Man, you need to check your feet. Every day we rely on them to get us from point A to point B and balance us through our workouts, yet we ignore their proper care. Not only do neglected feet look and smell gnarly, they can be painful and lead to other health issues, like knee and back pain. Here are some not-too-feminine tips a man can use to repay his feet for all the hard work.
Trim those nails
Obviously, we are starting with the easy stuff, but you really must make cutting your nails a part of your grooming routine. If they get too long and you happen to stub your toe, then you will feel a lot of unnecessary pain. A consistent trimming routine also makes you at least look at your feet occasionally, reminding you to care for them. If you can’t even keep your nails a reasonable length (read: short) how can a potential mate possible think you will care for her?
Scrub your calluses
You work hard, whether on the construction site or the corner office, and your feet are put some in some demanding situations. It is understandable that they would form calluses. Keep calluses in check by rubbing them with a pumice stone. Follow up with a skin moisturizer, which will help keep the dead skin buildup from returning. You also can prevent calluses by wearing shoes that fit properly or by wearing moleskin on the area that is rubbing too much.
Fight the odor
Hey, we’re men, sometimes we stink a little. To combat foot odor, make sure you are scrubbing them in the shower as a first line of defense. To stay fresh throughout the day, consider a little foot powder in your shoe. The powder absorbs odor and requires almost no work on your part. Also, let your dogs breath by letting them out occasionally and not wearing air-tight shoes. Speaking of footwear…
Buy comfortable shoes
It is not only women who cram themselves into ridiculously painful shoes; men are guilty as well. This is silly, considering the foot-friendly design of men’s shoes, both casual and professional. Make sure you find shoes that fit comfortably and will not wear out easily. Ask for help, whether you are at Nordstrom or Foot Locker, to find a shoe that fits the shape of your foot well. You might need to pay a little extra for quality footwear, but it is well worth the markup to avoid the pain that can spread throughout your body.
At the gym, always keep a pair of sandals or other shower-approved footwear in your bag. When you clean up after you work out, wearing flip-flops in the shower will help protect you from nasty fungus left by your gym mates. If you bring home something like this from the gym, no way your wife gives you a foot rub, regardless of how cut you have become. This is good advice to follow, even if you are in your own backyard. Going barefoot exposes your feet to a number of risks including cuts, scrapes and viruses.
Bathe your feet
We are close to entering womanly territory, but stay with us, and consider trying a hot foot bath. Basically, you just soak your feet in a basin filled with hot water, and if you’re feeling real metro, some Epsom salts or essential oils. After 20 minutes you can clean up with the pumice stone and moisturizer we talked about earlier. This process will keep your feet clean and healthy, but can also benefit the rest of you as well. The hot water will draw blood to your feet, away from any inflamed areas throughout your body. Relax with a foot bath and feel your neck pain flow away.
Work your toes
Your feet need a workout too, so oblige them. The American Podiatric Medical Association has a few tips for strengthening and stretching your tired feet. Try placing foam separators between your toes and squeezing them for 5 seconds, then repeat ten times. After that, remove the foam and place a rubber band around the toes and stretch outward, again for 10, 5-second reps. You can also massage your foot by rubbing it over the top of a golf ball. This exercise can treat plantar fasciitis and cramps or arch pain. Finally, raising yourself up on the balls of your feet can alleviate cramped toes. Repeat this calf-raise ten times and your toes will thank you.
A visit to the doctor is rarely fun, unless it’s a dream and the doc is Marissa Miller. But you suffer through physicals, so one more check for your feet won’t kill you. In fact, quite the opposite. Committing to regular podiatrist (foot doctor) visit is an excellent way to catch any potential problems early. Also, having a relationship with a foot expert could come in handy, should some serious condition or injury arise unexpectedly. Your visits should be easy and short if you follow proper care, as prevention is the best medicine. Doing so is also the best way to impress your doc, if she actually turns out to be Marissa.