There are many people who suffer from dry, callused and cracked heels year round. Dry, cracked heels are known as heel fissures. One way to prevent heels from cracking is to shoe inserts, such as heel cups.
What Triggers Cracks?
When feet have thick calluses, the heels are more likely to crack. Dryness also plays a role in developing cracked heels. Something as simple as standing for long periods of time, or carrying excess body weight can trigger a crack to start. This is because of the pressure that is being placed on the feet. Your body weight is being pushed down onto your heels, and if your feet are healthy, the skin can expand. However, when the skin is callused and dry, there is not enough elasticity to prevent cracking.
Heel cups are a simple and effective treatment for cracked heels, because they are easy to find and are inexpensive. They are also quite effective and simple to use, you just insert them into your shoes. Heel cups will contain a heel, rather than allowing it to expand and “spill” within a shoe. When heels are not allowed to expand, there no chance of them cracking open. These heel cups are also typically soft and shock-absorbent, so they can make the pain from cracked heels easier to tolerate. Heel cups will also provide a little more cushion, which can help to redistribute weight.
Heel pads are another type of shoe insert that are made specifically for alleviating heel pain and cracking. Similar to a heel cup, you slide them to the back of your shoes. Then when you are walking your heels are more cushioned and will be able to distribute your body weight. Some of these heel pads are made to grip your heel and hold it in place. This prevents it from sliding around, so you will not develop calluses or blisters.
Full shoe inserts can also be helpful to some people who suffer from cracked heels due to thick calluses. Shoe inserts can provide additional shock-absorption. These full shoe inserts can also cradle the foot so that the full foot is contained and not allowed to expand. This heel expansion is what created the cracked heel to begin with. So containing the heel within this gel insert can prove to be quite helpful. When the heel rubs against a shoe, this can worsen cracked heels. This type of friction can be prevented by wearing shoe inserts.
Wear Closed Toe Shoes
Try to always wear closed toe shoes if you are prone to getting cracked heels. This will lock in moisture, and will prevent heel from expanding too much. Sandals, open back shoes, and going bare foot will just make things worse.