1. “Fit your shoe to your longest toe. That might not be your great toe—a lot of people’s second toe is longer.”
2. “Barefoot running? Great idea if you can stay on sand or earth. Do it on concrete, and you’ll end up with stress fractures and some very bad inflammation.”
3. “Here’s a home remedy to cure your stinky feet: Make some really strong black tea, then soak your feet in it two or three times a week for 20 minutes. The tannic acid has been shown to temporarily shrink sweat ducts so they don’t work as hard.”
4. “Please don’t ask me to file or cut your nails. I’m a podiatrist, not a pedicurist.”
5. “I wear flip-flops too, but if you wear them every day, all day, you will end up in my office eventually. Those shoes are designed for the beach and pool, not for walking all over the place.”
6. “I have people who tell me that I changed their life, and it turns out all I did was tell them to wear a bigger size. I think, Did that really change your life? But if they had a lot of pain, it’s a big deal.”
7. “A sock that’s too small can cause a blister, just like a shoe can. Go with what feels comfortable.”
8. “A good shoe salesman will always watch you walk or run.”
9. “The best socks today are not 100 percent cotton. Look for materials that promise to wick moisture away.”
10. “You want to try an over-the-counter remedy for your nail fungus first? Go ahead. I know you’ll be back to see me before long.”
11. “Your cuticles are there for a reason. You can push them back, but don’t cut.”
12. “I had a patient who had stepped on a pencil when she was 8 years old. Ten years later, her foot was bothering her. When I went in, I found a pencil lead, perfectly intact.”
13. “Orthotics and arch supports should be firm. If it’s jelly-like or soft and smushy, then that’s not support, that’s cushioning, and it’s probably not going to help your problem.”
14. “Many women are embarrassed about showing me their feet. I can’t tell you how many women have told me that they feel as if they are going to the gynecologist when they have to take off their shoes!”
Sources: Jane Andersen, a podiatrist in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Marlene Reid, a podiatrist in Naperville, Illinois; Carly Robbins, a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio; Jacqueline Sutera, a podiatrist in New York, New York; Cary Zinkin, a podiatrist in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
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