If you suffer from frequent foot pain, it can feel like you are being punished with every step you take. We know how unbearable and challenging it can be to experience sharp pain in your feet and that you want relief from pain as soon as possible. You may be wondering how to relieve foot pain and what the top tips for proper foot care are. It can be daunting to dig through all of the information available about foot care and foot treatments to find what will work for you, which is why we’ve done the work for you so we can help connect you with the information you need to keep your feet pain-free. Keep reading for foot care tips to help relieve foot pain and prevent it from coming back. At Vionic, we know that comfort isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity and we are here to make sure you can find basic solutions to a persistent problem. Read below for our top tips and shoes for heel pain.
Foot Pain: The Most Common Culprits
Before we dive into how to manage your foot pain or injury, first let’s review what’s going on in your aching feet that could potentially be the source of your pain. It’s vital to identify what is causing your foot pain in order to treat it and manage your pain accordingly. We recommend meeting with a licensed podiatrist to discuss what’s going on in your feet and what the source of your pain is. To help give you a baseline understanding of the culprits of foot pain, we’ve outlined a handful of the most common foot conditions below.
- Achilles Tendonitis: One culprit of foot pain can be Achilles tendonitis, which develops when the Achilles tendon is overused. The Achilles tendon is the band of tissue that runs down the back of the lower leg and connects your calf muscles to your heel bone. Typically, Achilles tendonitis will feel like an ache at the back of your leg or above your heel after engaging in physical activity. The pain may increase in severity after prolonged exercise. Achilles tendonitis can also manifest in the form of stiffness and/or tenderness, particularly in the morning before you have had any activity.
- Bunions: Have you heard of bunions but aren’t quite sure exactly what they are? You’re not alone! Bunions are a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe due to your big toe pushing against the toe next to it, which causes the joint of the big toe to stick out and get bigger as a result. Bunions can be caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes that are tight and narrow or as a result of a structural defect, medical condition (such as arthritis), or from stress on your foot. Symptoms of a bunion include having a bulging bump on the outside of your big toe, persistent or intermittent pain, and/or swelling, redness, or soreness around your big toe joint.
- Metatarsalgia: Metatarsalgia is a condition in which the balls of your foot becomes inflamed and painful. What causes this to happen? A number of different factors can cause metatarsalgia, such as having shoes that are ill-fitting (too tight or too loose) or having a foot deformity. Symptoms of metatarsalgia can include sharp, aching, or burning pain in the ball of your foot, pain that is exacerbated when you stand, run, or walk, and/or numbness or tingling in your toes.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Do you wake up and experience pain when taking the first few steps of the day or when rising from a sitting position for long periods of time? You may be suffering from plantar fasciitis, and if so, we know you’ll want relief and comfort as soon as possible. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and stems from inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes. You may be asking yourself, “How does the plantar fascia get inflamed?” The cause of the inflammation of the plantar fascia stems from it being stretched too much, which inflicts stress on the tissue. Over a prolonged period of time, this stress can result in tiny tears on the surface of the plantar fascia.
- These small tears are what cause the plantar fascia to become inflamed and subsequently to cause you pain and discomfort. If this stretching and tearing continue over time, the irritation and pain you are experiencing could worsen. Check out our boots for plantar fasciitis if you’re looking for comfortable shoes to treat this condition.
- Stress Fractures: Did you know that stress fractures are actually tiny cracks in the bone? These tiny cracks result due to repetitive force and are often caused by overuse, such as from running long distances or jumping up and down repeatedly. If you suffer from osteoporosis, you could be at a higher risk for developing stress fractures due to the bone being weakened. A stress fracture is common in the bones of the feet and can result in tenderness and pain. Having ill-fitting and unsupportive footwear can increase the risk of developing stress fractures. If physical activity continues once you have developed stress fractures, you could exacerbate the condition and associated pain.
Now that you know some of the most common sources of foot pain, we want to walk you through our tips to keep your feet pain-free, step by step.
Ditching the Foot Pain: Proper Foot Care Tips
We know that if you’re suffering from foot pain, you’ll want to get relief and comfort as soon as possible, and we want to help! When it comes to foot pain, there’s no one-size-fits-all treatment solution, but there are some tips for foot health and steps you can integrate into your foot care routine to help prevent and manage foot pain. At Vionic, we believe that when you are equipped with information, you can make choices that suit your unique needs and feet to make sure you look and feel great, without the pain!
