The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

Are You Endangering Your Mobility? Examining the Top 5 Ways You May Be Harming Your Feet

Posted by on Monday, September 22nd, 2014


Did you know…

– There are 38 muscles in your feet.

– Those 38 muscles make up about 25% of the muscles in your body.

– Your feet absorb 1,000 pounds of force each day!

– By the time you’re 50, you’ll have walked over 70,000 miles.

Given those statistics from the Huffington Postit’s no wonder your feet hurt so much! Here are five common — yet bad — habits that may be contributing to your foot woes. If you find you’re guilty of one of these actions, never fear. Experts from The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine in New York City can help you make better shoe choices and protect your feet. Just book a one-on-one consultation for individualized suggestions!

habits that wreck your feet
Is it time to replace your running shoes? Failing to recognize is one of the five habits that wreck your feet.

1. You run barefoot — or close to it.

Minimalist running shoes had their day, but their popularity is waning. Many foot care professionals have discouraged the practice. Most people do not take the time to strength-train the muscles and tendons in their feet to handle the increased force. Furthermore, the lack of structure has been known to worsen conditions like oversupination, overpronation, flat feet, and neuropathy.

2. You wear heels all day to work.

Heels are not “the Devil,” but it’s common for women to overdo it. Downward pressure puts stress on the ball of the feet, causing painful nerve aggravation and calluses. A narrow toe-box can exacerbate bunions or throw the toe joints out of alignment. Over time, wearing heels actually shortens the calf and back muscles — causing painful spasms, or lead to degenerative arthritis in the middle of the foot. When the foot slides forward, the toes ram the front of the shoe, so ingrown nails and corns are common. Wearing heels to important meetings is one thing, but wearing them eight hours a day, five days a week can be quite another. When possible, opt for kitten heels, alternate with flat boots, or add padding.

3. You don’t wear socks.

You may not realize it, but socks are part of a defense against toenail fungus and athlete’s foot. Dark, warm, damp environments are just the right conditions for foot fungus colonies to really fester. Microbes can survive in the shoes for weeks or even months, so it’s important that you always wear socks and alternate your shoes at least every other day to allow adequate drying time. Your shoes may seem dry, but it really takes a full 48 hours for the sweat to dry. Other options for keeping your feet dry (and free from fungus) includes sprinkling antifungal powder into your shoe or applying deodorant to the feet if you tend to sweat a lot. Check to see that your socks are made from synthetic fibers, rather than 100% cotton.

4. You don’t have a regular schedule for replacing your shoes.

Running or walking shoes lose shock absorbing power over time. In fact, some experts say the materials can degrade even as the shoes sit on the shelf! Wearing shoes that are sub-par can lead to everyday aches and pains like plantar fasciitis inflammation. Checking the treads may not always be a good indicator for wear and tear. Try to replace your shoes every 300 miles or every four months.

5. You take on too much.

We see a lot of overuse injuries (like Achilles tendon tears or ruptures) because people take on too much activity too soon. So-called “Weekend Warriors” may try to run as far as possible right out of the starting gate, rather than gradually increasing distance and speed. High intensity activities like running should be done consistently, rather than “only when you want to.” You also want to cross-train with non-stressful activities like biking, swimming, or elliptical trainer workouts, too. Remember that soreness is a message and that no pain is “normal.” If you’ve injured yourself, working with a sports medicine doctor can help you get back on track.

Get Help from NYC Podiatrists

Book a consultation with The Center for Podiatric Care & Sports Medicine for all your footwear, sports training, and foot pain concerns. We can guide you through conservative treatments like proper icing, wrapping, and elevation techniques, in addition to counseling you on shoe choice and fitting you with custom orthotic inserts, if necessary. We also offer medication, cortisone injections, and pressure wave therapy for immediate pain relief. You’ll also find groundbreaking treatments like platelet rich plasma injections and extracorporeal shockwave therapy here. Whether you need help from a physical therapist, sports medicine doctor, podiatrist, or a surgeon, we have a full range of medical experts on staff to serve you.



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.