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Bad Habits that Affect Your Feet

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

If you want to stay fit and healthy, and retain your mobility and independence throughout the middle and later decades of life, you need to be disciplined and avoid unhealthy habits. Your feet are no exception to this rule. Read on for eight foot-wrecking habits to avoid:

  1. Wearing bad footwear too often. At this point, everyone probably knows that high heels are bad for your feet. However, ballet flats and flip flops are just as bad. Even “comfortable” or athletic shoes can cause problems if they don’t fit properly or have worn down their support.

  2. Skipping socks. Good socks protect your feet from infections such as athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. They can also protect against uncomfortable friction that can cause blisters or corns.

  3. Going barefoot. In general, this is not a good idea for out-of-the-house activity (or even for in-house activity if you have diabetes). Shoes not only protect your feet from injury and foreign objects, but they also support muscles and tendons that may not have the strength to handle the hard, flat surfaces of today.

  4. Improper nail trimming. Cutting your toenails too short increases the risk of developing ingrown toenails. Keep them a little longer, and don’t curve them like you would your fingernails.

  5. Smoking and alcohol abuse. These activities aren’t just bad for your heart, lungs, liver, or other “core” organs. They also directly affect your feet by weakening circulation and damaging nerves. This deprives feet of the nutrients they need and makes them more susceptible to injury.

  6. Your feet are remarkably durable, but they still do need time to rest and recover after a furious workout. Overtraining can lead to issues such as heel pain, stress fractures, tendinitis, and more. We recommend you cross-train in multiple athletic disciplines, so you can rest your feet while engaging in a separate activity (such as swimming or cycling).

  7. Poor hygiene. Always wash your feet thoroughly at least once per day, including the spaces between the toes. After you’re finished, make sure you dry your feet just as thoroughly. This will help you keep the fungal infections away.

  8. Failing to manage underlying conditions. Some systemic conditions pose significant long-term risks to foot health, including diabetes, peripheral artery disease, and peripheral neuropathy. If you have any of these conditions, it’s critically important to manage them properly and check your feet at least once a day for signs of damage.

Even if you take good care of your feet, you may still face the occasional challenge. And that’s where we come in! If your feet are hurting, give Gulf South Foot & Ankle a call. You can reach us in Metairie, LA at (504) 708-4810, or in Covington, LA at (985) 809-1464.


If you want to stay fit and healthy, and retain your mobility and independence throughout the middle and later decades of life, you need to be disciplined and avoid unhealthy habits. Your feet are no exception to this rule. Read on for eight foot-wrecking habits to avoid:

  1. Wearing bad footwear too often. At this point, everyone probably knows that high heels are bad for your feet. However, ballet flats and flip flops are just as bad. Even “comfortable” or athletic shoes can cause problems if they don’t fit properly or have worn down their support.

  2. Skipping socks. Good socks protect your feet from infections such as athlete’s foot and fungal toenails. They can also protect against uncomfortable friction that can cause blisters or corns.

  3. Going barefoot. In general, this is not a good idea for out-of-the-house activity (or even for in-house activity if you have diabetes). Shoes not only protect your feet from injury and foreign objects, but they also support muscles and tendons that may not have the strength to handle the hard, flat surfaces of today.

  4. Improper nail trimming. Cutting your toenails too short increases the risk of developing ingrown toenails. Keep them a little longer, and don’t curve them like you would your fingernails.

  5. Smoking and alcohol abuse. These activities aren’t just bad for your heart, lungs, liver, or other “core” organs. They also directly affect your feet by weakening circulation and damaging nerves. This deprives feet of the nutrients they need and makes them more susceptible to injury.

  6. Your feet are remarkably durable, but they still do need time to rest and recover after a furious workout. Overtraining can lead to issues such as heel pain, stress fractures, tendinitis, and more. We recommend you cross-train in multiple athletic disciplines, so you can rest your feet while engaging in a separate activity (such as swimming or cycling).

  7. Poor hygiene. Always wash your feet thoroughly at least once per day, including the spaces between the toes. After you’re finished, make sure you dry your feet just as thoroughly. This will help you keep the fungal infections away.

  8. Failing to manage underlying conditions. Some systemic conditions pose significant long-term risks to foot health, including diabetes, peripheral artery disease, and peripheral neuropathy. If you have any of these conditions, it’s critically important to manage them properly and check your feet at least once a day for signs of damage.

Even if you take good care of your feet, you may still face the occasional challenge. And that’s where we come in! If your feet are hurting, give Gulf South Foot & Ankle a call. You can reach us in Metairie, LA at (504) 708-4810, or in Covington, LA at (985) 809-1464.


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