Neglect can lead to sore, achy feet. We’ve got a few simple tips to help keep your feet healthy and pain-free.

1. Check for Issues –

When was the last time you took a good look at your tootsies? Start performing a foot self-exam after you get out of the bath or shower. Check for blisters, discoloration of your toenails, and make sure to peep between your toes for peeling (an indicator of athlete’s foot). This is even more important if you have diabetes. Diabetics have a much higher risk for sores and infections and should be checking their feet every day as a part of their usual routine.

2. Clean and Dry Feet are Happy Feet -

It may seem simple, but it’s true. When you’re drying off after a shower or bath make sure to dry between your toes. Fungal organisms thrive on moisture and excess moisture creates an opportunity for infections to begin.

3. Trim Your Nails Properly-

Ingrown toenails HURT. Cutting your nails straight across, not rounding nails too dramatically, avoiding trimming too close to skin will cut down on the chances you’ll be dealing with painful ingrown toenails.

4. Protect Your Feet –

Barefoot in the Park might be a great movie, but it’s not ideal for foot health. Keep an eye out for sharp objects and wear shower shoes or flip flops when you’re at the gym or changing in locker rooms. As mentioned above, fungal infections love moist hot areas and public pools, gyms and changing rooms are breeding grounds for the yucky stuff.

5. Polish – Pretty But Not Healing -

So maybe you won’t have to look at cracked, crumbling or thick discolored nails when you give them a coat of fire engine red polish – but that won’t make the problems go away. If you’ve got a problem with a nail take the time to see your doctor. Covering it up could just lead to more problems up the road.

6. Fit Is It!

You may ADORE that pair of five-inch stilettos so much you’re willing to cram yourself into a size too small. Your feet won’t thank you for it. In fact, shoes that are too tight can cause long-term issues. Avoid pointy styles (which can cause painful cramping) and look for a rounded shoe with room for your toes, and a wide stable heel. Another shoe shopping tip – shop at the end of the day to compensate for foot swelling that happens late in the day.

7. That’s A Lot of Sweat Glands -

Did you know that each foot has over 250K sweat glands! As we mentioned before, clean and dry feet are happy feet. Wearing socks that keep your feet dry will keep your feet healthier. Avoid tight fitting socks and hosiery and when it comes to buying socks look for fibers that wick away moisture quickly.

8. Let Your Feet Breathe Easy -

If you’re prone to excessively sweaty feet it’s important to look for shoes made of leather and high-quality synthetics designed to wick moisture quickly. Air circulation is key to keeping sweaty feet from becoming unhealthy and smelly.

9. No Need to Share-

Your mother may have stressed the importance of sharing when you were a kid, but when it comes to footwear this adage is absolutely wrong. Sharing shoes, socks and other foot gear can lead to issues from infection to injury. That goes for shoe rental as well!

10. Know When to Call In a Pro-

We all have busy schedules! Who has time to go to the doctor, right? Knowing when to leave the over-the-counter remedies at home and take yourself to see a professional is important. Pain, redness, and swelling isn’t normal. Most issues can be quickly dealt with by a podiatric professional. Knowing when to call in the pros can keep a minor problem from becoming a major issue.