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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Relieving Fashion Foot Pain

Happy Friday Eve everyone! We are almost through the week and June is flying by a little too fast for my liking. So, as you could probably tell from my post the other day, I am currently suffering a couple of a leg injuries, mostly just some bad bruises, but also a broken toe. This means I will be in flats for awhile, but I find the break from heels to be a bit of a relief. Why? Because wearing heels and walking on the hard marble floors in the capitol gives me TERRIBLE foot cramps. I've learned this is because I have high arches and the lack of arch support in heels make my feet freak out usually right as I get home from work, or, they inconveniently wait until I have already crawled into bed and am relaxed.  Either way, I have found some very useful ways to treat and prevent cramping and pain.

  1. Stash a few hand towels in your freezer. This may seem a bit odd, but since in heels there is a lot of pressure on your bones and joints, as well as muscles, I have found it helpful to wrap a frozen towel around each foot and elevate them for 10-15 minutes when I get home (plus it's easier than holding ice packs on your feet). This can be followed by soaking feet in warm water afterwords to relieve muscle aches. Always remember to ice BEFORE you add heat.
  2. Rub tiger balm on your feet.  So, I am absolutely in love with Tiger Balm's Neck and Shoulder Rub, but I've found it also helps soothe aching feet. Just follow the instructions to ensure you don't apply it too close to soaking your feet or too soon after. The cool tingling sensation has the relaxing effect of a foot massage.
  1. Alternate between heels and flats. I try not to wear heels two days in a row. This gives my feet some recovery time from the previous day. If you must wear heels multiple days in a row, I suggest alternating with wedges. They still have the effect of added height but the construction is more supportive of the entire foot. 
  2. Properly break in shoes. I own a shoe stretcher and I use the freezer technique to ensure that my shoes don't rub in all the wrong places. I've also heard that wearing wet socks with a new pair of shoes and breaking them in around the house is effective, though I have yet to try it. 
  3. Add padding! I have put insert pads in every single one of my pair of heels to properly cushion the ball of the foot and heel, as well as sometimes line the back of the heel to prevent blisters. I also have a couple sets of arch support pads. These can be used in heels and flats and are easily transferred from one pair of shoes to another with the use of double sided tape.
  4. Always carry a travel size Vaseline and a couple bandages in your purse. Remember my work emergency kit post? Well, these are two items I always have in my purse as well, since I have a long commute to work involving driving to the light rail station, taking the light rail to the bus (crowded public transportation often means standing most of the ride), then walking from the bus to work. Applying Vaseline to areas that rub against shoes is the most effective way I've found to prevent blisters. While "rub relief" applicators fit easily into your purse, the product runs out quickly! A travel size container of Vaseline is a dollar and it lasts forever!
  5. Don't wear heels if you walk or take public transportation to work. There is nothing worse than already having aching feet when you are just beginning your day. Concrete does not give, nor does it care about the impact it has on your bones and joints. I always make my trek into work in flats, or flip flops now that the weather is warm, and carry my heels in my bag (I carry one bag, separate from my purse, that is devoted to carrying my heels, lunch, and water bottle). I keep an emergency pair of black heels and black flats at my desk in case I forget to pack my shoes in the morning rush to get out the door.
Hopefully all of these steps will help you have some happy and healthy feet!

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