Take steps to look after your tootsies

Put your best foot forward with these pain-saving tips from Podiatrist, Sarah Sweeney.


Feet are, unfortunately, the most neglected part of our body. We are on them all day, yet we really don’t give them much TLC. Here are a few pointers in looking after those tootsies.

Supportive footwear

A firm supportive shoe is a must. The reason we get pain in our feet and lower legs is due to excess movement and excess pressure. If we roll in or roll out, the muscles in our feet and legs are having to work overtime to straighten us up, and so, they get sore. Also, if we have a lot of pressure going through the balls of our feet or through the heel, we get pain. Therefore, a good shoe with good arch support, to offload and redistribute pressure, is imperative.

What is a supportive shoe? A supportive shoe isn’t necessarily the most expensive shoe. If movement = pain, we need a shoe that will stop movement. Something firm all the way around, with good laces or fastening. You want a good tread under the shoe so that you don’t slip. The shoe shouldn’t fold and bend – if it folds and bends, you’re wearing a sock, not a shoe.

Stretch your calves regularly

Most painful musculoskeletal problems are linked to, or due to, tight calves. Thirty seconds, both sides, every morning should do the trick. Try stretching your calves by putting your foot up against the wall while cleaning your teeth so it’s easy to work into your regular routine.

Tough tootsies

Calluses and corns can be unsightly, painful and can become infected easily. Calluses and corns are worse when skin is dry, so it’s important to moisturise every day, wear socks, supportive shoes (ideally enclosed), and file the calluses and corns regularly. To treat the calluses or corns at home, it’s best to soak the feet first. This allows the hard skin to soften, making debridement easier. Be very gentle and careful when filing, take it slow, backwards and forwards. And always moisturise afterwards.

Nail your at-home care

It’s so important to look after your toenails to prevent ingrowns and other issues. The correct way to trim and file nails is to cut straight across or in line with the natural curve of the nail. Don’t cut too low, never cut below the “white” at the tip of the nail and only ever file in one direction, don’t go backwards and forwards. It’s important to cut the nails every 6-8 weeks, however runners or very active people may need to trim them more regularly. My final tip? Always use appropriate toenail clippers!

Sarah Sweeney, Podiatrist and clinic owner

Practising self-care means working from the ground-up, so be sure to think of your tootsies in 2020.

For more information visit www.sarahsweeneypodiatry.com.au