Maintain Your Foot Health
One of the key steps to maintaining pain-free feet is paying attention to your feet and caring for them every day. Seems simple enough, right? We know life can get busy and it can be appealing to skip steps to maintain your foot health, but we believe that if you follow the below steps, you will be able to improve your foot health and help to prevent and reduce foot pain.
- Keep your toenails trimmed. Did you know that your toenails are softer and easier to trim after a bath or a shower? Keeping your toenails trimmed is important to prevent ingrown toenails and keep your toenails from becoming irritated from contact with your shoes. Ingrown toenails develop when the edge of your nail grows into your skin around the toe, causing redness, irritation, tenderness, and pain. To prevent this, keep your toenails trimmed straight across.
- Always check inside your shoes. Before you put on your shoes, always run your hand through your shoe to detect if there are any rocks, plant pieces, or rough seams that could irritate your feet and cause discomfort.
- Keep your feet clean. To prevent bacterial or fungal infections from developing on your feet, it’s vital to keep your feet clean. We recommend washing your feet each day in warm water and soap.
- Remember to take a look at your feet each day for changes. We recommend taking a look at your feet each day to see if you have any cuts, sores, blisters, cracked heels, and/or dry skin that you need to treat. Small foot problems can become big quickly, so by adding this simple step, you can help catch issues early.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Nobody likes dry feet or cracked heels. If you want healthy feet, be sure to keep them moisturized by rubbing lotion into them daily. When the skin on your feet becomes cracked and dry, it is more susceptible to developing infections.
- Always wear socks with shoes. Have you ever thrown on your running shoes without socks when you were in a hurry? We’ve been there! However, this can cause friction between your feet and shoes, which can result in blisters and sores. To protect your feet, always wear a pair of socks.
Stretch The Muscles in Your Feet and Calves
As we outlined above, a number of different common foot pain culprits stem from muscles that have been overused and become too tight, which results in inflammation. To help reduce this source of foot pain, it’s helpful to incorporate stretches that target your feet and calves into your daily routine. You may not realize how much stress and tension you are holding in the muscles in your feet! Below are a few easy stretches to incorporate into your daily routine and a brief description of each.
- Achilles stretch. To stretch your Achilles tendon, simply lean against a wall and place your palms flat on the wall. Position your feet so you have one foot forward and one foot back. Once you’re in position, keep your heels on the floor and lean the weight of your body forward until you feel a gentle pull in your Achilles tendon and calf (be sure not to lean so much that it hurts). Hold for ten seconds and repeat this stretch three times, then switch legs and do the other side.
- The arch stretch. To help with heel pain, grab a towel folded lengthwise or an exercise band and sit down on a chair. Place the folded towel or exercise band under the arch of your foot and pull gently pull the top of your foot towards you using the ends of the towel or exercise band. Hold for fifteen to thirty seconds and repeat three times, then switch feet and repeat.
Invest in Supportive Footwear That Fit Your Feet
Perhaps the most important step you can take to keep your feet pain-free is to invest in supportive shoes that fit your feet properly. As you learned earlier, there are many different foot problems that develop due to ill-fitting and unsupportive footwear. While in the past, human beings have tread on soft, forgiving surfaces such as dirt and sand, now we often walk on hard, unforgiving surfaces that cause our feet to try to contour to the ground. To keep your feet properly supported, it’s important that your footwear have built-in cushioning and supportive infrastructure to keep your feet supported and contoured. This could mean finding boots with arch support to keep your feet supported in the colder months, or padded recovery sandals to wear after a morning workout. In addition, finding shoes that fit your feet properly will eliminate many different possible problems and sources of foot pain. The best shoes for foot problems should be not too tight and not too loose. Remember that your shoe size can also change throughout your life, so it’s important to check your shoe size each year and change as needed.
At Vionic, we’ve made it our mission to create footwear that hugs your arches like a natural footprint. With styles ranging from comfortable sandals for women to comfortable dress shoes for men, we don’t sacrifice style for comfort. You’ll find the comfort and style you need in any type of shoe we carry. That’s why our men’s and women’s shoes are great for people seeking shoes for heel pain relief or shoes for plantar fasciitis relief. We want to make sure every step you take is pain-free and you have comfort all day (or night) long! Vionic’s orthopedic shoes for foot pain combine high-quality materials, pioneering biomechanic technology, and cutting-edge styles to make sure you have beautiful footwear that gives you unparalleled support. No need to keep searching for shoes that help with foot pain. Wear a pair of our comfortable shoes today to see the Vionic difference for yourself!