Our feet haul us through thousands of steps per day. Yet we cram them into pointy pumps, pound them on the pavement, and often tend to them last when it comes to self-care.
A 2014 survey shows that 8 out of 10 Americans have experienced a foot problem — defined as everything from an ingrown toenail to chronic foot pain. And depending on how long that foot problem lasts, it could potentially impact one’s overall quality of life and health. If you’ve got foot pain or even a minor skin irritation, you’re more likely to shirk exercise, for example.
Essentially, if your feet fall behind, so do you.
“They keep us ambulatory,” says podiatrist Michael J. Trepal, the vice president for academic affairs and dean at the New York College of Podiatric Medicine. “People unable to move about suffer numerous physical, psychological, and social afflictions as a direct or indirect result of foot dysfunction.”
Even if you’re known among your friends as having dainty Cinderella feet, or the tall gal who jokingly refers to her feet as skis, foot health is critical. “It is not simply how they look but how they work that matters most,” Trepal says.
Learn more about the proper soles, hygiene, and other lifestyle choices to give your feet the support they’ve been giving you.