Tired or achy feet

woman runner tying shoelaces on trail

Source: Thinkstock

Tired or achy feet? Show your feet some love this spring!

According to estimates from the American Podiatric Medicine Association, the average person will travel 75,000 miles on their feet by the time they reach the age of 50.

Popular shoes like high heels and flip-flops lack good arch support so, it is no wonder many Americans are often complaining of tired, achy feet.

Feet need to last a lifetime, so ADC podiatrist, Ana Urukalo, DPM shares her tips for keeping your feet in tip-top shape this season.

Wear the appropriate shoe for the activity.  

You might think this is common sense, but how many people still mow the lawn in flip-flops?  Wearing the correct footwear for whatever activity you are doing will limit your risk of injury.

Wear the right size shoe.  

Although feet do not actually “grow” past our teenage years (when growth plates close)  they do “lengthen and widen” as we age.  Dr. Urukalo recommends checking your shoe size at least once a year.   Wearing shoes that are too small can cause hammertoes, bunions and ingrown toenails.

Change up your heel height.  

If you wear high heels, be sure to alternate between high and low heels daily to limit your risk of injuring your tendons and muscles.

Apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet.  

Remember to extend the sunscreen past your ankle and in-between your toes to help limit your skin cancer risk.

Take a nail polish vacation.  

Going without polish every few months will keep your nails from becoming brittle or developing a fungus.

Dry your feet thoroughly after bathing.  

Make sure your feet are dry, including between your toes, before putting on socks and shoes to decrease your chances of developing athlete’s foot fungus.

Retire your running or walking shoes after six months or 500 miles.  

The inside and support for your shoes begin to break down after repeated use.  Replacing your shoes regularly will reduce the risk of foot and heel pain.

Keeping your feet in tip-top shape will reduce your risk of injury or pain.  If you have had a nagging foot pain that hasn’t gotten better with rest or home remedies, make an appointment with a podiatrist, your feet will thank you.



Dr. Urukalo is a board-certified, podiatrist practicing at ADC’s Steiner Ranch Clinic where she is also an active resident in the Steiner Ranch and Lake Travis area.  She joined ADC in 1999.


  1. Thanks for the information. The arch of my foot has been hurting so badly lately. Judging by what you’ve said, it sounds like I need some orthotics to help me out. They should be able to give me better support in the arch of my foot. I’ll ask my podiatrist for more information about them.

  2. I heard that it was good to retire your running shoes after six months. Although I didn’t know it was important to do after 500 miles as well. However, I don’t think I will be running over 500 miles before six months. I shouldn’t have a problem with that.

  3. Anonymous says:

    These seem like great tips for taking care of feet. I love running and going on long walks, so these tips should help me take better care of my feet. The information about choosing not to wear nail polish was really interesting. I didn’t know that nail polish could potentially cause my toenails to become brittle or develop a fungus. How does that work? Usually, I enjoy getting pedicures and having my nails painted, so it would help to know more information about how nail polish can cause toe nail fungus.

    • The nail polish itself does not necessarily cause nail fungus, however… the problem I see sometimes is that some patients tend to wear nail polish for a long time and instead of removing it, just keep applying a new coat of nail polish over and over. This is when I’ve seen higher incidence of nail fungus. I think you are OK to wear nail polish (I enjoy it too!) but remove it and let it ‘breathe’ over night the day before you next pedicure. This can be done once a month, or up to 6 weeks. If you start noticing early changes to the nail plate (discoloration) with crumbly nail appearance, pick up an OTC antifungal nail polish and ask your pedicurist to apply it under the nail polish. You can also go in to see your podiatrist to evaluate and prescribe antifungal medication. There are many choices depending on the extent of the involvement. Also, it is a good idea to look at your toenails while getting a pedicure…some patients never pay attention and are surprised to find advanced nail discoloration once the nail polish has been removed. Hope this helps. Dr. Urukalo

  4. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing this advice on taking care of your tired feet! I agree that it is important to have the right shoes when you are running or working out. The shape of the shoe can really affect your feet either in a positive or a negative way, depending on how it fits. I know I would much rather spend the time and money on good shoes than develop a bunion!

  5. 75,000 miles by the time you’re 50 is a pretty shocking statistic. I agree that it’s very important to wear proper shoes at all times. As mentioned, this includes type and size of shoe. I’ve battled with foot pain off and on for most of my life and it’s not a fun experience. Thanks for the advice!