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Putting on socks or tights in the morning is part of most people’s daily routine. The task is so familiar that you probably don’t give it much thought and have never stopped to wonder what effect hosiery has on your foot health.

It’s easy to assume that one pair of socks or tights is much the same as another, but in reality not all hosiery is created equal. If your sock drawer isn’t doing your feet any favours, you have a greater risk of developing foot ailments. According to health resource WebMD, for example, the second most common cause of exercise-related foot complaints is unsuitable socks.

Your hosiery sits next to your skin for long periods; if it’s far from ideal, your feet will find themselves trapped in unhealthy surroundings. The next time you open your sock drawer, cast a critical eye over what’s inside. Identifying issues with hosiery only takes a moment yet leads to better foot health.

Signs Your Hosiery is Damaging Your Feet

Ill-fitting, poorly made socks and tights are linked to a range of foot problems. Answering the questions below will help you to decide whether your foot health is being compromised.

  • Is your hosiery too large? Excess fabric will bunch up around your toes or heels, rubbing against the skin. You may suffer from blisters, calluses, corns and skin irritation as a result.
  • Are your socks and tights restrictive? Overly tight hosiery distorts the natural shape of your feet, limits movement and puts pressure on toes. You could develop bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, fallen arches and poor circulation. (As they tend to shrink after washing, it’s important to check your socks and tights each time you wear them to ensure they haven’t become uncomfortable.)
  • Are there any holes? Wear and tear prevents socks and tights from protecting and cushioning your feet properly.
  • Is the fabric bulky? Thick hosiery can make your feet overheat and sweat a great deal, creating the ideal conditions for fungal infections and odour.
  • Do you wear 100% cotton socks? Pure cotton socks should be avoided. They quickly become soggy when absorbing sweat, exposing your skin to a bacteria-filled environment. Choose Merino wool socks instead: they draw sweat away from feet without being prone to sogginess.
  • Are your tights abrasive? Cheap nylon tights aren’t breathable so sweat struggles to escape. Dampness makes nylon feel rougher; the tights can then easily make your feet sore and painful. Wool and silk tights are more comfortable alternatives.

Buying the Right Socks and Tights

Avoiding hosiery-related foot problems means selecting the best items for your needs.

  • Choose socks and tights that are roomy enough to allow your toes to spread out without leaving your feet swimming in excess fabric.
  • Wear white socks and pale tights whenever possible – if your feet bleed, secrete pus or sweat too much, it’ll be easier to spot the problem than with dark hosiery.
  • The most important tip of all is to limit the time you spend in socks and tights. Never wear the same pair for two days or more, and always change socks after exercise.

London Foot Health Consultations

If you’re worried that your socks and tights are causing foot health issues, you can always seek help from our experienced London podiatrists. During a foot health-check, we’ll assess your foot function, diagnose any problems and suggest treatments. In addition, our custom-made podiatry orthotics can make wearing hosiery and shoes much more comfortable.

For expert foot care from Feet By Pody in London, please call us today on 0207 099 6657 or book your appointment online.