This is an interesting thread. Sounds like you are really hurting Bob. I think most of us as we get older have sort of let things go because it didn't bother us when we're younger. But the feet will definatly talk to you. Mine did. I agree on the "good shoes", PD. They don't have to cost a fortune and somtimes there are good sales. I've tried new Balance and they didn't work for me. Two of daughters loves them. I wear Adidas wides and Avias mens because they are wide and have a wedge that sticks out from the ball. I have turned my ankle several times enough to put me on crutches for weeks. Good shoes are pricy but I've never paid more than $40 for them. It is well worth the investment not to hurt all day though.
I am in Chlorinated H2O a lot and I found it helped to rub my feet with grapeseed oil and eucalyptus oil to prevent dryness, cracking and fungus. I found a book on reflexology about the same time that I began to rub them with the oil, and found that a more intense and specific rub down helped with a lot of stuff; bumps, corns, pain in my toes from poor circulation, pain in the arch and ball from standing on them a lot, weakness,and a host of other stuff. I have to use an anti fungal cream on occasion as creepy stuff travels at the pool.
The most important thing I've learned was to take care of my feet. I've been doing this for 3 years now and am amazed at the changes in them. It wasn't over night but they didn't get funky overnight. We are much better friends now. I personally can attest that Good shoes are essential though. No plastic and a really good arch support in the shoe and added if needed. I like the jel inserts for working outside. I can put several more hours on those little buddies of mine. They sure can ruin a party. I can hike, go for walks and even dance again. They would love for me to take a few more lbs off them too. Oh, yea, That.