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Ditch the Flip Flops This Summer

Summer is just around the corner, which means you can finally put your leather boots away and slip on footwear that’s more appropriate for the humid weather. You’ll be tempted to grab a pair of breezy flip flops from the back of your closet.

Flip flops sound like the best choice for summer fashion, but in reality, they’re terrible for your feet. If you want to get ready for hot weather and trips to the beach, you should ditch your flip flops and find replacements that are better for your body.

What’s wrong with flip flops?

Essentially, your average flip flop doesn’t offer any support for the foot. The material is thin, flat and offers very little grip. The only thing holding it together is a thong strap wedged between your big toe and second largest toe.

Another one of the reasons why flip flops are terrible for your feet is that your toes have to clench and grip the sole of the shoe so that it lifts with each step. This design flaw puts a lot of strain on your toes when you’re walking for long distances. It gets worse when the terrain adds more resistance, like sand, or when you’re trying to move at a faster pace.

If you wear flip flops regularly, the toe strain could cause a problem called plantar fasciitis — this is the inflammation of the ligament that connects the heel of the foot with the toes. The pain can be so powerful that it can be hard to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom first thing in the morning.

Here is a short list of health problems other than heel pain that flip flops can cause over time:

  • Ankle sprain
  • Bunions
  • Tendonitis
  • Corns
  • Hip pain
  • Knee pain
  • Changed gait

What can you do instead?

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Ditching your cheap flip flops doesn’t mean you have to put on heavy boots or running shoes. You should go to a foot clinic to see an orthopaedic footwear specialist to help you find summer-friendly options that won’t leave you rubbing your heels after taking a long walk through the park or icing your arches after a trip to the beach.

There are lots of brands out there that take arch support and comfort in mind when they design summer footwear. Look for sandals from trusted companies like Mephisto, Birkenstock and NAOT.

If you really like the look of flip flops over sandals, the company FitFlop offers options that will be much kinder to your body than any pair that you can pick up at a beach-side kiosk. Their shoes come with ergonomically designed iQushion mid soles, anatomically shaped foot beds, slip-resistant soles and adjustable back straps for additional stability.

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It’s true that flip flops can be a convenient wardrobe choice. They’re portable, easily replaceable and they’re oh-so-cheap. You could get a pair for under $5. But, the physical problems they cause are not worth their low price.

This summer is your opportunity to take better care of your feet!

 

Exploring New Cities with Healthy Feet

You have your next trip all set and ready to go- flight and hotel booked, tourist attractions noted. Maybe it’s to explore the beautiful romantic floating city of Venice, or experience the unique street food markets of Seoul, or capture the breathtaking scenic views of Banff’s glacial lakes. Wherever it is, you wouldn’t want your feet to stop you from enjoying your much-anticipated vacation. Continue reading to find 3 ways to help ensure your feet are in the best shape when exploring new cities.

  1. Compression Socks

Do your legs and feet swell when you stand or sit for a prolonged period? Do you experience painful, aching, tired, or heavy legs? If you are familiar with any of these symptoms and/or have varicose veins on your legs, it may be your body’s way of telling you your circulation is compromised, specifically your veins. Your veins work to bring the blood back to your heart; however, when their valves become ineffective, blood starts to pool wherever gravity pulls and lead to the symptoms noted above.

To counteract this, compression socks work to compress the limbs and effectively reduce the diameter of the distended veins. To put it simply, they help to push the blood back to the heart and therefore, improve circulation. Improving blood flow will in turn, control and reduce symptoms so you can focus on enjoying your vacation and not on your feet.

Compression stockings
Microfiber Shades

If you don’t have any issues with your circulation but plan on taking a  particularly long flight to your destination, consider getting compression stockings as a preventative measure. Talk to a chiropodist today about the different compression hosiery available.

  1. Proper Footwear

If you’re going to be on your feet walking around a new city, it is in your best interest to make sure you are doing it in the right pair of shoes. Your footwear is an essential part of good foot health and can be the causative or exacerbating factor of foot pain and foot injuries.

