The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Thanksgiving for Your Feet: Five Ways to Show Your Feet You Care

Posted by on Thursday, November 15th, 2012


Feet. What would you do without them? First, imagine trying to walk if your legs just ended without any feet. Okay, you probably shouldn’t imagine that, it’s weird and kind of disgusting.

Seriously, though, think of how much you put your feet through on an average day and how well they hold up. Sure, they hurt sometimes, they get blisters, they get callused. They’re not always particularly attractive and they might not smell great. Still, though, they continue to work, often after being put through some pretty tough features of modern life–terrible shoes, unfriendly surfaces, foot-stressful activities like dancing and hard running.

So why not be nice to your feet? They’ve been awfully nice to you. Here are some ways you can show your thanks to your feet.

Choose Heels That Don’t Hurt We only say it all the time because it’s true–stilettos are bad for your feet. It doesn’t take much thought to figure out why either: you’re asking your poor forefeet and toes to carry the entire weight of your body while your heels and ankles wobble on sky high pins. How does this make sense? Easy answer–it doesn’t. You know what’s another tip that stilettos are bad for your feet? They hurt. Anyone who says they don’t is either lying or has done such damage to her feet that she no longer feels pain. I know, I sound harsh, when all you’re thinking is “but spike heels make my legs look sexy.” Yes, they do, but they also give you bunions, hammertoes, and corns, which are not sexy. Instead, save your feet by choosing shoes that are a reasonable height and are chunky enough to help your heels bear the weight of your body (and if you want your legs to look hot, well, try working out).

Choose shoes that fit your toes This is another easy way to show your feet how much you appreciate them: wear shoes that allow your toes to be toes. This means shoes with toe boxes that allow your toes to lie flat and natural, even wiggle a little. Stay away from shoes that squeeze your toes together in an uncomfortable way. Yes, we’re thinking of you, pointy-toed shoes. Like stilettos (which are often paired with these type of toe shapes, causing double foot damage insanity), pointy-toed shoes will give you bunions, hammertoes, and corns. Now if your toes happen to be shaped like an equilateral triangle, well, then go nuts with all your many pairs of pointy-toed shoes. If not, be kind to your toes by choosing shoes with toe boxes that allow them to relax and work like toes should work.  Here’s a good rule of thumb (or big toe?) for choosing shoes: if you feel relieved when you take them off, you’re wearing the wrong shoes.

Get a foot massage This is something nice you can do for your tired, worn feet that is so easy. You can get a foot massage from a masseuse, or you usually get one as part of a pedicure (men, this is another reason why you should get a pedicure). You can even give yourself a foot massage or, if you’re lucky, have someone else give you one; after all, feet are an important part of romance. Additionally, a foot massage may benefit other aspects of your health, helping with post-surgical pain, side effects of cancer treatment, or high blood pressure. One thing to keep in mind, though–a foot massage shouldn’t hurt. If it does, you may have an injury that you should have checked out by a podiatrist at The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine (212.996.1900  ).

Eat right Yes, the way you eat can affect your feet. One of the major causes of diabetes is a poor diet that’s filled with too much sugar and refined starches. Diabetes causes circulation problems that can lead to foot issues such as numbness and an inability to heal wounds. Additionally, a diet with too much sugar in it can cause inflammation which exacerbatez foot problems that are already inflammation-based, such as plantar fasciitis. Finally, a diet that’s heavy on rich red meats and alcohol can lead to gout, a disease that makes your big toe become red, swollen, and itchy. Make sure your diet focuses on whole grains rather than refined grains, and swap in fruits and vegetables for bland starches. Try fish rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon and tuna instead of red meat. If you don’t have any other reason to eat better (and there are so many), at least do it for your feet.

Put your feet up You know how everyone always tells you to elevate your feet if you have a foot or ankle injury? The idea is help the fluids that cause swelling to rush away from your feet more easily. Well, during any hard day of walking and standing, fluids accumulate in your feet, making them swell and hurt. So why not help them out by putting your feet up at the end of a day, or during a midday break? Your feet will instantly feel better–perhaps they’ll even thank you.

So there you go–your feet work hard for you, and it only takes a little bit of effort on your part to be kind to them. Thank you, feet!


If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.