Military Foot Care Essentials – Protecting You From The Ground Up!
Our feet are our foundation and we must take proper care of them. Service members in basic training, advanced training, or who are deployed are especially prone to painful conditions stemming from their feet. Most of these conditions can be managed, if not prevented altogether with proper foot care and investing in yourself with some solutions that don’t have to cost a lot but that are extremely effective. The following is a list of ways you can protect your feet and hopefully keep you pain-free and injury free:
- The foot needs to be supported.
- Socks are important, they are the first interface with your feet
- Inspect, clean & care for your feet
- Care for blisters & calluses
Arch support is a service members’ best friend
I cannot stress this enough. The foot structure needs to be supported, not cushioned. Now don’t get me wrong, we all like cushion and most insoles & orthotics have cushioning but above all, it’s the support of the foot structure we’re most concerned with. Ever try a gel or foam insole only to find that after only a week or two, you are back to square one with foot pain and discomfort? There is a reason for that and yes, you guessed correctly, they do not support your feet, only cushion them. As a Certified Pedorthist, I only work with quality arch support products and a majority of them are medical grade solutions that work for pain relief, comfort and correcting alignment issues stemming from the feet.
Quality socks are a non-negotiable
Sometimes I get some raised eyebrows when I offer this to my clients but “Cotton is the enemy” when it comes to socks. Why? Cotton absorbs moisture, keeping the feet warm & wet when we need to keep them cool & dry. So, a sock made of a synthetic material should be a priority as it will wick the moisture and promote breathability. But there is another component of a good sock that gets overlooked. Compression. And not just any compression, graduated compression. A lot of times we get hurt, injured or uncomfortable due to fatigue and compression socks are a great tool in preventing fatigue by increasing blood circulation which can also decrease swelling and inflammation. So invest a few dollars in quality, functional socks and your feet will thank you. Our Active Comfort Sock is our top PT sock for service members and we’ve got white/black in crew/quarter crew that are military uniform approved. And to view all our compression socks, click Socks with a Purpose.
Your daily foot care habits can make or break you
You don’t know what you don’t know, right? Well, what you don’t know about your feet may come back to haunt you. Are you experiencing blisters or calluses? These two conditions can be caused by excess friction & moisture in your combat boots or PT shoes. Are you showing signs of or feeling sensations such as burning & itching that may indicate a fungal infection or athlete’s foot? Wash your feet daily vs. simply allowing soapy water to run down them. Dry your feet completely before putting on your socks. Even dry in between your toes where bacteria and fungus love to grow. Take care to trim your toenails on a regular basis. Ingrown toenails can spell disaster and lead to infection and toenails that are too long can rub against the inside of your footwear, creating pain & discomfort.
I have blisters or calluses on my feet, what now?
The main cause of blisters & calluses are feet that consistently stay warm and wet when we walk or run and excess friction caused by improper fitting footwear, lack of arch support or quite simply an inferior sock. First, we need to tend to the calluses or blisters we’re experiencing. Moleskin can be a soldier’s best friend as it will help to shield the affected area from further harm and help you heal. Properly cleaning the feet and drying them completely is a good step in the right direction. If the calluses or blisters are causing you a lot of discomfort, a visit to the clinic may be warranted. But above all, if you don’t make some changes to your gear, the problems may not go away on their own. Prevent these issues from happening in the first place with properly fitted footwear, quality arch support, and quality socks as well as with proper daily foot care habits. And if you’re allowed to utilize aerosols, you need to check out our disinfectant & deodorizer that kills 99% of the bacteria that can build up in our footwear. And that bacterium is what causes foot odor so just remember… 1 spray a day keeps the stink away!
Bryan Acheson, CPed | (804) 821-1321 | Bryan@solelytics.com
--I am a Board Certified Pedorthist. You can learn more about my Pedorthic services at Solelytics.com. I am not a medical doctor or Podiatrist. I have been trained and certified in foot assessments, gait analysis, orthotic fabrication and fitting and footwear fitting. As a Certified Pedorthist I cannot diagnose foot conditions nor prescribe remedies for foot conditions. If you are experiencing a severe foot condition or one that is chronic and will not remedy itself after over-the-counter intervention, I always recommend you make an appointment with a Podiatrist or medical professional--