Running shoes that provide good support, shock absorption, and stability are always the best choice when walking for prolonged periods of time. One way to check for this is to take the shoes in your hands and try to twist and turn the shoe or bend it in half. A good pair of runners should not be too flimsy in structure and be the correct size.

aetrex orthopaedic shoes

Click here to read up on the best footwear for your foot type.

Whenever possible, try to limit the use of shoes such as flip flops, heels, and ballet flats. Always consider the activity when picking out your shoes for the day.

  1. Custom Foot Orthotics

Custom Orthotics

Custom orthotics are a medical device prescribed by a licensed chiropodist following a biomechanical assessment and gait analysis. If you’re experiencing foot pain, see a chiropodist to find out the root cause of your pain before you go on your vacation. There is a good chance it may be due to faulty biomechanics that need to be addressed and corrected. Increasing walking time and therefore the stresses applied to your feet while on vacation may only make the problem worse.

 

How to Keep Your Feet Safe from Infection This Summer

Nothing will dampen your spirits during a beautiful summer like a foot infection. You won’t feel like taking a long stroll by the beach when you have a painful plantar wart on your sole. You won’t want to head to a pool party when you have a bad toenail fungus. And you won’t want to go for a hike through a national park when the itch of your athlete’s foot is driving you up the wall.

If you don’t want to deal with a foot infection for the entire season, you should follow these simple rules:

1.    Don’t Go Barefoot at the Pool

The best method of prevention of foot problems in the summer is to cover up your feet with high-quality shoes because the ground is covered with bacteria, fungi and viruses that can infect your feet. Areas that are warm, wet and have lots of visitors will be especially risky. So, you should sport protective footwear when you’re walking across the deck of the community swimming pool or using the locker room showers at the gym.

Get a pair of waterproof shoes that you can wear to the swimming pool deck, public showers and locker room. After every use, you should rinse your shoes with warm water and dry them. You should also start washing your feet and drying them with a towel after going to these locations in case any contaminants got onto your feet. Then, put on a clean pair of socks and outdoor shoes.

2.    Don’t Go Barefoot at Home

You should break the habit of walking around barefoot, even at home. Other residents in your home could unknowingly transfer a contagious infection like athlete’s foot to the floor that you’re walking on every day. Wearing a pair of comfortable slippers or socks will protect your feet and prevent a frustrating cycle of infection.

If you’re worried about slippers or socks being too warm to endure in the summer heat, you can look at Feet First shoes and sandals from companies like Birkenstock, FitFlop and NAOT.

3.    Change Your Shoes and Socks Often

You should change your shoes and socks often if you want to avoid problems like toenail fungus and athlete’s foot. As previously stated, bacteria and fungus thrive in warm, moist conditions — this includes inside of your sweaty shoes and socks.

Whenever your socks get sweaty, change them and put on a cleaner pair. Don’t wear one pair of shoes every single day, especially if you’re exercising in them. Give them a chance to air out.

If your shoes are starting to smell like foot odour, let them dry in the sunshine to kill off the bacteria. You can also put your shoes in the freezer to destroy any leftover bacteria clinging to the material, as long as you remember to put the shoes in a plastic bag first.

4.    Don’t Share Your Shoes

Do you remember being told never to share hats in school because one of the other children could have lice and give it to you? You should give your shoes a similar treatment because sharing shoes with other people puts you at risks of contracting a toenail fungal infection or a bad case of athlete’s foot. Keep your shoes, boots, inserts, socks and everything else you put on your feet to yourself.

When you follow these essential rules, your feet will stay healthy and infection-free all summer long. You can go back to enjoying your favorite activities, whether it’s going for a walk through the neighbourhood park or taking a quick dip in the community swimming pool.

Do Your Feet Hurt All of the Time? Check out Your Shoes

Your feet hurt, and they hurt all of the time. Before you think about booking a foot massage or taking an Epsom salt bath, you need to take a look at your shoes to see if they’re the reasons behind your aches and pains.

