Take Care of Your Feet

As a kid, I got told to take care of my feet all the time. I didn’t listen. I had no concept of how important it was to pamper my feet because they were just attached to my legs, and they were always in shoes, so nobody was going to pay attention to them, right? Wrong. I may not always pay attention to people’s feet, but other people do, which is one reason people love to look for shoes. In my mind, shoes have always been supposed to be functional as well as fashionable. In most society’s minds, it’s about what looks good; yes, feeling comfortable is essential, but it’s all about the image. The problem with that is that when our feet work to the max, they will complain.

A former friend of mine introduced me to pedicures about 20 years ago. The first couple of times that I went, I must admit my feet did feel much better. But my feet are the most ticklish part of my body – I can block out being tickled everywhere else except my feet. So when the young woman was massaging my feet and then using that little scrubber to get the dead skin off, I couldn’t stop laughing from being tickled. I became hooked on pedicures from that day on. I’ve gotten very picky about them over the years because I made the mistake of going to a new spa when my favorite resort was closing down, but they were taking ownership of a new one. I went in and had a pedicure done; within a week, I got a staph infection. The owner did not want to accept responsibility even though it was from a breakout of the chemicals they used that started it.

The doctor that I saw at the urgent care scolded me for going to have a pedicure done. He said that was one of the worst ways to pick up infections. I didn’t know what to believe at that time because many of my friends went for pedicures and manicures and never had problems. But this was a different situation, and it cost me a good business relationship with the people I had previously dealt with over the years. After that occurrence, I spent a lot of time looking for a good salon, and when I finally found one, he was in business for a while, but eventually, he too folded. Nail salons are a tricky business. Covid didn’t help matters.

I am on my feet all the time. I have to walk the lot at my job quite often, plus I have to take care of transactions, handle complaints on the lot, and deal with day-to-day interactions. I can’t afford to let my feet hurt. I used to get Reebox shoes all the time, and when I was in college as a continuing edge student, I was on my way to a class down in the basement of one of the buildings when I felt my right foot pop. I have never felt pain like that before. When I went to a doctor to get evaluated, she informed me that I had plantar fasciitis. She told me that the Reebox shoes I was wearing were some of the worst I could wear to prevent that type of disease. She sent me to a specialized food store to get fitted for the right kinds of shoes.

From that day forward, I was aware that my feet would never be the same again. I have always thought shoes cost way too much money and wanted to spend as little as possible. You can be a frugal shopper and still get good-quality shoes. It takes patience, research, and time, but you can find good deals for good quality most of the time. You have to be willing to look.

As the years progressed, I discovered that since my budget did not allow for more expensive shoes, I was always looking for shoes on a good deal. The problem with that is that over time those cheap shoes can cause long-term damage. Just like most other things, our shoes are an investment with our feet. Sometimes you have to pay more on the front end to get more wear on the long end. It took a long time for that lesson to sink in my head, but eventually, it did, and I can tell you from experience that investing in the shoes that you wear and how you treat your feet can make all the difference in the world how you move about the day.

Woman with cream on her foot, closeup. Spa treatment

I did some research about taking care of my feet and found multiple resources online. WebMD is one of my primary go-to resources for medical information. The following tips come from them. One of the things you can do is check your feet daily for cuts, sores, swelling, and infected toenails. This tip is crucial. After all, you have to pay attention to your feet because your feet can indicate other problems. Even if you don’t show your feet off to the rest of the world, you need to pay attention to how your feet look. Believe it or not, your feet are good indicators of having a healthy lifestyle.

Be sure to give them a good cleaning and warm water but avoid soaking them because you don’t want your feet to dry out. There’s nothing wrong with soaking your feet on occasion; it feels good. Just don’t make a habit out of it. Sometimes it’s tempting to soak your feet after a long day each day, but remember that you could be causing more harm than help in the long run.

Moisturize your feet every day with lotion cream or petroleum jelly. I didn’t believe this at first until I found a site online that talked about primary care for feet, but after learning this tidbit, I’ve been doing it for a while, and my feet are no longer prickly. They’re smooth, and it makes all the difference in the world.

Avoid wearing tight-fitting shoes. This item is where the Cinderella effect needs to come into play. Believe it or not, it does make a difference if a shoe fits well or not. If the shoe is too tight, it’s going to press on your feet, and when it provokes, it can do some serious harm because it hurts. Your feet get achy and tired, and they don’t want to do anything else when they get to that point.

Skip the flip flops and the flats. According to WebMD, they don’t provide enough arch support. This one was a tough one for me because I like flats. I’m not too fond of heels. Heels make me want to fall over myself. I can wear heels if there is about a 1/2 inch to an inch, but anything over that, I am so clumsy that I’m almost ashamed to walk in public in them.

They also recommend trimming your toenails straight across with a nail clipper, then using an Emery board or nail file to smooth out the corners, preventing the nail from growing into your skin. I like that recommendation because I had ingrown toenails too many times, and let me tell you, those suckers hurt.

Elderly woman swollen feet putting on shoes

The biggest thing to remember is to pay attention to your feet. I can’t stress this enough. Our feet are our most common form of transportation, so we need to be nice to them. You can do many things for your feet, but the biggest one I can attest to is that by paying attention to your feet and their needs, you will address any concerns that you notice. Sometimes that is more valuable to yourself than any other gift you can give. Pamper yourself a little bit each day and take care of your feet so they can take care of you. Have a great day, everyone.

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