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Health and Beauty 360: Feet


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Simple Steps

Eat 12–15mg of zinc daily to prevent stinky feet.

Have your feet measured. The majority of women wear shoes that are too small.

Limit your everyday shoe collection to those with support—from arch-friendly flip flops to over-the-counter orthotic inserts in work boots—to prevent heel pain from plantar fasciitis.

Skip polishes and shellacs with brown or red bases, which can yellow nails and make them look fungus-filled, even if they’re not.

High heels place feet in an unnatural position and inflame toe bones and nerves. Save the sexy stilettos for nights that don’t involve a lot of walking, uneven terrain or drinking. Keep other heels less than two inches high.

Opt for chunky heels (but not rigid platforms) instead of skinny stilettos to prevent wobble-walk sprains that increase your risk of osteoarthritis.

Soak your feet in dark tea, warm sage water, vinegar (or natural apple cider), vodka or diluted tea tree or calendula oil to cure stinky feet caused by excess bacteria.

Avoid shoes with low, rigid backs that can cause irreversible bony deformities on the back of your heel.

Pointy-toed shoes are trending for men as well as women and they can cause nerve damage, bunions, corns and hammertoe.

Consider your toe box (space in shoes for your digits) when buying shoes. Even if the shoe is pointy, the part holding your toes should not be.

Technology

Barefoot/Minimalist Shoes: Runners are more prone to injury today than they were before the 1970s introduction of the modern running shoe. Running on a platform of reverting back to the natural, minimalist running shoes spur the debate: Which came first: bad form or form-altering shoes? Minimalist shoes garner praise for encouraging better form because, frankly, it hurts to heel strike without an inch of high-tech cushion. Runners then have to work harder to retrain their bodies to move comfortably and properly during exercise. Criticism comes when unaccustomed runners take off minimalist-style without coaching or an adjustment period and damage the little bones and tendons in their feet. Any runner switching from a modern shoe to a minimalist shoe should have his or her form professionally assessed. To prevent injuries, try to have your foot strike below the center of your mass, not in front of it. Boulder Running Co., Newton Natural Running, Boulder Community Hospital and Radiant Running in Lafayette, among others, offer gait analyses.

Rocker Bottom Shoes: Unless your doctor has prescribed shoes with a rocker bottom, their dangers outweigh unsubstantiated toning claims. Experts agree these shoes can create dangerous instability, especially on stairs, and exacerbate existing foot problems. They’ve been blamed, in at least two lawsuits, for hip fractures following extended use.

Tips

“We recommend you pedicure once a month to keep nails trimmed, prevent ingrown nails, so you don’t end up with any kind of fungus, and so any damage to nails is maintained and checked. Older people especially, or anyone who’s had surgery or can’t reach their feet, have a tendency to wait too long.” —Tina Capaldi, cosmetologist, Longmont

“A lot of people wear flip flops and slip ons when they need stable, laced shoes that don’t bend in the middle to help maintain stability and lessen the risk of falling. …(Those) trying to get into shape aren’t doing the warm ups and stretching beforehand, and that causes injuries.” —Michael Goldman, podiatrist, Boulder


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