A green thumb shouldn't mean black-and-blue feet.

Many gardeners, especially seniors, forget some of their most important tools when they head out to the backyard: good shoes and socks. Paul Kasdan, a podiatrist who founded the medical website ourhealthnetwork .com, says poorly fitting shoes will not provide proper support and cushioning. Among the tips he offers on his website:

Wear shoes with rubber soles. They will work as "shock absorbers" for the entire body when you step on rocks or stones.

Wear rounded-toe shoes. This will help alleviate pain from corns and bunions.

Wear socks made of Lycra and cotton blend, because they help keep feet cool. Also, make sure the socks are loose with only mild elastic to ensure blood circulates to your feet.

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