Tips for your toes and your whole feet, too



Each human foot is made up of 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles or tendons, and 26 bones or one-quarter of the 206 bones in the human body. Which is often why, when you don’t take care of your feet, other problems aren’t far behind.

  1. Feet first: Medical conditions including arthritis, diabetes, nerve and circulatory disorders often show symptoms first in your feet so if something’s not feeling quite right in your feet, it’s a good idea to ask your doctor.
  1. Butt out: Smoking is the most common cause of peripheral vascular disease which affects the feet and legs and can lead to walking pain ulceration, infection and even amputation. That’s a good enough reason as any to stop smoking.
  1. Heel not healing? If you’re feeling a sharp pain in the bottom of your feet, it could be plantar fasciitis, inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. Your podiatrist may suggest you change your footwear or do some stretching.
  1. Bothersome bunions: Though high-heeled shoes can be an aggravating factor, they don’t actually cause bunions. These unattractive bumps next to the big toe are usually inherited. Unfortunately the only way to correct bunions is with surgery.
  1. Cold feet, warm heart: Although that’s actually not true, if your feet are always cold, it could be a sign of hypothyroidism. A blood test and a prescription may be able to help.
  1. Fungal bungle: Athletes aren’t the only ones to get athlete’s foot. This fungal infection, which affects the toes, soles and side of the feet can be a nuisance. But it’s easy to clear up with over-the-counter medication, keeping your feet clean and dry, and wearing breathable footwear.

What are your foot problems and how do you care for them? Share your tips and experiences with the Shop Talk Blog community forum!





Did you know: Our feet are getting bigger

Feet spread to support extra weight, which explains why, since 1970s, to compensate for our increased obesity, the average foot has increased two sizes. (Source)


89 thoughts on “Tips for your toes and your whole feet, too

  1. Your whole body mechanic’s is VITAl.

    I’m a disabled Pro-Trainer, who has gunk toe, on the right foot. Since I can’t perform in a Pro-Trainer cycle. My job classification went to zero. I use too earn $140,000 a year salary, now I get $9,400 a year ( SSI payments). Which ain’t crap, so it behooves anybody, TAKE CARE OF YOUR FEET.

  2. Thank you for your very useful information. As a Type 1 diabetic, I am always concerned about my feet and doing all that I can to take care of them properly.

  3. I had a plantar tumor come up in the arch of my foot. My doctor used a vibrator like they use on kidney stones to massage the tumor every month for about three months and then every three months for about 7 months.. AFTER THAT IT HAS NOT COME BACK!!!!! It has been three years now and everything is fine.

  4. many of you with thick nails may be suffering with fungal overload in your system, do some research on Caprylic Acid, personally I found Solaray brand to work best for me, whatever the brand it needs to be time released to reach your gut to be effective.
    Combine that with an anti fungal supplement and you may be surprised with the results.
    A lot of people are suffering from the symptoms of Candida overgrowth in their system had to diagnose just google it and see if you find your symptoms listed.
    Also laser treatments with the Cutera Genesis Plus laser, no other laser is FDA approved to treat fungal nails.
    For the thick calluses be careful about spas many harbor many fungal problems more harm than good can come from that, make sure they are sanitizing everything not just disinfecting. Chech with your health insurance about Podiatry care let a professional remove the callouses, for plantar Facisitis or heel pain many podiatrists offer EPAT or MR laser treatment that is covered by insurance both offer a great deal of relief.
    I have worked in a podiatry office for over 10 years and I do these treatments personally on patients and have seen them find relief from pain, both treatments are also wonderful for diabetic neuropathy, I have patients that had horrible numbness in their feet that after treatments the numbness is lessening. There is help out the call your primary care doctor and get a referral, don’t suffer.

    1. i too have had awful fungus on all my toes starting at an early age like midtwenties and im now 48. I havent worn sandals or any type of open shoes sinse I was quite young. So I havent been to the beach, a lake, swimming in a pool. Im totally embarassed for anyone to see my feet. I keep socks on at all times. My spouse of 5 yrs has not even seen my feet. Its depressing because I missed out on alot of good times i could have had due to my insecurity over it. Ive tried most of the over the counter methods without success. Im working up the nerve to see a podiatryst but feel like he/she will be shocked and say OMG why did you wait so long to seek treatment? But I dont have many beach days left so ive got to do it. Atleast after reading this ive got hope. Thank you all for telling your stories. very appreciative!!!!!

  5. Feet, ears and nose keep growing for life. Not sure weight is a factor. I’m 5’11” 167 and my feet have gone from size 10 in college (weighed 155) to currently size 12 at age 67.

  6. I’ve had a time with plantar fasciitis for about 2 years now. At first it was just the right foot but in the last 6-8 months my left foot has started to hurt. I tried exercises, stretches, tape, custom orthotics, new shoes and braces. In addition I currently have a love-hate relationship with cortisone injections. Love that it takes the pain away for a while but the pain of the actual injection is excruciating. Does anyone know of ANY other treatments/cures for plantar fasciitis?

