Men – let’s talk about your nasty, busted feet. Yeah, when it comes to personal care and grooming, although we men have made great strides – we’re still cavemen at heart.
We don’t exfoliate. Or soak. Or peel. Or get mani-pedis. And moisturizing – Bah, that’s for weaklings and girly men (insert your favorite Arnold quote here girly man). But when it comes to your feet you really need to rethink your negligent attitude toward your feet. So here we are sharing a man’s guide to footcare. Do we need to emphasize more? You need – really need – to practice good, regular foot care.
Proper foot care isn’t just about looking good in sandals. Taking care of your feet is essential for foot health, especially if you work on your feet all day long. We’re going to talk about why foot care is important, some common foot problems, and then give you a list of tips that cover everything from foot pain and fungus to ingrown toenails and plantar warts.
Why Foot Care For Men Is Important
It’s easy to forget about your feet, just pulling on socks and stuffing them into shoes – until you have a problem (or your significant other says “your feet are disgusting”). And when you have a problem with your feet you realize how a little thing turns into a big thing real quick.
If you’re not practicing regular foot care – especially, especially, ESPECIALLY for men who work on their feet – you’re setting yourself up for a problem that can drastically affect your work performance.
If you get blisters, a bunion, or plantar fasciitis – how long is that 12-hour shift going to feel with your feet sore and aching all the way through it? Foot care is important because your feet are the foundation upon which you stand and your primary mode of transportation. If your feet are out of commission, you’re out of commission.
Think of proper foot care like preventative maintenance – like regularly changing the oil in your car. Something you have to do to make sure everything keeps in good working order.
What Exactly Is Foot Care?
Fair question. Most men (myself included) think of foot care as the things most women do, like pedicures, grinding down calluses with pumice stones, and slathering their feet with vanilla and lavender extract exfoliating creams – and all totally unnecessary.
Foot care is more than just moisturizing; it includes wearing the right shoes, orthopedic inserts, daily care, and washing. Taking care of your feet is more about maintenance. Did we already convince you at this point? We have listed the best nursing shoes for men to make it easier for you to carry them out.
Sure you can pamper yourself with foot massages and moisturizing creams. But it’s the everyday preventative maintenance that’s going to save you from pain and foot problems. And by the way – moisturizing helps prevent painful cracking of the skin of your feet. So what if it smells like mint and lilac?
5 Common Types Of Foot Problems Men Have
Men – the foot problems you face aren’t quite as bad as the ones women face – so no complaining. No, I’m not trying to win brownie points. Do you wear narrow, pointy-toed high heels? (no judgment if you do) Ok then.
While women’s feet may suffer for fashion, men’s feet are mostly a victim of our macho caveman mentality. Men tend to be more athletically active and stubborn about pain, injury, and health problems (guilty).
Women may get bunions and blisters from their Jimmy Choo stiletto heels – men get more athlete’s foot, ingrown toenails, and plantar fasciitis. Here are some common men’s foot problems:
Ah, the itchy, scaly bane of the athlete and locker room – Athlete’s foot. This nasty little fungus loves warm, moist environments like locker rooms, public showers, and the space between your toes.
A little problem – until it’s not – that can cause debilitating pain. When a toenail curl under and into the toe instead of out it has become ingrown. It’s painful and may get infected. Common causes are rounding your toenails when you cut them, improperly-fitting shoes, or a stubbed toe.
If you’re into sports or work a job that has you on your feet and walking all day, you may have had a sharp, stabbing pain in your heel that may go all the way to your arch. That’s plantar fasciitis – a painful inflammation of the thick tendon connecting your heel to the fall of your foot. It’s caused by constant overuse and strain which results in micro-tears of the tendon.
Yes, men get bunions too. That large bump on the joint of your big toe that hurts like heck – that’s a bunion. Bunions are caused by a couple of factors: your foot shape, walking mechanics, genetics, and less so for men, but the type of shoes you wear.
If you’re an athlete, exercise a lot of work on your feet, chances are you’ve experienced the stabbing pain just below your calf to your heel. When your Achilles tendon gets overused or strained (just like plantar fasciitis) it can get micro-tears and become sore and inflamed.
