being too tight.
Have your feet measured while standing if you’ve had a baby, are over 25 or have recently lost or gained weight.
If you have bunions or fear hammertoe, avoid styles that squeeze toes, such as pointy ankle booties and peep-toes.
Flats with little support can be almost as damaging as heels, leading to arch and heel pain. Stiff inserts can help.
Never break in shoes. “If they hurt your feet while you’re still in the store, forget about it,” McAloon says.
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