Prevent Foot Pain: 6 Steps
Foot pain isn't normal. Here are six ways to prevent it.
3. Wear Shoes That Fit -- and Match Your Activity
When trying on shoes, be sure they are not too tight in the toe box, Ross
says. Otherwise your feet will be squeezed and uncomfortable.
Sizing for shoes has become less standardized, Frisch says. That means you
may be a size 7 in one shoe and a smaller or larger size in another.
"Measure your feet every time you get shoes," Frisch says. Buy shoes at the
end of the day, because your feet tend to swell as the day progresses.
If you are buying athletic shoes for walking, running, or other workouts,
buy the appropriate shoe for the activity, Ross says. Walking shoes, for
instance, have different features than do running shoes.
Next, pick the shoe that's best for any foot problem you have. For
instance, if you are an overpronator -- your feet roll inward too much -- you
should consider motion control shoes, Ross says.
If you read the marketing information that accompanies athletic shoes, Ross
says, you can educate yourself about features the shoe has that you may
4. Give Your Arches the Support They Deserve
Foot specialists talk about the importance of proper arch support, but how
can you tell, besides eyeballing your foot and guessing whether your arch is
flat, high, or normal?
You can ask your foot doctor to take a look, or you can evaluate your arches
at home, Frisch says.
''Take a brown paper bag, wet your foot, and put your foot [down] on it,"
Frisch says. "If you see just [mostly] the heel and the toes and a big gap, you
have a high arch."
If you see a wide footprint, all filled in, your foot is probably flat, and
needs more support than other types of arches.
"A flat foot needs the most [support]," Frisch says. If yours is flat, you
might consider over-the-counter orthotic arch supports, he says. If those don't
keep your feet comfortable, ask a foot doctor about custom orthotics, Frisch
says. They're made to fit just your foot, and sometimes give better
Orthotics don't last forever, Frisch tells WebMD. They should be inspected
by a foot specialist every couple of years to be sure they're still working
properly and in good shape.
5. Reconsider the Stilettos and Flip-Flops
Women's shoes with heels that are three, four, or more inches may look
glamorous but they're not smart choices, podiatrists say.
However, many foot specialists are realistic and know many high heel lovers
aren't about to ditch their shoe collection.
So many, including Frisch, take a moderate stance, saying OK to wearing high
heels occasionally -- if the occasion doesn't call for standing on your feet
"If you are going to wear a heel, and you are going to a function, sitting
down, getting up and leaving, I don't have a problem with that," Frisch tells
his female patients. He suggests they keep the heel height to 1.5 or 2 inches,