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I have been concerned about my sister’s feet for some time now, due to the following reasons:

  • It appears she has “flat feet”.
  • She has calluses on the sole of her feet
  • She complains that the calluses sometimes hurt
  • She’s overweight

foot care tips

The fact that she was feeling any sort of pain worried me. What does the pain mean? Can I just ignore it? Will it just go away? Are we on a “sure fire” route to osteoarthritis? (See my previous post, 5 Health Problems Related to Down Syndrome, to find out more about that). I couldn’t take the worrying anymore so I sought out a Podiatrist (foot doctor) to get some answers…a feat that is not easy, as there are few Podiatrists here in Jamaica. By the way, it turns out my suspicion was right…my sister does in fact have flat feet.

Our visit, to my delight,  actually turned out to not be a waste of time or my money (hooray!) and we actually picked up some great foot care tips from the Podiatrist:

1. Lotion Feet Daily

Do not allow your loved one’s feet to get too dry. I tell my sister to lotion her feet after she takes her bath, especially the sole, as this is where the troublesome calluses reside. You do not need to lotion between your toes.

2. Do Not Cut Your Nails Too Low

This could lead to ingrown nails or other nail issues. Also, this can be frankly uncomfortable for your loved one and they may not be able to effectively communicate to you that it hurts when you do this.

3. Wear Sneakers and Supportive Sandals

Having “flat feet” means your feet may take the shape of the shoes you wear.  So, if you wear narrow shoes that are pointed and your feet are naturally wide, this may cause your toes to be squished together. So, wear shoes that fit the natural shape of your feet. Sneakers usually provide such a fit and are comfortable for our loved ones.

foot care tips

I know, not every outfit goes with sneakers. So, if the outfit calls for a sandal, get a sandal that has support i.e. straps around the ankles. When you wear sandals that lack this support, e.g. an open back sandal that you just push your foot into, the front of your foot has to do more “work” to keep the shoe on. This is not good for our loved ones or anyone frankly, as this just adds extra stress to your feet.

4. Make Sure Shoes are Correctly Fitted With A cm Between The Toes and The Shoe

Please take your loved one shopping with you for their shoes. I know this can be a pain, but just as how it is best to fit a bra before buying one, it is best to fit shoes before making a purchase. We all know that even though various brands or styles claim the same size, e.g. size 8, due to the design, material, etc. the fit is not the same. Please remember, some of our loved ones are not able to immediately tell us that they are experiencing discomfort or pain, some never say anything at all, so we must try our best as caregivers to ensure that what they are wearing is the best fit for them. It may not seem like much now, but prolonged mistreatment of our feet (our loved ones and or own) can result in complications later on in life.

Another point to note is that wearing sizes that are too small and thus the shoes are too close on our feet, results in pressure on our toenails, which can cause the nails to be excessively thick or it may cause the nail to separate for the nail bed. Both cases are unsightly and may be uncomfortable.

5. Buy Shoes after 3pm

foot care tipsSounds odd and quite random, right? Actually, it’s not. Our feet, especially after being walked on all morning, coupled with a tropical climate like the one I live in, tend to get somewhat swollen throughout the day. Therefore, what might be a good fit in the morning, may not fit as comfortably in the evening.

6. Lose Some Weight

The calluses you see on your loved one’s sole indicate the areas which have to support the most pressure. More weight means more pressure to support, thus losing some weight will ease some of the pressure and lessen the occurrence of calluses. Sometimes when you try and remove the calluses yourself (my sister has tried to do this herself), they can end up being sore and then they hurt and make walking difficult. So, please visit your Podiatrist to have your calluses professionally removed.

Our Feet Need Love Too

foot care tipsI know it is easy to forget about our loved one’s feet…a matter of fact, I often forget about my own and that I should treat them well. The thing is, your loved one might not show any signs right now of any discomfort but we cannot afford to wait until it’s too late and the damage is already done. So, let’s pay attention to our loved one’s feet and ensure that they get the TLC (tender loving care) they deserve.

Is this something you and your loved one deal with on a daily basis…”foot problems”? Does your loved one have flat feet as well? Share with me what your journey has been. I would love to hear your story and any tips you may have.


  1. Buying shoes after 3 pm are one of the best advice I have ever gotten. I too was wondering why some of my shoes get tight when I have finished exercising, I realize now that they might get swollen and since I buy shoes in the noon or morning, I usually buy them a bit smaller for my feet size. Great advice!

    1. Hi Shrey,

      I too found this point interesting when I just learned about it. Sometimes it’s the little things that we never think about that makes the difference

  2. Great post Alicia!

    My feet wasn’t something that I’d paid a lot of attention to. However your post got me thinking “why not”? I lotion the rest of my body so why not my feet too! haha

    Also, particularly liked your point about buying shoes after 3pm as this is something that makes a tonne of sense too based on the reasons you’ve given!

