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Burning Feet? See your Podiatrist

foot on sand shoe off

Burning feet is a common foot complaint among many age groups, but most commonly in the group over 50 years of age. There are many different causes for this symptom. Diabetics are often affected with burning feet due to impaired nerve function (neuropathy). Certain types of footwear & poor foot biomechanics can also contribute to burning pain, & these can be assessed by a podiatrist.


  • Dampness, together with friction, leads to the sensation of burning, so it’s  important to buy shoes that let perspiration evaporate.
  • Inappropriate socks.  Wear socks made of breathable fabrics such as “Coolmax” or cotton blends.
  • Athlete’s  Foot (tinea pedis) can sometimes spread under the foot to cause burning sensation on the surface of the skin.
  • Allergic reaction to shoe material, socks or strapping tape.
  • Alcohol may be a contributing factor. Long term use can impair the nervous activity of the feet.
  • Fat pad atrophy – the reduction in cushioning at the ball of the foot or heel
  • Diabetes. Uncontrolled diabetes mellitus can lead to nerve damage in the feet.
  • Smoking.  Can impair the circulation and lead to neuropathic changes.
  • Neuroma (a trapped nerve) can lead to a hot burning sensation in the forefoot and toes.
  • Bursitis which can be inflammation of a sack of fluid (bursae)
  • Gout may cause a burning sensation in the big toe joint or ankle.


  • Consult with a Podiatrist to have the condition assessed.
  • Buy shoes and socks that have adequate support and ventilation. Your Podiatrist will provide you with footwear advice or a footwear prescription.
  • If you are suffering from Athlete’s foot / Tinea, seek treatment from your Podiatrist.
  • Remove allergic factor and advise your Podiatrist or other health practitioners of this reaction
  • Reduce alcohol & smoking consumption.
  • See your GP or diabetic educator to manage your diabetes and your Podiatrist to perform a complete foot assessment

There are many causes of burning feet, your Podiatrist will assist with diagnosis, advice & management. Early management is the key to stopping changes becoming permanent.