If you’ve got bunions or hammertoes — or if you know that they run in your family — you can take one big step towards minimizing them, says Dr. Piccora.
Support your feet
“Wear shoes that fit — period,” he says. In your bare feet, stand on a sheet of paper and trace around your foot. Now place your shoe over the outline. See any lines extending beyond the shoe? If so, it means the shoe’s too small — and your feet are paying the price.
To make sure you’re buying well-fitting shoes, have your feet measured every time you go shopping for shoes. “Most people don’t realize that their feet can grow in both length and width as they get older,” he says. (An APMA survey found that more than 34 percent of men and 65 percent of women could not remember the last time their feet were measured.)
“Whether you’ve got foot problems or not, you should wear shoes that support — and don’t contort — your feet,” urges Dr. Piccora. “That means wearing shoes that mimic the shape of your foot, not some fashion designer’s idea of what a foot should look like.”
Watch: How to prevent foot blisters
All it takes to keep your feet happy and pain-free are a few precautions.