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How to look after your feet

Problems with your feet and footwear can stop you getting out and about. They can also affect your balance and increase your risk of falling – so it’s important to look after your feet and make sure you're wearing appropriate footwear. 


How can I look after my feet?

There are simple things you can do to look after your feet, including:

  • wearing suitable socks and footwear (make sure your shoes aren't too tight and that your socks aren't compressing or pinching your feet or legs).
  • keeping your toenails short and keeping your feet clean and dry
  • regularly moisturising your feet
  • checking for cracked skin, blisters and signs of infection
  • filing any dry and hard skin 
  • using insoles that are the correct size
  • staying active, where possible. 

Which types of shoes are best for my feet?

Wearing appropriate footwear can keep your feet healthy and reduce your risk of slips or falls – and it's often more comfortable for you when going about your day-to-day activities. When it comes to footwear, these tips may help:

  • To avoid slips and trips, always wear shoes, sandals or slippers around the house and don't walk indoors in bare feet, socks or tights.
  • Wear shoes that fit well – high-sided shoes with low heels, thin soles and a good grip are a great choice. Where possible, avoid wearing high heels.
  • Wear slippers that have a good grip and fasten up – loose or worn-out slippers may cause you to trip. 
  • If you have arthritis, you might find that trainers or well-cushioned shoes are more comfortable and offer more support than ordinary shoes. But make sure the soles aren’t too thick, as you could feel unsteady if you can’t feel the floor beneath your feet. Ask your doctor or chiropodist for advice.

Find out more about arthritis


Where can I get my toenails cut?

Good nail care can help to keep feet feeling comfortable. Nails that are too long can press against the end of the shoe and the constant pressure can cause soreness. Also, toenails that have been poorly cut can become ingrown.

If you’re struggling to cut your own nails, you can try filing them regularly to keep them at a comfortable length or ask a friend or family member for help. If that isn’t an option, many local Age UKs offer toenail-cutting services. This service operates from a number of clinics.

If you have a long-term health condition such as diabetes, arthritis or circulatory problems, you're more likely to be at risk of complications. If this applies to you, seek advice from a healthcare professional.

Find out if your local Age UK offers toenail-cutting services

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Why should I get my feet checked?

Common problems like corns, cracked skin and ingrown toenails can be treated successfully. Conditions like diabetes or circulatory problems can also be picked up by looking at the feet.

If you have a long-term condition, such as diabetes, arthritis or chronic problems with blood circulation in your legs, your feet are particularly vulnerable. Check your feet regularly and ensure you attend check-ups as requested. If you notice any problems, report them to your doctor as soon as possible.


Where should I go to get my feet checked?

If your foot condition affects your health or mobility, you may be able to have a routine podiatry appointment on the NHS. A podatrist (also known as a chiropodist) can treat most common problems successfully.

Contact your doctor to see if you're eligible for NHS treatment. You could also pay to see a chiropodist for private footcare.

Find podiatrist and chiropodist services in your area on the NHS website

Phone icon We're here to help

We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: Dec 08 2023

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