    All the best,


  3. Hi Alicia,

    Any weight bearing activity, especially if it’s recent, like gaining weight is a major reason why people sustain injury or pain if not having the right foot wear while walking or running. So your suggestion that one should look into his or her weight as possible reason for foot pain is a good idea.

    Also, you are on target when suggesting that one buys shoes after 3 P.M.

    I work in a shoe store and I often tell my customers that a shoe that fits you in the morning may not be a good fit in the afternoon—precisely because your tend to have swollen feet in the afternoon.

    1. Hi Thabo,

      Thanks for stamping your authoritative approval on this post…happy to hear from someone who’s in the business of selling shoes.


  4. I agree with your advice that foot care is important and shouldn’t be taken lightly. My husband and I have recently taken up outdoor running but before we did this we went for a foot assessment.

    The GAIT Analysis showed that both our feet were overpronated. We both purchased supportive sneakers to help with running and walking, which has helped considerably.

    I didn’t realize that buying shoes after 3pm would make such a difference. Lucky we went for our foot analysis around 4pm. Thanks for the advice.

    1. Hi Cheryl,

      I’m very happy to hear you are reaping the benefits of taking care of your feet. Continue to take good care of them.


  5. I also have feet and I’m 47 years old man. I do feel pain in my toes after prolonged periods of standing. I appreciate the advice of buying foot wear after 3 p.m. It might be even better advice to go buy foot wear after work? Would it help to lift the feet up the wall while resting after they get swollen? Or soak them into the water with salts for 15-20 minutes?

    1. Hi MilanK1,

      If your work results in you constantly being on your feet, then I can see where buying shoes after work would make sense. For swollen feet, raising your feet above your heart level is a good idea, as the blood will flow away from your feet and to other areas of the body, causing the swelling the go down. In relation to salts, I have heard that Epsom salt does a fine job of reducing the swelling.


  6. I can sympathize with anyone who has endured foot problems. I have a fungus in my right foot causing my heal skin to be as thick and tough as a shoe.

    At least 3 or 4 times a week, I sand it down and apply a fungal cream containing Clotrimazole, Fluconazole, or Ketoconazole, to ease the symptoms. Ignoring the condition only makes it worse…leading to cracking and sometimes severe pain.

    The podiatrist tells me that the condition is a genetic inheritance from my parents or another ancestor. And, that I was predisposed to the onset of the fungus problem at some time in my life because of my genes! Sometimes a nasty illness can get it started.

    As I age, the condition is travelling into the toe nails, making them very thick and difficult to trim.

    But, the kicker? Only the right foot is affected. My left foot is as normal as a home run by Babe Ruth!

    Imagine that!


    1. Wow Jim. Sorry to hear about the issues with your right foot, especially the pain. I’m amazed that one foot is affected whilst the other is quite fine. Wow. That’s the thing about your genes…you do the best with the hand life has dealt you.

      Continue to do what you can to ease the discomfort.


  7. I never knew that you could remove your own calluses. I think I would much rather have it done by a professional so that I don’t tear anything. I’ll have to have to consider your tips about losing weight so that my feet don’t hurt as much.

    1. Hi Sam,

      I am happy to hear that this post has you thinking about how you can better care for your feet.

      Feel free to stop by HappyDowns anytime and share your thoughts.


  8. My husband has been complaining about a really bad ingrown toenail for a few weeks now and I think it may be time to get it removed. Thank you for pointing out that this could be from cutting his nails too short. I’ll have to look into finding the best podiatrist in the area to help him out.

  9. I didn’t know there should be a centimeter between your toes and your shoes. I like that you said you should go shoe shopping with someone. They can help us see if the shoes we try on are a good fit and have enough toe space.

  10. Thanks for these great foot care tips. I think feet don’t tend to get enough care and they are used all day long. I appreciate the tip to lotion your feet, especially after you take a bath so your feet don’t get dried out. It’s good to know that a little care can go a long way in taking care of your feet.

    1. Hi Rachel, thank you for stopping by HappyDowns. Yes, we should indeed take the time to care for our feet…we neglect them too much. Please visit us again soon. Cheers!

  11. It’s good that you pointed out how our feet get swollen in the afternoon after we have walked on them all morning so it’s best to buy shoes after 3 pm. My dad is complaining about his foot lately. He plays tennis so he’s worried that he won’t be able to play next week. I’ll be sure to recommend that he gets his feet checked by a podiatrist.

    1. Hi Olivia,

      I am happy to hear that this post encouraged you to help your dad with the issues that he’s been having with his feet. I hope his visit to the Podiatrist solves his discomfort.

      Take care and hope to see you back at HappyDowns soon!

  12. I like the attention you gave to the fact that cutting your toenails too low could lead to ingrown nails or other issues. Seeing a podiatrist to get tips about proper foot care seems like the best route to take to receive reliable information. If I experience any issues with my own feet, I’ll spare no time contacting the best podiatrist in my area.

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