Please tell me that I am not the only one who refers to feet as tootsies and that blog title didn’t weird everyone out.
As a runner who likes to spend miles and miles on her feet, and a waitress who sometimes takes 20,000 steps in a shift, and a yogi who spends a weird amount of time looking at my feet, you better believe I am all about taking care of those bad boys. Last year when I had only been waitressing for a few months, when I was running a lot every week rather than taking public transport (good times 😉 ), and was wearing the wrong shoes for both running and waitressing, surprise surprise- my feet got fed up. By the time I went on holiday I had a mean case of plantar fasciatis which did not feel great and let’s just say my feet were not looking too sexy.
Luckily this really taught me that feet need to be taken care of especially when they are doing SO much for me and now I am much more careful about taking care of them. Also this may sound weird but every time I do yoga and spend so much time looking at my feet I feel like all my good yoga vibes get projected on to them and I feel a deep sense of gratitude and appreciation for how they carry me around all day long and put up with so much walking and running.
What my tootsies have taught me:
–Wearing the right shoe is so important. As is knowing how many miles you have done in it and if they need to be replaced. For running, yes, but also for whatever we spend most of our day walking around in. While I thought that my waitressing shoes were good for speed walking all over the restaurant for multiple hours in, as it turns out, they were not. See the following point.
–See a podiatrist or get a foot assessment. This can be so helpful for not only learning about what would best fit the anatomy of your foot, but also for learning which shoes will be good for which activities and how your individual foot responds to walking/running in a particular shoe. When I was in NZ recently I simply when to the Shoe Clinic, a normal shoe/sports shoe store, and they have trained podiatrists in there who get you to run on a treadmill in various shoes and tell you all about what would be best for you. This is all for FREE as opposed to going to a private podiatrist and I found it so helpful and picked the brain of the poor guy who got stuck with me. I’m sure they have something like this in most countries and it is such an easy thing to do to make sure you are not wearing the wrong thing and potentially doing yourself damage with it.
–The right socks are also super important. Shoe clinic podiatrist guy from the above point said that while a lot of people think cotton socks are the way to go, for running it is actually much better to wear socks of a more synthetic-y material (not exactly his words but you get the gist 😉 ). He said to think about when you wipe the kitchen bench- if you do it with a cotton cloth it soaks up all the water nicely and with a synthetic cloth it doesn’t absorb properly. So when our feet sweat during a run it’s better if they don’t absorb all the moisture and make it that we are running in sodden socks. Ew.
– Cut those toenails! I have seen first hand what walking down a mountain (Mt. Kinabalu to be specific) with toenails that are too long looks like and let’s be honest, it was not pretty. The same thing can happen when us crazy runners spend hours every week pounding the pavement in running shoes. In my opinion, the shorter the better (BUT not so short that it makes you want to cry every time your foot bumps something, I think we have all cut our nails too short at least once and all I can say is OUCH).
– Stretch those beasties just like you do the rest of your body. Yoga for feet is for realsies and it can make a huge difference in helping your feet recover from a hard run. It is so easy to only focus on stretching our muscles that we can forget the humble tootsie- even though it is the thing that has been directly hitting the ground for X amount of miles.
(And no I did not suddenly become 9 months pregnant in the space of a day, this is what happens when you only think to take photos of yourself when you are fully dressed for the day and changing back into yoga clothes is just not going to happen).
–Put them up. And when I say up, I mean up the wall. Nothing feels better after a long shift at work or a long run than some sweet legs-against-the-wall pose. Refreshing for the feet and relaxing for the body and mind… win.
–Invest in some massage sandals (or get your parents to invest in them for you, thanks mum and dad 😉 ). These are amazing and after you wear them for a day and get used to them it is like a tiny massage with every step. Yes please.
– Following on from this point, commission someone who loves you a whole lot (this can also be a great test of how much someone truly loves you, especially if you are a runner 😉 ) to give you a foot massage.
– Soak them in water. I am a big fan of soaking my feet in a nice soapy bucket or just having a bath, and then slathering them with moisturiser and putting on socks. This can soften them up nicely to avoid scary things like fissures. Silky soft feet also just feel amazing in general.
– Get a pedicure, or if you’re cheap like me (aka living the student lifestyle for the second time which means being twice as broke as you were the first time 😉 ) do it yourself. It’s so easy and will save you more money for important stuff like running shoes and massage sandals 🙂 Do step one from above, leave the socks on for a while, towel off any extra moisturiser, slap on a base coat and a stylin’ top coat in your fave colour, and you just saved yourself a whole lot of money and made your feet look somewhat presentable. Plus when you spend an inordinate amount of time staring at your feet in yoga you will feel better when they don’t look quite as horrendous.
–Golf ball them out. I love keeping a gold ball permanently under my desk where I study to roll them out while I’m reading fascinating articles on therapeutic assessment measures 😉 After about a month of living together bestie was like, “why is there permanently a golf ball under the desk?” she couldn’t figure out why she would put it away and then it would always make it’s way back under the desk. It’s like a DIY foot massage and really gets out all those little sore spots.
-Finally, doing foot strengthening exercises is probably a good idea and something I should do. Maybe writing this will make me feel obligated to actually crank some out, fingers crossed! I seriously think these are a great idea and since I never want to revisit plantar fasciatis again I will be giving them a go.
Okay so I have written the word foot a million times and shown you more pictures of my feet than you probably cared to see so I will leave it at that 🙂
What do you do to take care of your feet?
Worst foot related issue from running you’ve had?
What running shoes do you wear? – Brooks ravennas and I adore them!
DIY pedicure or fancy salon pedicure? – DIY all the way baby, it also means I can change the polish colour multiple times per week which makes me happy 🙂