Want to show your loved ones you truly care? Treat their feet this holiday season.

“Feet work hard. They carry our weight and get us where we need to go. They deserve some extra care and attention,” says Gretchen Lawrence DPM, AACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon and Associate Member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS).


To help inspire you, here are six holiday gift ideas that promote healthy, happy feet from the foot and ankle surgeons of ACFAS:

1. Winter footwear. Outfit your loved one with the footwear they need for the season. Just keep in mind, safety doesn’t have to come at the expense of fashion. While boots featuring tall, spiked heels and narrow, pointed toes can lead to slips, falls and sprains on ice-covered surfaces, there are plenty of practical options that are also stylish.


“A low-heeled winter boot is always going to be more fashionable than a cast and crutches,” says Dr. Lawrence. “Include some soft merino wool socks for toasty toes and to wick away moisture that can cause issues like athlete’s foot.”

2. Healthy food subscription services. Did you know that certain foods support healthy feet? Foods rich in calcium and vitamin D, like leafy greens and dairy products, promote strong bones (there are 26 of them in each foot!) and healing in the event of a fracture. Look into food box subscriptions that will send fresh produce, cheese or nuts to your gift recipient, so they can enjoy delicious foods that can help build strong bones.


3. Indoor footwear. Slippers provide cozy comfort, support and traction while indoors, making them a great gift for any pair of feet. However, if you’re shopping for someone living with diabetes, this is an especially thoughtful option as they must take extra care to avoid scratches and cuts on their feet. Because the condition sometimes reduces blood flow to that area, it’s harder to heal from an injury or resist infection.


“People with diabetes should never go barefoot, not even at home. A great pair of slippers is a perfect holiday gift to protect their feet,” says Dr. Lawrence.

4. Ice packs. Ice packs make great stocking stuffers for those who suffer from plantar fasciitis, a common condition that can cause stabbing heel pain. One of the first-line strategies foot and ankle surgeons recommend is icing the heel for 20 minutes several times a day to reduce inflammation and pain. Get creative by looking for ice packs in fun shapes and colors.


5. Be a workout buddy. Weight-bearing exercise, like walking, can decrease your risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease and promotes good overall health, especially for your feet. Make a plan to go for regular walks with your loved one. They’ll appreciate your special time together while you both benefit from the gift of good health.

6. Foot massage. A foot massage can alleviate muscle pain, improve circulation and soothe tired feet. Manual massage is the safest approach, so ask your foot and ankle surgeon for referrals to a qualified massage therapist and purchase a gift card for a professional therapeutic foot massage.

With holiday gifts that promote healthy feet, you can help your loved feel comfortable, pampered and safe at home and on winter streets.

For more healthy feet inspiration, visit FootHealthFacts.org, the patient education website of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons.

Statepoint news contributed to the content of this article