Check to see if they’re worn down

If you’re experiencing foot pain, the first thing you need to do is check your shoes to see if they need to be thrown out and replaced. Over time, the support and structure that you need in a shoe will break down and your feet will suffer the consequences.

Shoes don’t have an expiration date printed on the heel, so you have to look for proof that your shoes are breaking down:

  • The tread on the sole is worn down and smooth
  • The heel on one shoe has gotten lower than the other’s heel
  • There are holes in the mesh
  • The lining is splitting open
  • They look like they’re falling apart

You should also ask yourself when you first bought the shoes. Any pair that has been in your closet for over a year could be replaced, depending on their quality and how often you wear them. The more often you wear a pair of shoes, the sooner you will need to find replacements. For instance, a pair of running shoes will degrade faster than other styles because they’re used often, and they pound more pavement than the average sandal or slipper.

Check to see if they’re the right size

Another reason why you may be experiencing foot pain is that your shoes aren’t the right fit for your feet. Try to look for signs that they’re too big or too small.

If they’re too big, your heel will slip out and the shoe will slide around while you’re walking. The friction from the material moving up and down your foot can give you blisters and bruised toenails.

If they’re too small, you won’t be able to take them off without undoing all of the laces. They shouldn’t take too much effort to pull off. You may notice numbness or strain on the top of the foot, or a burning sensation when you’re running.

Don’t assume that discomfort is normal for brand-new shoes. A pair of dress shoes should be comfortably snug but not tight or painful when you first try them on. “Breaking them in” will only stretch the leather so much. If they’re too snug, come to Feet First Clinic to get them stretched out so that you don’t have to suffer pinching or blisters. Other shoe styles can’t be “broken in” in the same way.

When you buy new shoes, have your feet measured and make sure that they fit properly right off the bat.

Check to see if they’re the right shoes

Certain types of shoes won’t offer you good support or structure. If you depend on these styles too much, you’re going to deal with painful foot conditions. For example, high-heeled shoes can cause hammertoe and mallet-toe because the toes get crowded into the toe box and instinctively curl.

The first step in choosing proper footcare is taking the shoes that are causing you discomfort out of your closet and tossing them away for good. Replace them with comfortable and supportive shoes that can ease the pain and improve your foot conditions — if you act quickly, you might see a major turnaround!

If you don’t know where to go after throwing out your bad shoes, we can help you find great replacements and put your best foot forward with our impressive line of stylish orthopaedic footwear.

Your shoes are the likeliest cause behind your foot pain. Take some time to investigate if they’re too old, too big, too small or too unsupportive to stay in your closet. Then, go shopping to get yourself some footwear that is kinder to your feet.

Signs You Need A New Pair Of Shoes

Running/walking is a simple activity. There’s very little gear required.

Footwear is the exception. Shoes are your most important piece of gear, providing protection over the course of several hundred kilometres and helping lessen the impact and damage to your body. Most people go through a few pairs every year, and some even every month.

As you pile on the mileage, your shoe’s structure, and thus effectiveness, break down over time. Your shoes won’t feel the same out of the box as they do after 300-500 kilometres. It’s important to know when you need a new pair of shoes to help avoid injury and that starts with knowing what to look for in your footwear.

Below are some signs that your shoes could be due for an upgrade, and what to do to help lengthen their lifespan.

Culprit #1: A reduction in bounce as well as aches, pains, and sore joints.

Typically, running shoes can last between 500-750 kilometres. Over time, the cushioning breaks down and it no longer provides the same amount of energy return as it did right out of the box. If you feel your shoes are feeling flat, and don’t have that same type of bounce, it’s likely time for a new pair of shoes.

There are however ways to extend the lifespan of your shoes.

Try: purchasing two or three pairs of shoes at a time, and alternate use. Giving your shoes a day or two in between runs allows the cushioning to return to form, and lengthens its life. Purchasing in bulk can also be beneficial if your favourite shoe is discontinued or altered, which is commonplace as new iterations of models are released every year. Plus, bulk purchases can lead to lower shipping costs – per unit – if ordered online.

