Sunday, June 10, 2012

Get Your Runner's Feet Get Ready For Sandal Season

I have never liked my feet. There. I said it. And don't worry - I am not going to shock you with photographs of them... not one, so don't be afraid to read this post.

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?


  1. Must be a foot posting kind of day!!! I have gross disgusting feet. I go through phases where I bust away those calluses and other times I really don't care. But I have found that by polishing (even where I'm missing toenails) - it helps a lot. And I LOVE designs on toes. I'm just not talented enough. I enjoy the Callus Buster and pumice stone....and I sometimes will lather my feet with Burts Bees foot lotion & put on some socks before heading to bed.

  2. Hahah, i don't polish my toenails, but I'm constantly doing the mother nature thing and walking around in my bare feet. I'm not a fan of socks!

    1. Well, if you were to wear a pair of my hand knit socks, I bet you'd be a convert!

  3. All things considered (ballet, running, karate, sailing,etc), I don't think my feet are too bad. Mostly I just have some oddly bent toes (it's genetic - my mum and sis have the same). And I have one straight little toe and one bent one (the straight one is from breaking my toes doing karate!). I do paint my toenails and I love it because it lasts so long! :) hope your nails grow back quickly so you can paint yours too!

  4. I have freaky bends to my toes, they are all sorta crooked,like my hands, it's genetic, poor little son inherited the crooked finers and toes.
    And I have tiny tiny tiny toenails! But I put them in sandals anyway! All the years of ballet and now running has given my feat character.

  5. I have yet to lose a toenail because of running! I do get blisters, callouses and everything else though. Honestly, I don't do much for my feet. Around this time I started thinking about it though, once the sandals come out!

  6. i haven't done much for my feet since i started running but i definitely dont like my feet. i feel like they are big and awkward. plus now they are super calloused and just kinda gross. i usually just go with it in the summer and figure if anyone asks i will tell them "well im a runner" and that will obviously make everything okay in the world;) haha! but im definitely probably one of those people that people are thinking should wear socks alllll the time! haha! i never knew about the olive oil+sea salt idea...i may need to try that and give my feet a little love here soon:)

  7. do you make a paste out of the olive oil and sea salt and then scrub??

  8. Oooh, I hate my feet too and HAVE posted pics of them. My toenails are all yellow and thick and I've lived with athlete's foot on and off for years.
    I learned to knit beautiful socks so my feet would always looks pretty!
    Thank goodness I live in British Columbia, where it's okay to wear socks 10 months of the year and not look like a dork!

  9. barefoot contessa? haha, jk. I love going barefoot and i love peedicures. But i always feel bad for them to touch my runners feet. ha!

  10. I love to pamper my feet and I always have polish on my toes. Before my pedi yesterday it had been months since I had one and my toes looked bad. Chipped polish on some toes, nothing on the others. So sad.

  11. I have done designs and jewels but I usually stick to plain. I hate reading those articles too about the salon pedis, but I get them anyways. Livin on the edge:)

  12. I am almost always barefoot if I am in the house. I do not polish or do anything with my feet though. I prefer the natural look. I think jewels and designs look silly.

  13. I have HORRIBLE feet, but I am thankful to say that even with all the running I have done, I have never lost a toenail. My heels are the worst! They crack so deeply that nothing seems to help them, ever. I am often embarrassed to have them "out." Now that I have to wear this compression sock on my left foot/leg, that foot has become even worse. The whole foot is so dry and cracked! Ugh. It is embarrassing to even talk about!

    Thank you for the pampering advice. I have not tried olive oil and sea salt, but those are two things I always have so I will! I love to wear sandals and do (well, did, but now I have this sock), but I always always worry other people are looking at my feet - even my husband! I like to paint my nails, but again - why bother now?!


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