Understanding Corns and Calluses -- Prevention

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on May 10, 2021

How Can I Prevent Corns and Calluses?


Here are some suggestions for preventing corns and calluses:

  • To avoid corns and calluses on the feet, have both feet professionally measured at the shoe store and buy only properly fitting shoes.
  • Be sure both shoe width and length are correct -- for each foot since feet may be slightly different sizes. Allow up to a half-inch between your longest toe and the front of the shoe. If you can't wiggle your toes in your shoes, they're too tight.
  • Shop for shoes at the end of the day when feet are typically most swollen.
  • Avoid shoes with sharply pointed toes and high heels. Women who must wear stylish shoes at work can take some of the pressure off their feet by walking to the office in well-fitting athletic shoes. Try to decrease heel height as much as possible.
  • Have shoes repaired regularly -- or replace them. Worn soles give little protection from the shock of walking on hard surfaces and worn linings can chafe your skin and harbor bacteria.
  • Worn heels increase any uneven pressure on the heel bone. If the soles or heels of your shoes tend to wear unevenly, see an orthopedist or podiatrist about corrective shoes or insoles.
  • If you have hammertoes -- toes that are buckled under -- be sure that the shape of your shoes offers plenty of room to accommodate them.
  • Calluses can happen on hands, so wear protective gloves if you use tools.


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