The type of shoe and amount of cushioning also plays a role. Minimalist shoes have less cushioning and thus you’ll feel the effects at a faster rate.

Your weight can also come into play. The heavier you are, the greater the load, and thus the quicker the foam cushioning will compress and break down.

As you can tell, there isn’t one reason why your shoes wear down over time but in fact many.

Culprit #2: Wrinkles across the foam on the mid-sole and heel of the shoe.

You may notice a shoe is breaking down by feel. Additionally, as is the case here, there are visual cues that make apparent the condition of your footwear. When your shoes’ foam begins to crease and wrinkle, it’s a sign that your shoes are beginning to age. However, this cycle is totally normal and doesn’t necessarily mean your shoes are toast.

Try: running on softer surfaces more often to alleviates the impacts that go through your shoes. Running on grass, gravel, and dirt is easier on your shoes – and your body – versus asphalt or concrete.

Culprit #3: Uneven wear patterns

Try: avoid wearing your running shoes casually throughout the day because added hours break down shoes at a faster rate. Your gait while walking is different than running too so you might be wearing your shoes out in unusual and unwanted patterns if you use your primary trainers as hybrids.

Uneven wear patterns are not necessarily a bad thing, but you should take them into account because it might be easier to troubleshoot an injury. Look for areas that are bare of tread like a car tire.

Culprit #4: Damaged heel counter and frayed edges.

The heel cup around your Achilles can break down, which can lead to chafing and blisters.

Try: avoiding tied laces when putting on and taking off your shoes. The laces are there for a reason. If you consistently slip your shoes on and off while tied, you’re likely adding more pressure to the heel counter and the inner material of the shoe. Tie and untie your shoes before and after each use.

Avoid using the dryer if your shoes get wet too as heat can break down the upper material as well as the cushioning of the shoe.

Culprit #5: Tears in the upper.

Look for rips around the toebox, as well as along the sides of your feet as that’s where the upper attaches to the midsole, leaving the seam vulnerable. To avoid blisters, and other foot problems, it’s important to find a shoe that fits right for the shape of your foot.

Try: changing to shoes that better suit you. These days, many brands offer wide versions of most models, and some brands are known for making wider shoes including Asics and Altra, both of which provide roomier a toe box compared to other brands.

Need help deciding on a pair of new shoes? Need a gait analysis done? Visit the clinic today.

4 Tips To Protect Your Feet As Temperatures Rise

Summer is a wonderful time of year for outdoor enthusiasts!

Any reason you can head outdoors when it’s warm is a good one. But with warmer temperatures and more sun exposure, it’s important to take certain precautions because it’s not only nice to have your feet looking their best, but it’s important to keep them in good health.

Use sunscreen

With rising temperatures and the change in seasons comes higher UV indexes. In all likelihood, you’ll be going barefoot, or wearing open-toed footwear, more often in the summer months. When being outside for prolonged periods of time, applying sunscreen is essential. Being exposed to UV ratings of 10-15 means you could sunburn in as few as 10 minutes.

When applying sunscreen, you often remember the usual spots: face, ears, arms, and legs. But don’t forget the tops of your feet. Note that your feet may not be exposed to the sun as often as the rest of your body so protection against UVA and UVB rays – the two most damaging to our skin – is particularly important. UVB rays can cause sunburns as they tend to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers while UVA rays can penetrate to the deeper skin levels.

According to Health Canada, look for sunscreens with SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or more that have “broad-spectrum” on the label to screen out most of the UVA and UVB rays.

Wear proper socks

Your socks are the last line of defense when it comes to foot protection. In the summer, your feet can perspire. Keeping your feet dry can help prevent athlete’s foot, fungus, and blisters. So, moisture-wicking socks can come in handy. Further, use household items like baking soda to put into your shoes to absorb moisture and use cornstarch on your feet for the same effect.

Leading brands and industry favourites include Stance, Darn Tough, Balega, Drymax, and Smartwool.

