When I was a child they seemed to be too big and I spent way too many years stuffing them into shoes that were too small. I seem to have sorta curled my toes under, permanently.
When I began running, I made sure to get running shoes that fit me properly, but for more than these past 20 running years, I have continued to have issues with my toes. The ones next to the little piggies... that would be toe #4 on both feet, somehow want to curl under when I am running, and unless I make a point of stretching my toes in my running shoes once in a while, they tend to get blood blisters under the nails, and then the nails fall off. Lovely.
And while I was training for that half marathon I ran in May (did ya notice I am no longer saying "my first half marathon") the #3 toe on my right foot also suffered a nail loss.
These things, compounded by the facts that the house we stayed in all winter had a cat who would attack your feet for no apparent reason at any unknown time, and it had ceramic tile floors and was cold... this meant wearing socks and shoes all the time... I was never barefoot any place but in the tub or shower from September through May and even wore socks to bed! Lovely.
That tends to dry out the skin, believe me, and when my feet aren't showing, they are easy to forget about. Socks hide a lot of ugly sins. Thankfully.
But hey, it is now June; it is sailing and beach season, and I am not running 20+ miles a week right now. How do I get these neglected, abused, and sad-looking feet sandal-ready? I cannot hide them all summer long.
Since we moved into this warm and cozy apartment, with its oak hardwood floors, I have been going barefoot as much as possible. Not only is being in the open air good for my skin, but when I see my feet, I tend to look after them better.
I have been using lots of lotions and creams after bathing and showering, and I have been babying and manicuring my toenails... and yes, they are growing back. I like to use a good emery board and file to keep them the proper length as I find clippers or nail scissors make them want to split.
And I like to use a buffer on the top. This stimulates blood flow and therefore, growth.
To keep the skin soft, and the calluses and dry skin at bay, about once or twice a week I have been using a pumice stone to massage my feet with a mixture of olive oil and sea salt. After rinsing that off and towelling dry really well, my feet feet feel very soft and pampered.
I do like to polish my nails, but I think I will hold off on that this year till the nails have all grown back. I think that polishing them while some are still missing would only draw attention to the 'naked' toes.
I am probably too sensitive to all of this because I do feel self-conscious of my own feet, but I do hate to see other people's bare ugly feet, too. I just wanna tell them to put some socks on!
And I am not a fan of salon pedicures. I read an article years ago in a Seattle newspaper about all the infections one can contract if the salon operators are not extremely skilled and careful and sterilizing their equipment properly. Makes me shudder just thinking about it!
Do you give much thought to your feet?
If you are a runner, or dancer or gymnast, do your feet get ugly? Do you worry about exposing them?
Do you have any foot care tips to offer?
Do you polish your toenails? What is your favorite color?
What do you think of designs and jewels... yea or nay?