How to Have Proper Foot Hygiene for Flip-Flop Slippers
Because our feet play such a pivotal role in our daily lives, it’s imperative that we’re able to keep them looking healthy and clean whenever we can. This especially goes for frequent users of flip flop slippers, and that’s not just because their feet are constantly on display for the world to see.
It’s also because the failure to address any inherent affliction within these extremities can lead to further complications to one’s ability to be mobile. Simple actions such as walking, standing, running, or even sitting in certain positions can become a challenge if one’s feet are allowed to degrade.
That said, foot hygiene is more than just giving our feet a good wash every now and then. It’s actually a three part process; learn more about it here:
The Three Part Process Every Flip-Flop Slipper User Should Know
Daily Foot Care
During an everyday shower, mild soap must be used to thoroughly wash every part of the foot which includes the spaces in between the toes. This is already common sense to many people but what a lot of people miss out is drying the foot just as thoroughly afterward.
As for footwear, only clean socks must be worn every day and no pair should be used for two days straight. For the person with regular activity, their socks must be changed every single day. For those who are more active or for those that have feet that perspire heavily, they must change it more frequently. It is also recommended to use padded socks because these are usually made of moisture wicking fabric. These man-made fibers were created with the intention to absorb moisture. This is why such fabric is also found in a lot of sportswear. For feet, this is useful because it helps people avoid developing blisters and/or athlete’s foot.
For shoes, while these are a big fashion statement and plenty of people focus on cleaning the outside for aesthetic purposes, the inside is just as important to clean for the sake of foot health. To do this on a daily basis, one should always rotate his shoes – meaning that he should not wear the same shoe for two days straight. This is to allow the moisture and perspiration inside the shoe to naturally dry out. Those that perspire heavily must practice this constantly. Keeping the shoes out in a sunny area will help in drying out the shoes faster.
When purchasing a new pair of footwear – be it shoes, socks, or flip-flop slippers – it is recommended that one will buy ones that properly fit. For shoes, experts recommend using ones with non-slip outsoles. Any orthotics that are prescribed by doctors must also be used all the time. These are all part of an integrated approach to selecting footwear which will be discussed below.
The last practice for this step is to avoid going barefoot – at least in dirty places. If one must go barefoot, for foot exercises and such situations, then the feet must immediately be washed thoroughly afterward.
When cutting nails, most people think that it is an easy and mundane task. In reality, there are a lot of factors one has to consider when doing so.
Toenails must be trimmed at least once every two weeks to avoid becoming too long and hazardous. When they are trimmed, it is recommended to cut them straight across instead of curved. Curving the cut may be tempting for aesthetic purposes but doing so increases the risk of an ingrown toenail.
As for the tools in doing so, one must use clippers or scissors. Again, this may be a common knowledge but what people fail to practice is the sanitization of these tools. Every now and then, the tools must be immersed in alcohol to sterilize them. Any tool that can penetrate the skin, for that matter, must be cleaned before use so that one can avoid infection in case of an accident.
In line with this, when a person cannot properly reach or see their own toenails, then he must not attempt to cut them for obvious reasons. The same goes for people with circulatory issues in the feet and legs, peripheral impairments, diabetes, or neuropathy. These people should consult a foot doctor about their options. These will be discussed further in the next step.
The last aspect to discuss for this step is discolored toenails. When toenails are discolored, it indicates a possible underlying health problem. Healthy toenails are supposed to be colored pale pink when they are attached to the skin. The part that grows past the skin should be white. When the toenails are not of this color, then medical attention must be sought immediately. If for any reason, this is not done for many days, then the person with the discoloration must at least not cover it in any way so that he/she may make observations. This means that nail polish or lacquer should not be placed on it. In addition, applying these nail products may cause further issues especially since the problem is still unknown.
Daily Foot Inspection
Finally, after making sure that the feet and toenails are well taken care of, one must then be always on the lookout for any foot complications. As mentioned before, one could have circulatory problems (e.g. neuropathy, etc.). Doing daily checks may show a person the signs of these complications.
In order to do that, one must first do a visual inspection of all parts of the foot. If one has trouble seeing his own feet, then he can use a mirror to help him out. While doing a visual check, one must look out for the following:
- Bumps, blisters, and bruises. This is a sign that improper footwear is being used.
- Cuts and cracked skin. The tiniest opening on the foot could lead to an infection especially when steps 1 and 2 of this process are not followed properly.
- Loss of hair on the feet is a sign of circulatory problems.
- Ingrown toenails with a red and puffy skin around the nail.
As for the problems that are not seen visually, one must watch out for pain, tingling, and loss of feeling. This could indicate possible nerve problems.
