Proper foot care is paramount if you have diabetes. That’s because neglecting your feet could lead to foot ulcers or a life-altering infection. Luckily, many foot-related diabetes complications are preventable.
Saddle up cowboys and cowgirls! The Austin Rodeo will be here in just a couple of weeks. Of course, no rodeo-worthy outfit would be complete without a kicking pair of cowboy boots. But while they look great, cowboy boots can put a serious hurting on your feet and toes. So if you’re planning on sporting some fancy footwear to the rodeo, here are a few handy tips to keep those boots from hurting your feet.
Round ‘em up – Many cowboy boots have a severely pointed toe. Though it may look stylish, a narrow toe box forces the foot into an unnatural position, squeezing the toes and limiting mobility at the front of the foot. This crowding of the toes can result in ingrown toenails and causes a loss of stability when walking, leaving you more vulnerable to injury. Cowboy boots with rounded toes are a better option, as they provide more room at the front of the boot and lessen the risk of pain and trauma to the feet and toes.
Stretch ‘em out – Cowboy boots are made to be durable and withstand a lot of wear and tear, so they’re often very rigid in areas where the foot and ankle would normally be able to move freely. Limiting the natural movement of the foot and ankle puts more stress on the lower limbs, and can cause pain and injury. If your boots feel too small around parts of your foot and ankle, you might want to consider stretching them. Cowboy boots can be stretched by a professional boot retailer or shoe repair shop. You can also try stretching them yourself at home using boot stretchers – molded shoe forms – or boot stretch spray. But be careful! You could end up damaging your boots if you use these products incorrectly.
Cushion the blow – The hard soles of cowboy boots are almost guaranteed to cause painful corns, calluses and blisters if you don’t properly protect your feet when wearing them. Make sure you always wear boot socks that provide adequate cushioning and shock absorption to keep your feet from hurting while walking around in your boots. Your podiatrist may also recommend foot insoles or custom orthotics to make your boots more comfortable, especially if you already have a foot condition or are prone to developing calluses and blisters.
Know when to fold ‘em – If you’ve tried everything you can think of and your boots still hurt your feet, maybe it’s time to look for a new pair of boots. Visit a shop that specializes in cowboy boots and ask for the sales assistant’s advice on finding the right fit. Try on several pairs and practice walking around in them before leaving the store to be sure they fit comfortably. Bring along your own socks and insoles so you can get a feel for how the boots will fit under actual wearing conditions.
Remember, a healthy pair of feet are much more valuable than a fashionable pair of boots. If you’re concerned about the health of your feet, make an appointment with us today. In the meantime, keep walking tall and we’ll see you at the rodeo!
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