You don’t have to be a budding athlete to suffer from heel pain. In fact, many people accept heel pain from walking as part of their everyday life. Whether you’re conscious of it or not, everyday heel pain can end up being quite a burden on your feet, adding to your fatigue at the end of a working day, and even developing into prolonged foot problems if left untreated. Take a look at our top ten tips to help treat and avoid the recurrence of heel pain when walking.
- The Right Shoes with the Right Fit
Suitable walking shoes should provide support to your arches and cushion the impact between the ground and your feet. If you are walking in flat sandals, this can increase the likelihood of encountering heel pain. It’s also important to make sure you are wearing shoes that fit you correctly. It’s good practice to walk around the shop before investing in a new pair, and be sure there is enough space in each shoe for your longest toe to move while you walk.
- Everyday Insoles
Insoles can be an effective and discrete way of giving you extra comfort while you walk, without making drastic changes to your wardrobe. Insoles are inserts that fit inside your shoes. They act as a shock absorber for the base of your feet by providing a cushion between you and the actual sole of your shoe. The Scholl range of GelActiv Insoles have something for all walks of life, whether you walk a lot in the work place, or you simply want a little extra cushioning while running your everyday errands. As well as this, the new Scholl GelActiv Insoles for Women are especially designed to bear the extra pressure of wearing high heels and other female shoes, so you can rock a runway walk for longer.
- Rotate your Shoes
Every-day wear can take its toll and reduce the support of your shoes. It’s a good idea to mix it up and rotate between various styles so your shoes can support you effectively for longer and your feet will be less likely to be strained by wearing flatter styles day after day.
- Bare-feet on Hard Floors
It’s great to show off your sparkling toes in the summer months, and it can certainly be tempting to go bare-foot on a day at the beach, at the pool, or just playing in the grass. However, walking bare-foot, especially on hard surfaces, can take away much needed support from your feet. For a discreet way to add a little extra support to your summer sandals, you could try new Scholl GelActiv Insoles for Women, which give you extra comfort even in open-toe heels. While wearing shoes indoors is not everyone’s cup of tea, it can also be a good idea to keep your feet supported while walking around the house, especially if you have hard tiled floors. If you’d rather not wear shoes in the house, consider investing in a pair of slippers with added padding underfoot, to keep you supported as you walk from room to room.
- Warm Up Time
While a walk to the shop might not seem like a stretch-worthy task, warming up before you take your daily walk can be a great habit to get into especially when it comes to preventing heel pain. Stretching out can be as simple as rolling a ball under your foot for two minutes. For more ideas on how to warm up before a walk, have a look at our tips on foot gymnastics.
- Reduce your Load
We all get a sense of pride when we decide to skip the bus and walk to work instead. But if you tend to carry heavy equipment or books with you, you may find the pressure on your feet is increased. The more weight you carry in your bag or briefcase, the more likely you’ll feel the stress on your lower body. Consider lightening your load, perhaps by leaving any unnecessary extras at work overnight.
- Rest Up between Walks
If you are already experiencing heel pain, it’s important to give your body the time it needs to rest up. If you walk your daily commute, consider taking the bus or another mode of transport until your heel pain eases. While you might not need to take a day off work, do explain to your colleagues that you need to reduce the hours you spend on your feet. After work, it’s good to give yourself time in the evening to relax, and put your feet up (elevation can be especially effective).
- Choose a new Route
These days it’s amazing how technology can help us get to places faster. If you’re suffering from heel pain, consider reducing your walking time by exploring new routes. There are great apps available that can help you find the shortest walking route, time your journey, and even tell you about natural and historic sites to look out for. You might even discover pieces of history about your hometown that you never knew about.
- Survey those Surfaces
Whether you’re taking the dog for a walk, or walking to the shops, sometimes it’s difficult to avoid concrete surfaces. However, hard surfaces like concrete can take a toll on your feet over time. Consider choosing a walking route with plenty of grass, which can have a much lighter impact on your feet. If you are walking long distances to stay fit, you might even consider walking at the beach or in the woods.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight
Just as the load we carry can add to the pressure felt in our feet, so too can our body-weight. Maintaining a healthy body-weight is a common piece of advice given by doctors and specialists not only for reducing the risk of heel pain, but also to maintain fitness levels and help your body’s ability to recover from other strains and injuries.
Walking is a great way to keep fit, to get around and to soak up the world around us. If you are feeling the early signs of heel pain, consider taking some of the steps above before the symptoms become worse. If you are concerned or the pain becomes severe, remember to always speak to your doctor. Step by step, you could be on your way to recovery in no time.