close up mark from a callus on left foot

Corns and Calluses – those little buggers that seem to pop up out of nowhere, causing discomfort and even sharp pain. Whether you're constantly on your feet, a fan of raised heels, or just love a good pair of shoes that might not be the most comfortable, these pesky foot problems can affect anyone

But fear not, because today, we're going to break down everything you need to know about preventing corns and calluses from forming on your feet in 5 easy steps

Let’s banish them for good! 

Understanding the Nitty-Gritty: What Are Corns and Calluses?

Before we dive into prevention, let's get the basics of these common foot woes down. Corns and calluses are essentially thickened patches of skin that develop on healthy tissue in response to friction, pressure, or repetitive irritation.

These nuisances form when your skin layers decide to defend themselves by thickening up. Think of it like a natural armor of your soft tissues that they form to protect themselves against the forces your feet endure.

What Causes Corns and Calluses on Feet?

Ah, the culprits behind those troublesome corns and calluses – they can be as sneaky as the morning alarm you forgot to set! Let's break down the common causes behind these pesky foot problems so you know exactly what you're up against.

Here's the lowdown on the most common causes of corns and calluses on feet if the question of "Why am I getting so many corns?" is weighing on your mind:

  • Friction and Pressure: Corns and calluses often arise when your feet face excessive friction and pressure. The source of pressure and friction can be anything from ill-fitting shoes, high heels, or even just pounding the pavement during your daily jog.
  • Abnormal Foot Position: If your feet don't align as they should due to structural issues, bone abnormalities, an ill-fitting shoe, or an unnatural shoe design that keeps the foot in weird positions, corns and calluses are more likely to make an appearance.
  • Tight Shoes: Snug shoes can cause constant rubbing and pressure on your feet, creating the perfect environment for these skin nuisances. Not wearing socks with footwear can also be an issue.
  • High-Heeled Shoes: While they look fabulous, high heels shift your weight forward, putting extra pressure on the front of your feet – a prime spot for corns and calluses to set up shop.
  • Poor Circulation: If your blood flow isn't up to snuff, your skin might not heal as efficiently, making you more vulnerable to these unwelcome visitors.

Female putting off stylish high-heeled shoes

The Difference Between Corns and Calluses

Corns and calluses, while often used interchangeably, are not quite the same. They may seem similar, but there are distinct differences to consider. 

Let's peel back the layers and understand what sets these two foot foes apart.


Corns are small, round, and hardened areas of skin that typically develop on the tops or sides of your toes or on the sole of your foot. They tend to have a central core, which can be firm and painful, feeling almost like a tiny pebble embedded in your skin, with pink or reddish inflamed skin around it. Corns can be quite uncomfortable and may even cause pain when you put pressure on them.

There are a few types of corns:

  • Hard Corns: These are the kind that often show up on the tops or sides of your toes. They're small, round, and can feel like a tiny pebble is embedded in your skin.
  • Soft Corns: These are a bit of an enigma; they are softer, moist, and often found between your toes, creating a more tender sensation.
  • Seed Corns: These are tiny and found on the bottom of your feet, feeling like, well, little seeds.


Calluses, on the other hand, are more extensive, larger patches of hardened skin that form in response to consistent friction, pressure, or irritation. Unlike corn, they lack a distinct central core and often appear on the bottom of your feet. These tend to be less painful than corns and more like a tough, thickened area of skin. 

While both corns and calluses are your skin's way of defending against constant wear and tear, they differ in terms of location, size, and the presence of a central core. Understanding these differences is crucial so you could take appropriate measures to prevent and address these common foot problems, ensuring your feet stay pain-free.

a woman touches a corn on her foot with tweezers

The Pain You Can't Ignore: Risks of Untreated Corns and Calluses

Now, let's chat about the real nitty-gritty of ignoring those pesky corns and calluses. Sure, they may seem like small nuisances, but the health risks of leaving them untreated are no joke. Untreated corns and calluses aren't just uncomfortable; they can be downright painful. Imagine taking every step with a constant reminder of their presence.

However, the problems can go beyond mere discomfort and pain.

A Walk in the Wrong Direction

These pesky skin issues can turn your stroll into a hobble. When you avoid treatment for corns and calluses, your gait can become altered, which may lead to joint and posture problems in the long run. It's like trying to dance in shoes that are two sizes too small – not graceful, not fun.

Infections and Skin Ulcers: The Unwanted Guests

Here's where things get serious. Ignored corns and calluses can become gateways for infections. That's right – these seemingly innocent bumps can invite unwelcome bacteria to the party. When that happens, you might find yourself dealing with skin ulcers, which are essentially open sores that can be painful, slow to heal, and potentially dangerous. 

