Young woman walking jack russell terrier on street, rear view

‘Summer time and the livin’ is easy’ …but are your feet up to it?

The College of Podiatry’s annual Feet for Life Month in June encourages us to put our best foot forward by taking a peek at our feet and getting them summer-ready. This year’s theme is walking.

Our feet carry us some 150,000 miles in a lifetime yet most people take their feet for granted until something goes wrong – blisters, bunions, arch, toe or heel pain, ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot … Suddenly, easy walks can become onerous, runs are no longer fun and dancing is a no-go.

“If our feet aren’t in good shape, then summer can be miserable. Our general health and wellbeing depend on us being able to get up and move, so good foot health is essential. The summer is also when we are most likely to want to have our feet on show with sandals, open toe shoes and barefoot walks on the beach or by a pool, but some people feel unable to do this due to embarrassment about their feet,” said Lorraine Jones from The College of Podiatry.

New research* from The College of Podiatry shows that 90 per cent of men and women experience some sort of foot problem, with 20 per cent admitting to suffering with foot pain often or constantly. Despite this, only 23 per cent of people who have suffered a foot problem have sought professional help and 16 per cent admit to ignoring the problem and hoping it goes away. When it comes to professional help, four in 10 don’t what a podiatrist does.

The most common foot problems suffered in the UK include:

  • Hard, dry skin on the feet – 60%
  • Blisters – 51%
  • Rubbing from footwear – 40%
  • Aching, sore feet – 38%
  • Athlete’s foot – 26%
  • Sore, tight calf muscles – 24%
  • Ingrown toenails – 18%
  • Corns and callus – 14%
  • Bunions – 10%

Podiatrist Lorraine Jones added: “This survey is just based on what people report they suffer with, so we expect that prevalence of these conditions is actually much higher as many people won’t necessarily identify the condition correctly. What this research shows is that a huge amount of people are willing to put up with sore, aching and painful feet. Your feet are designed to carry you around and they shouldn’t hurt on a daily basis. If you are experiencing discomfort in your feet it is usually because you aren’t wearing the right footwear for the activity you are doing. You don’t need to put up with it so do seek professional advice.”

More information on foot health, leaflets and tips

Feet Facts – PDF download

Summer’s Coming: Time to let you feet shine – PDF download

* Research conducted on behalf of The College of Podiatry by OnePoll amongst 2,000 UK adults aged 18 plus. The survey was carried out between 10th and 12th March 2015