Simple Foot Care Measures

As tap dancers, we are quite hard on our feet (yes, this is an understatement) making foot care especially important. Pounding and stomping takes a toll on our toes, feet and ankles. While problems are common, there are a few simple measures you can take to reduce your chances of injury.

Tip #1- Wash your feet- as obvious as this may sound, washing your feet (take special care between your toes!) is the easiest way to prevent infections. While you’re washing, make a point to really look at your feet. Notice any cuts or blisters. Look for red spots. Serious problems with your nervous and circulatory system, diabetes and arthritis will have warning signs on your feet.

Tip #2- Trim your toe nails properly- cut your toe nails straight across and then file with an emery board. Toe nails that are too long will break under the pressure from your shoes, especially your tap shoes. It’s an easy way to prevent irritation. About 5% of people will have problems with their toe nails in any given year

Tip #3- Buy your shoes later in the day- as the day progresses our feet expand. Buying your shoes later in the day will ensure you won’t be surprised to have shoes that suddenly don’t fit well. Properly fitting shoes reduces your chances of blisters and a host of other foot problems.

Tip #4- Wear clean socks- your shoe is a dark, warm, moist place. This makes it the perfect home for fungi. Changing your socks throughout the day will help to keep your feet dry. If your feet tend to sweat more than normal or you are more active than most, add a little talc-free powder to your socks. A pair of feet has a quarter of a million sweat glands and will secrete nearly a half pint of sweat a day. Changing your socks will also help to reduce odor too.

Tip #5- Stretch- any athlete will tell you it is important to stretch. Tap isn’t any different. Take time warm up your feet and ankles before and after a class. This will improve circulation, loosen muscles, produce clearer sounds, and reduce your chances of injury.

The average person will walk about 115,000 miles in their lifetime. That’s enough to walk around the earth four times. Two rather small limbs will support the entire journey. Taking these simple foot care measure will help reduce problems along the way.

For more information about foot care and problems click here!

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