Looking after your feet and keeping them in tip-top condition is now more important than ever! It's nearly that time of year when we love to wear summer sandals and open toe styles, keeping feet feeling cool and fresh, so we want them to look their best and be happy and healthy. We asked guest blogger Sue Ferguson to give you some top tips on how to do this all year round... Sue Ferguson is a podiatrist who has a private practice in Tenterden, Kent and blogs as www.footstar.co.uk.
What could be more interesting than feet?" says Sue. "I knew a chiropodist once who used to advertise 'how can you be beautiful if your feet hurt?' and he was right, if your feet are comfortable you stand tall and you feel confident - you project how you feel. I use chiropody to take away pain and I recommend shoes and orthotics to help compensate for mechanical foot problems. I often say to patients, "you wear glasses so you can see to read, they don't fix your eyes, they just help you to function". Good shoes are the same, they don't fix your feet, but they support them and let them function without hurting.

We asked Sue to give us some tips to keep you on your toes in 2012, here's what she said...

"If you had back pain 50 years ago chances are you would be told to lie on a board for a month and not move. We now know that this is exactly the wrong thing to do; you need to move as soon as possible. Get mobile. Get walking as soon as you can and to do this you need comfortable shoes. You don't want sore feet to add to your misery. So put your broken down old shoes in the dustbin where they belong and make sure you only wear
shoes that are up to the job, ones that are supportive and comfortable.

"As a podiatrist I deal with people on a daily basis who freely admit to me that their feet are not perfect. So what should you do if you think you are in that category?

"First tip: wear shoes that accommodate all your lumps and bumps. It sounds obvious but your shoes should have room for all of your toes. So if you have hammer toes or toes that overlie each other than wear shoes that are deep enough and wide enough at the toe box end. If you have bunions make sure your shoes are wide enough across the forefoot. Don't make your bunions or your corns worse by wearing tight narrow shoes with pointed toes. Corns will not appreciate being rubbed on a hard shoe. When in doubt think 'comfort' and you won't go wrong.

"Second tip: Save your inappropriate glam shoes for party nights when you are not planning to walk far.

"Third tip: especially for winter, when you go out dog walking don't wear cheap rubber wellies... your feet will get cold and sore. Choose boots or shoes with GORE-TEX® technology to keep your feet dry, warm and comfortable. And don't forget to slip in your orthotics if you normally wear them. Save your cheap wellies for washing the car. Walking for miles on uneven ground in unsuitable footwear like wellies can wreck your feet... and even cause back pain."
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