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Open

Mon – Fri: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sat: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Book Appointment

Sign Up for an Appointment

Our simple to use, online booking process makes it easy to book an appointment with a chiropodist for any of our services. No referral needed!
Book Appointment

Sign Up for an Appointment

Our simple to use, online booking process makes it easy to book an appointment with a chiropodist for any of our services. No referral needed!

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The Dangers of Being Barefoot

Summer is still in the air in Toronto, and that means going barefoot! In general, it’s pretty harmless to feel the sand between your toes and walk barefoot around your patio in the summertime. That said, it’s important to wear supportive sandals and sneakers most of the time. Going barefoot for too long can harm our foot health. From infections to injuries, it’s good to be aware of the dangers of being barefoot in the summer. Likewise, diabetes patients and people with foot conditions need to understand why you shouldn’t go barefoot very often, if at all.

3 Main Dangers of Being Barefoot 

  • Worsens foot conditions
  • Higher risk of injury
  • Higher risk of infection

Danger #1: Worsens Foot Conditions

Walking barefoot for too long outside can make certain foot conditions much worse. This is especially true for plantar fasciitis and diabetes

In the summer, we tend to walk outside leisurely on patios and decks without shoes. Afterwards, without thinking, we can go back inside and continue to be barefoot. However, walking barefoot for hours throughout the day can affect the plantar fascia. This occurs due to the prolonged lack of crucial support needed for people with plantar fasciitis, specifically, impact absorption, cushioning, and arch support. This increases strain on the ligaments and joints in your feet. The hard surface also wears away the fatty pad on your heel, which puts extra pressure on your heel.

The same can also be said for people with arthritis, Achilles tendonitis, and other foot conditions affecting the joints and muscles in the lower body. Running and exercising barefoot in the summer can worsen the symptoms of these conditions. Those who were not suffering from these conditions before may also put themselves at risk by running barefoot.

Diabetes patients should also avoid walking barefoot at all costs. Even inside, supportive footwear is key. Diabetes compromises the immune system and causes poor circulation and nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy). These can seriously harm people with diabetes if they stub their toes or drop something on their feet. On Health notes that while these are minor occurrences for many of us, these accidents can lead to major complications, such as infections and foot ulcers, if you have diabetes.

In the summer, people with diabetes should always make sure their feet aren’t exposed. A tiny twig or splinter on a boardwalk could seriously harm a diabetes patient, even while at the beach. Furthermore, while it may seem harmless in the summer to walk down your driveway, the hot pavement can actually burn the bottoms of the feet or even cause an infection.

Danger #2: Higher Risk of Infections

Walking barefoot for too long is also a risk factor for fungal infections like athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. Fungal infections are highly contagious and through direct contact between the skin and an infected surface, and vice versa. If someone with a foot infection used one of these shared spaces before you, you are putting yourself at risk. Plus, if you have a fungal infection in your feet, you can also spread it to others. To prevent getting a fungal infection, you should always wear protective footwear in shared spaces such as pool and beach bathrooms, changing rooms, and showers. Also keep your feet clean, dry, and deodorized with a deodorant cream or spray.

In addition to fungal infections, damp warm shared spaces like pools, public washrooms, change rooms, locker rooms, and showers are also ripe breeding grounds for plantar warts. Like fungal infections, plantar warts are contagious and spread when the skin comes in direct contact with an infected surface. So, if you’re walking around barefoot on the same wet pool deck that someone with a plantar wart also walked on, you can get them too. Again, the best way to prevent this is to wear footwear (like flip-flops) in shared public spaces. 

Danger #3: Higher Risk of Injury

Picture this; you’re on the beach enjoying the last days of summer and go for a light run along the water without your shoes. It sounds exhilarating, but it may be putting you at risk of sustaining a foot or ankle injury. While some experts claim that barefoot running can reduce the risk of tibial stress fractures (shin fractures), it puts runners at risk of sustaining metatarsal stress fractures (foot fractures).

Lastly, running barefoot puts a lot more pressure on your ankles than when you’re sporting comfortable footwear. When you run barefoot, you are performing what is known as forefoot striking. Rayner & Smale note that this can put more pressure on your ankle joints, causing ankle pain and increasing the risk of an ankle injury. Forefoot striking also burdens your calf muscles more than running with sneakers.

 

Going Barefoot? Don’t Forget Your Foot Health! 

Summer and vacations are exciting times to let loose and ditch your shoes on the beach, at the pool, and on your peaceful patio. However, at Feet First Clinic, we think it’s important to present the dangers of going barefoot so you can make good decisions and maintain happy and healthy feet.

If you need to see a Toronto foot specialist, reach out to us! We’re confident in our ability to help inform you and solve your concern with the least amount of discomfort possible. Call us even to ask about a quick question and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction! 

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

Here’s to Many More Years of Foot Care!

At Feet First Clinic, we’re always excited to welcome new clients! After a successful 12 years of treating our amazing patients, we’re ready to continue offering only the best foot care services and products. Give us a call to ask our friendly staff any questions you may have! Our Toronto foot specialists are ready to help!

Call us at 416-769-3338 or Book Your Assessment Today!

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Emily

Administrative Assistant

Emily is the newest addition to the Feet First family. She assists with the clinic’s accounting and finances, as well as all the behind-the-scenes work that keeps the clinic running smoothly. In addition to her accounting smarts, she brings sunshine and positivity to everyone at Feet First Clinic.

Erica Halpern

Marketing and Administrative Assistant (She/Her)

Part of our administrative support staff, Erica also works behind the scenes writing and editing content for our website and blog. She loves researching and writing educational content to help patients and anyone dealing with pain. When she’s not busy in the clinic, you’ll find her at her local gym, exploring underground music, hiking with friends, or cheering on her favourite sports teams (Go Jays!). She also loves huskies!

Sophie Rudahigan

Clinic Administrator (She/Her)
Sophie prides herself on providing top-tier customer service. She is here to ensure a smooth visit for all clients. In addition to overseeing the clinic’s administration and day-to-day operations, she maintains the cosmetic appearance of the store. She is the magic behind our elaborate display case designs and also ensures the clinic is stocked with stylish (but still orthopedic!) footwear options for all ages.

Bianca Carter

CEO (She/Her)

Day in and out, Bianca works hard to ensure Feet First Clinic runs smoothly. Customer service is at the top of her list and she treats every customer like family. Bianca has a passion for fitness and is dedicated to helping people take care of their feet and body. There is no problem that she can’t solve and she believes that where there is a will, there’s a way.

Carolina Charles

Patient Relation Coordinator (She/Her)

If you’ve been to the clinic before, chances are you had the pleasure of meeting Carolina! Carolina’s daily goal is going above and beyond to make sure patients are always completely satisfied. Having worked in the podiatry industry for 22 years, Carolina brings a wealth of knowledge pertaining to client service, insurance policies, and procedures.​ She steers the ship to make sure everything runs smoothly on the daily. Carolina is known for spicing up every outfit with her signature costume jewellery.