Foot self-test

How do you know your feet are healthy? Here are some simple tests you can do at home:

Ankle flexibility. Hang your heel off of a stair and let the heel fall below the level of the stair. If this hurts, stop. If it doesn’t hurt, that’s good news. If you feel some strain, try stretches to improve flexibility.

Circulation. Examine the colour of your toenails. Do they look ‘normal’, or are they tending towards shades of red, white, purple, or blue? Press down on the nail of your big toe until it loses colour. When you release the pressure, the return of normal colour should take 2 to 5 seconds, if you have average circulation.

Sensation. Take a pencil eraser and run it lightly along the top, bottom, and sides of your feet. You should feel a similar sensation in all places. It’s normal for it to tickle on the bottom of the feet.

Skin. The skin on your feet should be free of calluses, blisters, or areas of irritation.

Shoes. Are your shoes shaped like your feet? Or do they cause constriction that can or does result in irritation? Feel the inside your shoe with your hand. Any seams or rough places are likely to result in calluses or blisters.

Toe flexibility. Try to pick up something small like a marble or a dishcloth with your toes. Normal toes should have no problems.