Q: What type of shoe is best for working out?
Dr. William Knudson: A well-made cross trainer athletic shoe is ideal. There are, however, differences from brand to brand. Shoes should be purchased in an athletic footwear store where the feet can be measured accurately and any biomechanical issues taken into account.
Q: Why have I heard that diabetics should wear white socks?
Dr. William Knudson: We recommend white socks for people with foot problems, especially diabetes, because white allows the wearer to see any stains, such as blood. Many diabetics don't have as much sensation in the feet as they should and may not feel a problem, but will immediately see fluids that can indicate issues.
Q: What is plantar fasciitis and how is it preventable?
Dr. William Knudson: Plantar fasciitis is an extremely painful condition that results from inflammation of the foot – specifically the tissue that supports the arch. It's especially common in flat-footed people. The best way to prevent plantar fasciitis is to wear an arch support that distributes weight evenly across the entire foot. Proper arch support also reduces the risk of corns, calluses, and blisters.
Q: What are some general foot care tips to help ease any exercise-related discomfort?
Dr. William Knudson: First, I would advise my patient to ease into any new exercise routine. The feet, like the rest of the body, need to acclimate to any new activity. Treat any corns or calluses with pressure-reducing doughnut pads and avoid salicylic acid. Pumice stones and a warm, soaking foot bath help to soothe and soften skin. Anyone who works out in a public area should use a medicated foot spray to kill any residual athlete’s foot fungus lurking about.