A Little TLC Goes a Long Way

On the brighter side, taking care of your feet isn't rocket science, and proper foot care pays off in the long run. When you address corns and calluses promptly, you're helping your feet get back to a healthy state. You're preserving the integrity of your skin, ensuring it remains soft, smooth, and free of painful intruders.

How Do You Permanently Get Rid of Corns and Calluses? 

So, now you can distinguish between these common foot foes and tackle them head-on. But wait, why tackle them when you can beat them? You can permanently get rid of corns and calluses simply by preventing them. We’ve recently talked about how to prevent blisters on feet from shoes.

Prevention is the best medicine for everything, after all, and learning how to prevent corns and calluses on feet is the only way to keep them at bay for good

Walk the Talk: How to Prevent Corns and Calluses on Feet in 5 Simple Steps

What is the best medicine for corns? Prevention! When it comes to keeping your feet in tip-top shape and free from these problems, the age-old adage holds true: prevention is the best medicine.

Rather than waiting for these bothersome foot foes to rear their heads, it's time to be proactive and equip yourself with the knowledge and strategies to keep them away at all times. And it all starts with getting the right pair of boots or shoes.

1. Shoe Shopping Smarts: The Right Choice of Footwear Is Key

When it comes to corn and callus prevention, comfortable shoes are your first line of defense. When shopping for shoes, make comfort your top priority. 

Sure, those high-heeled shoes look fabulous, but they're often the culprits behind painful corns and calluses. High heels shift your body weight forward, placing added pressure on the front of your feet. Limit their use and opt for footwear that provides ample support and cushioning.

Ill-fitting shoes can also spell trouble, as tight shoes cause constant friction and pressure, squeezing your feet into submission and resulting in corns and calluses. Ensure your shoes, sneakers, or boots have enough room for your toes, and don't squish them together. A good rule of thumb is to measure your feet before shopping, as shoe sizes can vary between brands.

If you've already got a pair of shoes you adore, but they lack the cushioning you need, consider shoe inserts or orthotics. They can make a world of difference in preventing corns and calluses. And, you can always get special footwear specifically designed for conditions such as plantar fasciitis.

2. Keep Your Feet Dry and Moisturized

Dry skin is the number one enemy that can lead to increased friction, so make sure to keep your feet well-moisturized. Use a good foot cream to keep your skin soft, hydrated, and supple, and avoid thickened skin. But don't overdo it, as excess moisture can also leave the skin vulnerable. So, strike the right balance to keep your skin happy.

3. Regular Foot Care

Preventing corns and calluses is a bit like car maintenance – it's all about regular check-ups and proper foot care.  

Give your feet a break from time to time by soaking them in warm water. This not only feels amazing but helps soften dead skin, making it easier to exfoliate. Then, use a pumice stone or foot file to remove dead skin gently. Be careful not to go overboard; you're not trying to reach your baby-soft layers of skin.

pedicure for tired and neglected feet

4. Pay Attention to Risk Factors

Some factors can increase your risk of developing corns and calluses. Be mindful of:

  • Abnormal Foot Position: If your feet are positioned abnormally due to structural issues, you might be more prone to corns and calluses. In that case, consider seeking orthopedic advice.
  • Poor Circulation: If you have poor circulation, your skin may not heal as effectively, making you more susceptible to painful corns and calluses. Consult a healthcare professional for advice.

5. Mind Your Socks

Choosing the right socks can be a game-changer because the type of socks you wear can significantly influence the friction and pressure your feet experience throughout the day. Opt for socks made of soft, breathable materials like cotton, which reduce the risk of irritation. Avoid socks with irritating seams, as these can rub against your skin and lead to corns and calluses.

Additionally, ensure your socks are the right size; overly tight or loose socks can cause friction and discomfort. On the flip side, not wearing any socks with footwear, especially in the case of tight-fitting shoes, is also a big no-no. Bare feet can increase the risk of friction, leading to the development of these troublesome skin conditions. 

man wearing socks and classic elegant shoes

Dealing with Existing Corns and Calluses

Prevention is great, but what if you already have painful corns or calluses? You can use non-medicated corn pads that you can find at most drugstores. They help reduce friction and relieve pain or get soft, cushioned aftermarket insoles

If your corns or calluses become painful or infected, it's time to see a healthcare professional. They can provide proper medical treatment and safely remove them if needed.

Put Your Best Foot Forward with Premium Footwear

Corns and calluses don't have to put a damper on your work or daily activities. With the right knowledge and a little TLC for your feet, you can prevent these bothersome skin conditions and keep your feet happy and callus-free.

And remember, it all starts with comfortable, high-quality footwear, so choose wisely. At Overlook Boots, we've got over 3,000 premium options for men and women to serve anyone's needs and taste.

So, ready to kick corns and calluses to the curb? Your feet are your daily companions – show 'em some love!