National Feet Week 2023

Posted on: 6/03/2023

We are all aware how important it is to take care of our bodies and our minds, but do you know it is also important to look after your feet?

It's especially important to proactively care for your feet as you age. If you're like most people, you only think about your feet when they hurt but caring for your feet every day will help you avoid problems like blisters or athlete's foot.

Looking after your feet and treating common foot problems – such as corns, calluses, bunions and ingrown toenails – can help to prevent problems that make you unsteady on your feet and at risk of a fall.

Regular care for aging feet helps minimize problems

Here are several things you should do every day to keep your aging feet healthy:

  • Wash and thoroughly dry your feet, especially between your toes, for good hygiene
  • Wear a fresh clean pair of socks and change them daily
  • Keep the insides and outsides of your shoes clean
  • Rotate your shoes — don't wear the same pair two days in a row
  • Wear properly fitted shoes
  • Avoid going barefoot particularly in public areas
  • Inspect your feet for bumps, blisters, sores, cracked skin, painful areas and other problems
  • Apply moisturiser if your skin is dry to prevent it from cracking and improve its texture
  • File dry or hard skin using a foot file or pumice stone

You should also care for your toenails regularly and trim them at least every two weeks. Avoid ingrown nails and other issues by trimming your nails straight across (not curved) and at an adequate length.

Select the right shoes for your feet

Having the right shoes does make all the difference in foot health. A good shoe should support and protect your foot and allow natural movement during walking. Many common conditions like flat feet and over- or under-pronation (resting weight on the inside or outside of the heel while walking) can be addressed with the right shoes. Proper footwear can even improve your balance and help to prevent falls.

When replacing your shoes, look for:

  • an upper made of leather or breathable natural or synthetic materials with seam-free linings
  • a deep and roomy toe-box at the front of the shoe to prevent pressure on the toes and joints on the side of the foot
  • a cushioned and flexible light rubber sole with good grip
  • a heel no more than 3 centimetres (one and a half inches) high and broad enough to provide stability
  • laces, buckles or Velcro strap fastenings that hold the shoe comfortably and securely on the foot.

And avoid:

  • avoid slip on shoes
  • shoes that are too big or small, or with squashed backs
  • smooth leather or plastic soles, and thick rubber soles that extend over the toe
  • lace up shoes that are untied or without laces
  • high heeled or backless shoes

Socks and tights

Socks should contain a high proportion of natural materials – such as cotton or wool – as this allows sweat to evaporate from the skin. As a rule, wear wool in winter for warmth and cotton to keep you cool during the summer.

When dressing, make sure your socks and tights aren't too tight, or pulled up too high that they cut into the skin or restrict the circulation. You should also avoid walking on slippery surfaces – such as polished floors or tiles – in socks or tights.


You should replace your slippers regularly as they become worn and loose over time.

Slippers should only be worn for short periods and shouldn't be worn all day as regular footwear.

Orthotics and inserts improve foot health

If you have arthritis or another chronic foot condition your doctor might suggest orthotic shoes or shoe inserts. These customised shoes will help you to walk more comfortably ease foot pain and correct structural issues. Staying active committing to regular foot hygiene and protecting your feet from extreme temperatures will help promote healthy blood flow minimize injury and keep your feet healthy.

Get off on the right foot by starting a healthy foot care routine today to prevent many issues that ail aging feet. Your feet are the essential foundation for the rest of your body and having healthy feet is the first step toward having a healthy body as you age.

Foot screening for people with diabetes

People with diabetes are at risk of developing numbness in the feet, which prevents them from sensing where their foot is on the floor.

If you have diabetes, you should have your feet screened as part of your annual diabetes review to look for, and monitor, any changes.

You can learn more about diabetes and foot care through Diabetes UK.


We hope you find the information in this article useful. Speak with your doctor if you experience chronic foot pain or suspect you may have a foot condition.