Don’t skip on arch support

Convenience is the goal in the summer. Slipping in and out of flip-flops and sandals is easy when lounging around the pool, at the beach, or hanging out on your deck and patio. They’re great for short-term usage, but be careful when wearing them for hours on end. Their lack of support under your arch can make your feet ache and cause painful injuries including plantar fasciitis and to your metatarsal bones.

Though some sandals and flip-flops lack adequate arch support, some brands do. Birkenstocks, for example, mold over time to the shape of your foot, equalizing pressure and weight across the foot instead of putting pressure on the balls of your foot and heel. We offer an excellent selection of Birkenstock products in-store at Feet First Clinic. Check us out at 2481 Bloor Street West.

Even popular sports brands like Hoka One One now offer supportive flip flops called the Ora Recovery Slide. Of course, everyone reacts differently to footwear so experiment until you find products that work best for you.

Treat your feet

Protect your feet in the summer by addressing issues including discoloured or black toenails, callouses, dried skin, fungus, and blisters.

Tips To Protect Feet Summer

Simple tips including keeping your nails short, scrubbing away dead skin, and keeping your feet dry (or moisturizing, if necessary) can help keep your feet healthy throughout the summer. If any foot issues arise or persist, visit the clinic and talk to an expert to discuss the appropriate course of action.

Practical Advice for Taking Care of Your Feet This Summer

Summer is prime time for trips to the beach, afternoons by the poolside and long walks in the park. Although these seasonal pastimes are relaxing and fun, they can take a toll on your feet. Read this practical advice on how to take care of your feet, whether you’re at the beach, the pool or anywhere else:

 

On the Beach

When dressing for the beach, you will probably grab a pair of flip flops. They’re breezy, quick to slip on and they’re easy to clean. And, if they break, you can always buy a new pair for under $10. The problem is that they’re terrible for your feet.

 

One of the many reasons why flip flops are bad for your feet is that the unsupported design forces you to strain your muscles to walk. You have to grip the material with your toes so the sole lifts with each step. Repeating this motion will hurt your feet and encourage hammer toe.

 

You should get some orthopedic sandals this summer to replace your cheap pairs of flip flops that are slowly hurting your toes, your feet, your hips and your lower back. The right sandals will be just as low-maintenance as flip flops, but they will have proper arch support, cushioning and grip. Feet First Clinic has an impressive collection of sandals from brands like Fitflop, Birkenstock and NAOT.

 

When you’re wearing sandals, remember to slather on some sunscreen on your feet. Reapply every two hours or directly after you go swimming, even if you’ve chosen a water-resistant formula.

 

Putting sunscreen on your feet will do more than save you from awkward sunburns. It will protect you from contracting foot melanoma — this is a rare but severe type of skin cancer, especially because it can spread unnoticed. If you have moles on your feet, keep an eye on them to see whether they change color, size, shape or appearance in any way.

At the Pool

If you’re going to go swimming at the community pool, you need to bring a pair of pool shoes or shower shoes. People will be walking barefoot on the ground, leaving sweat, dirt and germs behind. Bacteria thrive in moist areas, which means the poolside, the public showers and the locker room will be hot spots for infections like athlete’s foot or plantar warts.

 

If you think you’re suffering from an infection, you should contact a foot specialist today for professional diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan. People living with diabetes or weakened immune systems should make the appointment right away for the sake of their well-being.

 

Everywhere Else

Ballet flats, flat sneakers and unsupportive shoes are popular for this season. Choosing these shoes for everyday-wear will inevitably result in discomfort. If you’re tired of foot pain, treat your feet right this summer by getting custom orthotic inserts or by choosing stylish orthopaedic shoes to wear all day long.

 

A bad sunburn on your feet will force you to leave the beach early so that you can soothe them with Aloe Vera and cold packs. Athlete’s foot will make you regret your trip to the pool and prevent you from swimming until it’s gone. Foot strain will encourage you to cut your walk short. Taking better care of your feet will make sure your summer plans don’t get sidetracked.  

