The folks who publicize International Women’s Day (March 8) want to promote the idea of gender parity – that is, a healthy balance of men and women in business and community roles. Well, board-certified podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM says that when it comes to feet, there’s not always a lot of gender balance going on! Men and women differ in the way they treat their feet. Here are some differences, borne out by studies and by our own observations here at our podiatry office in Centreville, Virginia:
- 90% of women buy shoes that are too small for their feet. One of the reasons may have to do with foot anatomy. Women’s feet tend to have a narrower heel. So women may be trying to achieve a snug fit by buying shoes that are actually too small for them.
- Men aren’t paying as much attention to aesthetics. Toenails need trimming and feet look their best when they’re clean, dry, and free from corns and calluses. There’s no shortage of women who frequent nail salons for a professional pedicure; men should feel free to do the same in order for their feet to look and feel their best.
- Women are much more willing to torment their feet in the name of fashion. High heels may make the outfit, but they can also make hammertoes, bunions, arthritis, neuromas, and joint pain.
- The balance between genders is way off when it comes to dealing with a foot problem. Men tend to put off going to a foot doctor. However, it’s generally much easier to fix a problem like an ingrown toenail or heel pain when the problem first appears. Men should be encouraged to be more like women when it comes to seeking medical care promptly.
These are just some interesting observations and generalizations about men and women. Gender parity is definitely something we strive for in terms of treating our patients at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center. No matter whom you are, if you live in Fairfax County and have pain in your feet, we can help. Call us at (703) 996-3000 or make an appointment online.