Seasonal Articles

6 Quick Holiday Foot Care Tips

Shopping trips, parties and family gatherings can take their toll on your feet during the Holiday season, but you can avoid the stress with these simple tips from IPFH Executive Director Robert (Bob) P. Thompson:

1. Keep your feet warm. Wear padded socks, maybe two pairs at a time if you will be outdoors in very cold weather for an extended period of time…but make sure the shoes you wear can accommodate the extra bulk. Shoes should fit comfortably—not too tight or too loose. Warmth is important because cold feet can become frostbitten if you’re outside too long.

2. Keep your feet dry. Wear socks made with wool/synthetic fiber blends that wick moisture away from the feet, reducing the possibility of blisters, fungal infections and other foot conditions. Wear boots or galoshes in wet or snowy conditions. Take off wet shoes and socks as soon as possible. Dry your feet thoroughly and put on a fresh pair of dry padded socks and dry shoes.

3. Keep the skin of your feet supple. If the skin becomes dry and cracked, apply a moisturizing lotion to the dorsal (top) and plantar (bottom) surfaces of the feet. If you have diabetes or another condition that affects blood flow, don’t put lotion between the toes, since it can facilitate friction that may lead to lesions and infection.

4. Give your feet a break. A hard day of power shopping keeps you on your feet on hard surfaces such as concrete, asphalt, hard wood floors and tile. Pressure, impact and shear forces work against your feet in the stores and on the sidewalks and in the parking lots, so take a break every couple of hours. Sit down and have a cup of coffee or a snack to rejuvenate your feet (and yourself!) for the next round of bargain hunting.

5. Avoid or limit the time spent in spike-heeled party shoes. They’re fine as “limousine shoes”— a pair you wear in the car between home and the party location—but don’t spend time walking around or dancing in them. That’s because once you are up and walking around on them, the weight distribution on the ball and heel of your feet is all wrong. Your posture and gait change, setting the stage for injury to your arches, Achilles tendons and the muscles in your feet and lower legs.

6. Wear shoes that are broken in, especially if you're traveling. Don’t pack a brand new pair of shoes and hope they’ll feel comfortable when you arrive at your destination. Using the integrated approach when purchasing new shoes (fitting shoes while wearing the appropriate padded socks and any inserts or orthotics) will help ensure the correct fit.

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