 

 

3 Toenail Problems That We Can Help you With

You’ve pulled off your sock and noticed that something is wrong with your big toe. Maybe it’s swollen and sends a sharp twinge up your foot with each step, or maybe the nail has changed from its normal clear shade into a completely different colour. There’s no need to panic. Read this brief list of common toenail problems, and what steps you should take to resolve them.

Ingrown Toenails

An ingrown toenail is when the side of the toenail cuts into the nailbed and causes the area to become swollen and painful. Sometimes the weight of a bedsheet or a sock will be too much to handle. Common causes of ingrown toenails are inadequate footwear, ill-fitting socks and cutting the nails too short.

 

For an at-home treatment, you can soak your foot in warm water with Epsom salt to reduce inflammation. Keep the affected area clean and place antibiotic cream over it to fight off infection. When appropriate, wear open-toed sandals to avoid putting pressure on the area. These steps could be enough to resolve the issue.

 

If you have diabetes or circulation problems, you should contact licensed chiropodists in Toronto to take care of your ingrown immediately because the area will be vulnerable to infection. Ignoring the toenail problem or trying to fix it on your own could put your health at risk. At Feet First Clinic, you can get your nail treated safely.

 

Common signs of this problem are hardened brittle nails, build-up beneath the surface, and discoloration (usually white or yellow). You can catch a toenail fungal infection from walking around barefoot in public areas with lots of moisture like swimming pools, locker rooms and gym showers. People who are elderly, who have diabetes or who have weakened immune systems will be more susceptible to fungal nail infection.   

 

You should schedule a nail fungus treatment appointment with a chiropodist when you spot any of the symptoms. Since there are different types of fungi, you will want to get a professional opinion before you try to get rid of your own.  

 

Bruised Toenails

When shoes are too small, the toes hit the edge of the toe box over and over again, resulting in black toenails that never seem to go away. Make sure that there is enough space for your toes to wiggle in the toe box.

If you’re a runner or jogger, you’ll also notice that you get black toenails whenever you’re stepping up your training for endurance goals like half-marathons and full marathons. The repetitive friction from running will hurt your toenails.

When you notice a black toenail, soak your feet in a bath of warm water and Epsom salt. If your shoes don’t fit, get a new pair that offers enough room and support. The best way to heal a bruised toenail is to give it time to recover.

If the nail falls off, try to keep the area clean and see your doctor right away. Whatever you do, do not remove the nail on your own.

Sometimes you can’t fix a toenail problem on your own. Trying to DIY your treatment could accidentally cause more damage and expose yourself to harmful bacteria. When Epsom salt soaks and rest can’t fix the issue, seeking help from a professional is your best bet for a cure.

 

 

3 Simple Ways to Get Relief from Your Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects the heel of the foot with the toes. When your ligament is inflamed, you can experience frequent pain in the heel or arch of the foot. The pain is often stronger first thing in the morning, or when you’ve been walking or standing at length. The common condition is called plantar fasciitis.

If you’re struggling with the near-constant discomfort from plantar fasciitis, read these simple tips to get relief and rectify the problem:

1. Stretches

Stretches can do two major things to alleviate irritation and discomfort: they will loosen the tightness of the ligament, and they will strengthen the limbs over time. By incorporating plantar fasciitis stretches into a daily exercise regimen or night-time routine, you can achieve positive long-term results. 

To deal with the ligament directly, take off your shoes and socks so that you’re barefoot. Sit down on a chair, loop a tea towel under the arch of one of your feet. Push outward with the foot while pulling back with the towel for gentle resistance. Do this several times with each foot. 

You should also stretch out your hip flexors because they can contribute to this painful condition. Strained hips create a domino effect on the limbs, changing your gait, tightening your calf muscles and overworking the plantar fascia. Many yoga routines incorporate stretches that work out the hip flexors like the pigeon pose or the bound angle pose.

Sitting too much will tighten hip flexors. Try to break this cycle by getting up from your desk or couch more often. 

2. Massage

One of the best treatments for painful plantar fasciitis is massaging the arch of the foot — this can be achieved with the help of a professional masseuse or completed on your own. If you’re doing it yourself, you can use your hands to loosen the tight ligament, or you can use a tennis ball. For the tennis ball, place it under the arch of your foot and roll it around your sole. Repeat the step with the other foot.