Essential Foot Care Tips For Men
Alright. We know that we’ve got to take care of our feet. So how do you do that? Pretty simple actually. Here’s a few essential foot care tips are broken down by category that is easy to do and will help keep your dogs in tip-top shape:
Tips For Foot Pain
These tips are for the shooting pains caused by plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and general overuse of your feet:
Good, orthotic inserts can be a game-changer but are essential if you have any foot issues like high arches or flat feet. Inserts give you the proper support and cushioning to help prevent issues from cropping up or helping to alleviate them when they do. Recommended if you work on your feet.
Looking for other ways to address those flat feet of yours? Worry not this blog on why humans have arched feet and what to do if your arches are flat would be a bonus for you.
Seems pretty self-explanatory, but good shoes with a good fit, arch support and cushioning is your first line of defense to head foot problems off before they start. Not only do you want proper support and cushioning, but you also need your shoes to fit your foot correctly. Know your correct shoe size by regularly measuring your foot. You should also not forget about the style we know it is equally important as well, you will find our cool nursing shoes for men a perfect read too.
Stretch & Massage
At the beginning and end of the day, stretch your feet out. Stretch front to back, side to side, then roll them around. A good stretch preps your feet for a long day. At the end of the day, give your feet a good massage, focusing on the pressure points on the sole of your foot. Rolling them over a tennis or lacrosse ball or a massage roller helps a lot.
Tips To Fight Athlete’s Foot
- Don’t go into public showers barefooted. That’s the most likely place you are to pick up a nasty fungus. Wear sandals or shower shoes – always.
- Treat a foot fungus infection immediately – don’t let it go. Use an over-the-counter treatment containing salicylic acid.
- Scrub your feet good when you shower.
- Always wear clean, moisture-wicking socks.
A Tip To Help Prevent Ingrown Toenails
Preventing ingrown toenails is simple: when you clip your toenails, cut them straight across, leaving a small sliver of white. Don’t round off the edges or cut them all the way to the quick. Cutting your toenails this way makes them less likely to curl under and become ingrown.
How To Prevent Bunions
Bunions are mostly about the genetic shape of your foot and how you walk. Orthotic inserts can help correct bad walking habits, but for the most part, you’re stuck with the feet you got. What you can do:
- Wear shoes with roomy toeboxes
- Pull your big toe away from the other toes and massage the space between them to help with any pain
- If it gets bad enough, you can see a podiatrist for remedies than can include corrective surgery
How To Prevent And Treat Blisters And Calluses
- Wear shoes that fit. Shoes that are too tight or restrictive are bound to cause blisters and calluses
- Keep bandaids handy so you can put one over any area a blister is starting to head it off before it starts
- If you do get blisters or calluses, soak your feet in a warm Epsom salts bath for 15 – 20 minutes. Gently pat your feet dry and use a pumice stone to sand away calluses.
What To Do For Plantar Warts
It may look like a callus on the bottom of your foot, but a plantar wart is caused by an infection of the HPV virus. It has little black specks and feels like you’re walking on a pebble. Here’s what to do:
- Don’t go barefooted in public showers
- Regularly change your socks
- If you use a pumice stone to grind it down – don’t use it on any other part of your foot because it can spread the infection
- See a doctor if it gets too big or painful to have it removed
10 Tips For Proper Maintenance and Care Of Your Feet
Ok, we talked about common foot problems and what to do about them. Now let’s talk about some preventative maintenance you can do for your feet:
- Wear shoes that fit, with proper support and cushioning
- Regularly check your feet for any signs of problems
- Address any foot issues immediately
- Wash and scrub your feet every time you shower
- Use a pumice stone on calluses
- Moisturize with a foot-specific lotion to prevent cracking
- Wear clean, comfortable, moisture-wicking socks every day
- Keep your toenails short and trim
- Get some orthotic inserts
- Don’t go barefoot in public showers
BONUS: Tips For Stinky, Sweaty Feet
Yeah, a lot of us men have sweaty feet especially if you’re on them all day. About 2 – 3 percent of us deal with hyperhidrosis (just a scientific name for REALLY sweaty feet). If you’ve got swamp foot, here’s what you can do about it:
- Keep your feet clean and washed
- Dry your feet with antifungal powder
- Use a foot antiperspirant lotion, stick or spray
- Wear wool or cotton socks – not nylon. Change your socks twice a day
- Wear lightweight, breathable shoes
Well, there you have a whole arsenal of weapons to fight foot pain, blisters, fungus, sweatiness, and more. Use these tips and not only will your feet be healthier – you’ll have less pain and problems, plus they may just look a little less like you just crawled out of a cave.
Your feet will thank you – and perhaps your significant other will too.