by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Lifestyle changes will depend on the cause of the foot pain. Shoes, foot care, and exercise can all play a role. It may take some time for pain to go away once changes are made.

Wear Shoes That Fit Well

Foot pain can be caused by wearing the wrong kind of shoes. Choose shoes for the activities that you do, such as running, walking, or tennis. People who do certain jobs may need to wear protective footwear.

Shoes should also feel comfortable right away without a breaking in period. Some things to look for in shoes are:

  • A cushioned midsole, a strong heel, and a flexible area at the ball of the foot
  • A wide toe box that is big enough to fit all toes
  • A ½ inch of space between the longest toe and the tip of the shoe

Women who wear high heels should choose ones that have a wide toe box, wide heels, and cushioned insoles. Time spent wearing high heels should be limited as much as possible.

Care for Your Feet

Foot care can also help manage foot pain. It may include:

  • Trimming and filing toenails short and straight across
  • Cleaning under toenails with a cuticle stick
  • Wearing socks that are not too tight
  • Applying petroleum jelly or lanolin to corns and calluses to soften them
  • Using donut-shaped pads to ease pressure on corns
  • Putting cotton, lamb's wool, or moleskin between toes to cushion corns
Walk and Exercise the Correct Way

Proper posture when walking can help ease foot pain:

  • Keep the head and back in a neutral position
  • Relax the arms and let them swim at the sides
  • Step out on the heel, move forward with the weight on the outside of the foot, and push off the big toe


Foot care 101. American Podiatric Medical Association website. Available at: Accessed May 5, 2020.

Foot complications. American Diabetes Association website. Available at: Updated May 5, 2020. Accessed May 5, 2020.

Foot pain and problems. Johns Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: Accessed May 5, 2020.

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