3 Ways to Painproof Your Heels

Do you suffer from heel pain? You’re not alone. Try these simple tricks to prevent and treat it:

Bad habits that can hurt your feet—and how to avoid them.

About 40% of people have heel pain, making it the most common foot problem by a mile, found a survey from the American Podiatric Medical Association. Luckily, these three prevalent causes are also the easiest to prevent.

DO YOU: Exercise in old sneakers?
The risk: Worn soles can cause plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the tissue band (fascia) connecting the heel to the toes.
The fix: Replace shoes every 350 to 500 miles (or about every 3 to 6 months), or when the soles look beat up. (Find your perfect shoe with our favorite sneakers of the year.)

DO YOU: Spend the summer in flip-flops?
The risk: Little support in the arch and heel of these sandals can strain and stretch the fascia and Achilles tendon, which attaches calf muscles to the heel.
The fix: Wear sandals with arch support and that bend at the ball of the foot (not in the middle) to allow for a normal stride.

DO YOU: Sit for most of the day?
The risk: Your calf muscles tighten up. When you walk, tight muscles can pull on the ligaments and tendons that attach to the heels, altering your gait.
The fix: Stretch by your desk. Facing a wall from 3 feet away, with feet flat on the floor and knees locked, lean forward and hold for 10 seconds as calf muscles stretch, then relax. Repeat 5 times.

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