As Dallas’ podiatrist of choice, AllCare Foot & Ankle Center is passionate about preventative healthcare that can decrease the likelihood of foot and ankle ailments. That’s why we created this blog: We want to educate our patients by teaching them quality foot care habits, and pointing out bad habits that can cause discomfort, pain, and injury. In this blog post, we’ll cover the most frightful foot habits that can compromise your foot health.
Wearing Shoes Without Socks
While sporting shoes sans socks doesn’t necessarily impact the structure of your feet, it can turn your feet and shoes into a vacation destination for fungus. Fungal foot infections thrive in moist, dark areas—without the protective barrier of socks between your feet and your shoes, you could be causing fungal foot infections, and ensuring that fungus sticks around in your shoes even after your fungal infection is treated.
Ugg boots are some of the worst offenders for harboring foot fungus, as their furry, highly absorbent inner lining is just begging to soak up your sweat, stink, and foot fungus. (They don’t provide much arch support, either.)
Be safe and responsible—rock some socks. Your feet will thank you for it.
Wearing Heels and Flip Flops Regularly
While throwing on a pair of heels for a special event doesn’t hurt, wearing high heels regularly can cause a number of foot problems. Heels with higher arches and heels can damage the arches of the foot, and will often increase the likelihood of a bunion (or misaligned big toe) to form. These are serious conditions that often require surgery to fix.
As for flip flops, save them for the beach and the locker room shower. Flips flops provide zero foot and ankle support, increasing the likelihood of tendonitis, heel spurs, ankle sprains, and plantar fasciitis.
Not Replacing Running Shoes
We get it—your five-year old pair of running shoes are practically an extension of your feet, molded to their every crook and cranny. But holding onto your dear running shoes for too long can lead to worsened arch support during exercise, which increases the odds of suffering foot, ankle, and knee injuries.
Many podiatrists recommend replacing your running shoes every 300 miles or four months, depending on how much you run. This might sound like an expensive venture, but it’s much more affordable than having foot, ankle, or knee surgery.
Not Giving Your Feet a Rest
Athletes, retail employees, and anyone with an active job or lifestyle can spend anywhere from 8 to 12-plus hours on their feet during the day. While it’s great to be active, staying on your feet for prolonged periods of time can increase the risk of foot, ankle, knee, and lower back problems.
In all aspects of life, it’s important to give yourself time to rest and recover. This is incredibly true for your feet. Your feet are the wheels to your proverbial wagon, absorbing a lot of the impact of everyday life and holding a lot of muscle tension that can tighten up the legs, back, and neck. By relieving some pressure in your feet, you’re relieving pressure across your entire spine, leaving you feeling refreshed and ready for whatever life throws at you.
Running barefoot isn’t necessarily a bad idea—the fad has permeated American running culture because of its ability to improve running form and remove stress from the heel. However, people who successfully run barefoot or with “barefoot” running shoes usually do some feet strength training to ensure that they are ready for the change in running posture and style. If you’ve spent years and years running with supportive shoes, have weak/flat arches, or have a history of ankle injury, suddenly changing your running style could put you at a higher risk for a running injury, or exacerbate your current foot/ankle weaknesses and ailments.
If you’re truly serious about barefoot running, take the time to strength train your feet before your begin your “free” running journey. Otherwise, you’re almost guaranteed to suffer a running injury.
Choose AllCare Foot & Ankle Center
Whether you have a foot or ankle problem, or want to learn more ways to keep your feet and ankles in excellent shape, you can count AllCare Foot & Ankle Center as your trusted podiatrist partner. Our experienced, highly accredited staff members provide world-class care and unrivaled professionalism. Plus, our Dallas proper and Arlington offices make it easy to find foot care, wherever you are in the greater Dallas area. Contact us today to request an appointment!