Because our feet aren't always on display it's easy to forget to take good care of them. But our feet carry the weight of our whole body. Foot problems cannot just cause discomfort but also affect the way we walk and exercise setting us up for back and knee problems in the future. So it makes sense to take foot care seriously.

Can you blame your foot problems on your parents?

The answer it seems is ?yes'. While experts agree that older adults and people who are overweight are at greater risk of foot disorders, a recent study has shown that a lot of foot problems are genetic. The team of US scientists examined the feet of 1,370 participants and concluded that bunions (a bony deformity of the joint at the base of the big toe) and other common toe deformities including ?hammer' or ?claw' toe are often inherited from our parents. The experts say that if your parents have foot problems then it makes sense to take preventative measures early such as wearing shoes that are flat-heeled and roomy.

Pregnancy permanently changes foot size

Here's a strange one. A study from the University of Iowa has confirmed what many women have long suspected - that being pregnant permanently changes the shape and size of their feet. Flat feet are a common problem for pregnant women as the arch of the foot flattens out (possibly due to the extra weight and increased looseness of the joints associated with pregnancy). But, if the experts are correct, it would appear that the arch height never recovers and that for 60-70% of women their feet become longer and wider.