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By Crofton Podiatry
February 21, 2018
Category: Proper Footwear

There are certain habits that are picked up without realizing it. Picking at scabs, shaking your legs while sitting, saying “like,” and not signaling when you change lanes in your car are all bad habits that you might pick up without consciously trying to do them.

Likewise, there may be some bad habits that you may have picked up regarding your shoes. The following are unconscious actions you might be doing that could be harming your shoe (and therefore your foot and ankle health):

  • Wearing the same shoes each day – If you have a pair of shoes that you wear each day, such as work shoes or walking shoes, there’s a good chance that you’ve developed at least a little bit of a funky smell in them. That’s because bacteria and mold love to grow in moist and warm places, such as in your footwear. As you sweat throughout the day, the microorganisms thrive and can survive long after you’ve taken them off. To help reduce odor and even breakdown of the shoes, rotate the shoes you wear each day. You may even need to buy two of the same pair of shoes if you really need to wear those particular ones. 
  • Putting them away as soon as you get home – This can perpetuate the above mentioned bacterial and fungal growth in the shoes, as they don’t get a chance to air out and dry out. Get in the habit of leaving them out overnight and putting shoes away before you leave for work in the morning. Or better yet, leave them out until you get back after work later that day.
  • Not wearing socks with shoes – Some people get into this habit out of convenience or the idea that certain shoes do not need socks. However, any enclosed shoes would benefit from socks as a barrier between the inner lining and your feet. Socks can absorb the moisture that would otherwise go into your shoes; they also protect the inner lining of the shoes from features of your feet, such as long toenails. TIP: If you’ve got hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), change your socks at least once midday.
  • Folding the back of the shoes – When you’re just running out to grab something from the car or get the mail, you might just slip your feet into shoes and fold the back like a slipper. It makes easier to get in and out of the shoes. However, not only are you breaking the structure of the shoe, you’re also wearing down the rubber soles of your shoes since it’s more likely to be dragging on the ground. Proper heel cupping in the shoes is important to preventing some overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis.
  • Dragging your feet when you walk – Some of you might be more inclined to drag your feet when wearing certain shoes like fur-lined boots or certain sandals. That could really wear down the outer soles of the shoes, causing problems with the structural integrity and support your feet and ankles get. Pay attention to your gait.
  • You wear high heels, flats, or other uncomfortable shoes every day – You may have become a pro at wearing certain shoes each day, but high heels, flats, and pointed-toe shoes can all end up causing you problems. They all lack supportive features and make your feet work harder than they need to. If you MUST wear these uncomfortable shoes, at least try to change out of them as soon as you leave the office since you may develop bunions or metatarsalgia otherwise.
  • Wearing shoes too long – This is not a habit, per say, but something you’ve been resisting. You may have a favorite pair of shoes that you want to wear until you can’t, but it could leave you with more pain than joy. If you really want to extend the life of your shoes, consider wearing them with orthotic inserts to maintain support for your feet.

Do you think you might have foot or ankle problems because of bad shoe habits? Make an appointment by calling our office at (410) 721-4505 to consult with our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brad Toll at Crofton Podiatry. He can help you with an assessment and treatment if needed. For dedicated care for your feet and ankles, visit our Crofton, MD office, which also serves the surrounding Gambrills, Odenton, and Bowie areas.

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2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25
Crofton, MD 21114

Podiatrist - Crofton, Crofton Podiatry, 2411 Crofton Lane, Suite 25, Crofton MD, 21114 (410) 721-4505