    1. About 10 years ago I had plantar fasciitis in both of my feet. I tried therapy, and orthotics and my podiatrist said there was a surgery basically on the soles of your feet they stuck pins in a grid pattern and it was supposed to somehow by irritated it incouraged healing. I have no idea what it was called. Anyway I had it and it worked! It was very painful and miserable but my feet have never hurt like that again. Now I have what I guess is nerve damage. My feet hurt and are numb and feel like something is bunched up around my toes on the soles of my feet. It’s a very weird feeling. Also my right heel mainly was very dry and cracked. I used kerasil and cleared that up but my heel is still kind of sore and irritated.

  7. I’ve had foot issues ever since I was 9 and got my right foot all cut up. I ended up with 104 stitches in my ankle but the surgeon was able to put it all back together and I have been able to walk right however, the top has always been extra sensitive to touch so I’ve never been able to wear sandals or anything like them.

    I’ve always had cold feet too and I mean real cold but was never diagnosed with Hypothyroidism until 16 years ago. I’ve told my Dr’s about the odd feel in my feet for well over 20 years and wasn’t told I have Neuropathy and Peripheral Neuropathy until we were given the opportunity to have access to our medical records on line several years ago and I read it in there.

    Seeing as how I wasn’t informed of it, until I asked about it, I wasn’t told about ways to take care of it or things I would need to be careful of especially in walking and my balance. It was by my going for physical therapy 15 months ago that I even knew why my balance was bad. On my very last day with a 3rd different therapist I was told that with Neuropathy your feet don’t give signals to your brain to tell your brain you aren’t walking right….. Having physical therapy, I was given tips on how to walk without leaning or listing to one side so I could walk in a straight line.

    It wasn’t until I read these points that I even knew my cold feet was connected to my thyroid. With all my feet issues, the only shoes that I have found I can wear are SAS shoes. They are more expensive but at least I can wear them without more pain than I already have in my feet.

  8. I haven’t smoked in 40 years, and I have a terrible case of neuropathy in the feet, and I’m told there is nothing you can do about it. It’s very worrisome, and I’m uneasy trying to drive, but I do drive carefully. Being older doesn’t help either.

  9. I spent over $40 to “cure” fungus. My Dr. Gave to best homeopathic advice…Lotrimin cream in combination with Vicks Vaporup. Yep, Vicks. You must be tenacious and put it on everyday before shoes and before bed. It didn’t totally get rid of my toe nail fungus but it sure knocked it back. Toe nail fungus is very difficult and you must battle itt constantly. And get rid of the nail polish if not only for a few weeks at a time. You can do it!

  10. I am pre-diabetic and are keeping an eye on my feet. I rub them with lotion and check for problems. Also, I see a podiatrist at least yearly. I have had three surgeries on my feet, so they ache with arthritis.

  11. I too have very bad feet. I don’t remember when or if ever they did not hurt. I have like no fat pad on the bottom of my feet, it is like I am walking on bones. I think I also have flat feet. Get calluses on the ball of my feet & on the big toes. Not too long ago the foot dr told me to get wide shoes now. I have planter fasheitis, corns sometimes, I think a long metatasel bone, & have many more things that are wrong with them. I want to walk on marshmallows. I can’t find anything soft. Now, even my slippers which were great, are against me. I can’t wear flats, or heels. Basically I am in sneakers all the time which are not that comfortable but I wear them anyway. I want a slip on to wear in the house, but I am having trouble finding something sort of comfortable. I would like to wear sandels, but can’t find them either, I used to like a small wedge. Can’t wear flip flops, they are too flat & sometimes the middle piece where your toes go, hurt. Help!!!!!!!

    1. I had the same problems. I found a pair of sandals with rubber soles, arch supports, and toes out. That worked for me.

    2. I have tendonitis. I had to wear a boot up to my knee for 5 or 6 months. I have some inserts put in my shoes made by my podiatrist. This really helped. But the best thing I have found is to buy a pair of skechers tennis shoes. They are awesome!! I don’t even have to wear my inserts with those. You need to wear these any time you are going to be on your feet very long. Hope this helps.

  12. All info is important,much of it is common sense. Only one observation…I got married 32 years ago in size 7 Narrow shoes. After all these years and three children, but only a 15 pound weight gain, my feet now fit into size 10 Narrow! I cannot believe that 15 pounds would cause a foot to increase three sizes!!! Any thoughts?

  13. To those with problems from thick toenails and excessive callus that rebuilds after being removed, very quickly. I have had the same problems for years. My calluses would get so thick and dry that they cracked and split to the tender skin, making it difficult to walk, and forget wearing foam type sandals as they only assisted the splitting of the callus. I recently went to the dermatologist for another problem and it seems that fungus and eczema can cause these too. I now am using some creams on them that is really helping. I would suggest you see a dermatologist. I had been to a podiatrist before and they had no suggestions but the dermatologist got right on it! Good luck and make an appointment.

Comments are closed.