Keeping Feet Healthy, Fit and Flexible

After walking around all day in {most likely} unsupportive shoes, or barefoot around the house, or performing high impact exercises on unforgiving terrain, our feet have had it. Here, Brian Hoke, a sports physical therapy specialist, shares some smart movies on how to help alleviate and prevent foot pain and and keep your soles healthy and fit!

Roll your bare foot over a cold soda can to provide both stretching and cold compression.

You may also roll your feet out on a tennis ball. And soaking the ball in warm water to soften hard skin can be useful and also feels great

After you’ve kicked off your shoes, flex your toes back and forth and give your heels a mini-massage. Roll your ankles around, do a calf stretch to minimize any muscle cramping and shortening that may come from wearing high heels or flats, thereby relieving lower body and foot pain.

Commit to stretching the back of your leg before and after putting on heels.

Loosen your lower calf muscles, which often shorten when you wear heels, causing serious pain and cramping. Lift the arch in your back foot, place more weight on the outer three toes, and lift your big and “index” toe upward to raise the arch even more. Lean all your weight forward and hold for about 15 seconds on each side.

Stretch it out! Like yoga for the feet: pelvic tilts, ankle rolls and calf stretches will minimize muscle cramping and shortening from your non-supportive shoes (i.e. typical high heels, flats, flat flip flops)

Stretch the back of your leg before and after wearing shoes and massage to stretch the plantar fascia, the ligament connecting your heel bone to your toes. Stretch can help prevent painful plantar fasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia).

Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise or stretching program.

Brian Hoke is a Vionic Innovation Lab member and a Certified Sports Physical Therapy Specialist. For more information, visit

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