3. Change Your Footwear

One of the most common plantar fasciitis causes is over-pronation or flat feet — this means that the weight doesn’t distribute properly across the foot. The biomechanical issue puts more stress on the plantar fascia, leading to inflammation and discomfort.

That’s why orthotic shoes and custom orthotic inserts are excellent non-surgical methods for plantar fasciitis treatment. These will counter-balance the vulnerabilities caused by overpronation, giving your heel and arch the additional support they need for everyday activities.

You can click here to see your orthopaedic footwear options from a variety of trusted brands like Sorel, Birkenstock and Mephisto. We have shoes for every possible occasion. We have stylish dress shoes for the office, sneakers for the gym, sandals for the beach, slippers for the house and more.  

For immediate relief from a bad flare up, give your feet a break. If it’s happening in the middle of a jog, walk or workout session, understand that you are putting your feet under duress. Stop doing the activity and give your feet time to rest. When the pain and discomfort are hard to ignore, press a bag of ice or chilled gel pack onto the area. An over-the-counter anti-inflammatory can also reduce symptoms in a short amount of time.

Do you Have Foot Calluses? How to Treat Them

You may not realize you have calluses on your feet until you take a closer look. Maybe you decide to swap your pair of sneakers for sandals and see the yellowish skin around your heel. Maybe you start to massage a sore foot and then feel patches that are dry and rough. It’s common for them to form right under your nose — or in this case, under your feet, without any notice.

What is a callus?

Calluses appear on the bottoms of your feet when they are dealing with lots of friction and pressure. As a reactionary measure, the skin thickens and hardens, acting as a protective hide. Here are some common situations that create a lot of friction on the bottoms of your feet:

Wearing shoes that are too big for your feet

Wearing shoes that are too small for your feet

Not wearing socks with shoes

Wearing ill-fitting socks

Walking on the floor barefoot

What is the difference between a corn and a callus?

Calluses are hardened skin that appears on the soles of your feet and usually has the same thickness throughout. Corns tend to appear on the tops of your feet or toes along with boney prominences. In comparison to calluses, foot corns are much smaller in size and because they have a hard, deep centre, they are usually painful to the touch. They are also caused by friction from ill-fitting shoes and poor foot care.

If you have corns, you should see a chiropodist specialist in Toronto to have them safely remove the growths with a surgical scalpel, especially when you are living with diabetes or coronary disease. To help slow down their return, a chiropodist may recommend offloading pads or custom foot orthotics depending on the circumstance.

How do you get rid of it?

In some cases, you can remove foot calluses at home by soaking your feet in warm water at night to soften the skin, making sure to towel them off completely once you’re done. Then, use a callus remover to shave some of the dry skin off in the morning. Do not get overzealous with the shaving. You don’t want to break the skin.

If you have diabetes, you shouldn’t remove the callus on your own. You should see a chiropodist to perform careful foot callus removal so that you don’t have to worry about accidentally cutting or scraping the skin. A small mistake could prompt a serious foot infection. Here at the Feet First Clinic, we will prioritize your health and safety.

If the callus is painful, uncomfortable, or resurfacing often, you should also visit the clinic for foot callus removal.

Getting your calluses removed is one step. You also must make sure you fix the issues that got them to show up in the first place:

Get shoes that fit properly

Get socks that fit properly

Don’t walk around barefoot

It’s incredibly important for you to get supportive shoes that fit, especially if you are an avid runner or jogger. The friction from physical activity will make you susceptible to this condition, along with other painful foot problems caused by frequent friction and improper footwear.

The wrong shoes can lead to blisters, blackened toenails, arch pain, knee pain and shin splints. You can click here read more about common fitness injuries that can be alleviated through careful treatment, orthopedic footwear and custom orthotics.

Most calluses won’t seem like a big deal. They will often look and feel unpleasant to touch. They appear harmless — but they are warning signs telling you that your footwear and your foot care need to improve as soon as possible.