When pain is felt, one must first observe the pain and try to find the source of it. Once it is identified, research can be done to see which particular foot condition causes it. If the condition is not serious, then it can be treated at home with a few adjustments in movement. Otherwise, a doctor must be consulted. The same can be said if the source of the pain is untraceable or if the pain doesn’t go away on its own. A professional will be needed to trace the source.
It is important to be wary and to address any pain in the foot because minor problems can become major problems if not treated well.
The Integrated Approach to Choosing Footwear
When buying a shoe, it is popular for people to do what is called “breaking in”. This breaking in process is done so that the new shoe will stretch for the feet of the owner. Usually, this is done because people did not fit the shoe properly and, after having used it for a day or a week, they find that the stylish footwear that they have bought causes discomfort – in worse cases – blisters, rubbing, or chaffing.
Due to either lackluster return policies or laziness, people choose to break in their shoes instead of replacing them. While there are safe ways to do this, it has become a negative mindset that breaking in is really supposed to be painful. Well, it is not. Multiple articles such as this one show exactly why.
However, one can completely avoid this whole process by smartly choosing their footwear. This can be done with the integrated approach to choosing footwear as developed by the Institute for Preventive Foot Health (IPFH). The approach was made with the intention of protecting the skin and soft tissues which are often damaged by shoes that don’t fit well. This process is helpful to someone that is looking to purchase a shoe and to the clerks and salesmen of a shoe store.
The integrated approach indicates the following steps:
Depending on the activity – walking, running, hiking, etc. – that one does on a regular basis, the appropriate padded socks must be purchased and used. Some of these socks are padded with acrylic or acrylic-based fiber which was created for the sole purpose of absorbing impact, pressure, and force. Additionally, as discussed above, this type of sock is also made of a material that wicks the moisture away from the foot which is great for avoiding fungal infection, irritation, and skin damage. Some padded socks have also been clinically tested and proven to help prevent injuries in the skin tissues of the foot.
Non-Slip Out Soles
When choosing a pair of shoes, a person must choose one that fits the feet comfortably. It is also highly recommended to choose non-slip outsoles when making a purchase. This type of outsole makes sure that the shoe will grip well on any surface to avoid accidents. In addition, slippery soles will make the foot work excessively.
Other factors that one must look out for when buying shoes are the following:
- Good shoes are also designed with meshed uppers that wick away moisture from the inside and prevent moisture from the inside from getting in.
- If the shoe upper is made of leather, then one should look if it has vents or openings that allows moisture to escape.
- Waterproof shoes cannot wick away moisture and it could create a wet environment inside the shoe.
- Good shoes should be shaped like human feet. Avoid pointy shoes and shoes with plenty of raised areas that can pressure and rub on the skin.
When and How to Buy the Perfect Shoes for You
It is best to purchase shoes later in the day because feet tend to enlarge when it has gone through enough activity. Even doing the normal walking and daily tasks are enough for this to happen. For this reason, buying a shoe too early in the day is a bad idea for one may end up buying a pair that is too small for his/her enlarged feet.
Moreover, any inserts and orthotics should be brought along to the store. The inserts that come along with the shoe should be removed and replaced with these personal ones. Before putting the shoe on, the padded socks must also be worn by the potential buyer. When the shoe is finally fitted for size and comfort, the buyer must wiggle his toes to check if he/she can still comfortably do so. If it is, then the next step is to walk around the store for several minutes while mimicking any active or athletic motion that he does regularly. If one experiences rubbing, pinching, or chafing while doing this, then the shoe must not be bought or a bigger size must be requested for.
The summary of the integrated approach basically states that a shoe must feel comfortable while using padded socks and any inserts with the enlarged version of one’s feet and this must be evident on the first day of trying the shoe. This is to ensure that the footwear will work properly with a person’s feet. The guarantee of this good teamwork between tool and body is what allows people to participate in activities at their best performance. Choosing a shoe that does not fit the criteria of the integrated approach will cause the feet to compensate in a negative way – the feet may lose strength and size. Being that the feet are the foundation of the body, the whole body will adjust to this compensation as well.
The downloadable fitting protocol is available here.
Taking care of one’s own feet involves a combination of a three-step process of keeping the feet clean and healthy as well as an integrated approach to buying the perfect footwear. While good hygiene habits are the foundation of good and healthy feet, the tools that one uses also plays a big factor. It is all about making sure the feet are comfortable and free of moisture. That is exactly what someone would get when they use Minal’s flip-flop slippers. These slippers keep the feet well ventilated even at the soles while keeping them comfortable. Go to our products page and purchase yours today!