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Wet Noodle Posse | Blog

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Look after your feet

... and they will look after you.

Back to the basics, down to the ground, if you like. If you have beautiful, skinny feet and can spend hours in high heels, then you don't need to read this. This is for the rest of us.

You will be walking around (San Francisco is a walking-public transport sort of city) and on your feet a lot at the conference. You may even, gasp, have to put on high heels at some point.

So how do you keep your little piggies happy?
  • Do not, ever, ever, ever, expect a pair of shoes that don't feel comfortable the moment you try them on to get better. Maybe I should amend that. Eventually--many blisters later after your feet have sculpted the inside of the shoes to their liking--they'll be okay. If in doubt, leave them at home.
  • Do bring a pair of slopping around shoes. I always bring what I refer to as the "dress flip-flops." They have a slight wedge and a surprising amount of support. Your slopping around shoes may be sandals or sneakers or even, amazingly, something that looks good.
  • Bring as many shoes as you think you'll need and don't be afraid to throw some away while you're there. (You'll need the space for books. Since my major shoe purchases are at Payless, it's no biggie.)
  • Put your feet up (discreetly) when you can.
  • Treat your feet to a nice soak or scrub at least once a day.
  • Have a pedicure before you fly out.
  • If you really, really hate the feel of shoes on bare feet, invest in some lowcut socks or hose. I have been told that you can tame elegant shoes on bare feet by slathering them (feet) in lotion. This sounds so vile I can hardly bear to think about it, which brings me to...
Smelly feet.

It can happen to the best of us.

Say you have a pair of really reeking shoes but you love them and must wear them at Nationals. You may be able to tame them by tying them firmly into a plastic bag with a couple of teabags (black tea, nothing fancy) or bicarbonate of soda inside the shoes. When the growling and writhing in the bag subside, open with caution. And don't make tea with those teabags.

You can even try placing a teabag into the shoes as you wear them, although bear in mind that the bags may break and you'll leave a trail of dampened tealeaves behind you.

Spray the offending shoes sparingly with a weak bleach solution (inside, and if it ruins your shoes, don't come crying to me. I have no professional qualifications). A "green" bathroom cleaner is pretty good.

Or--it's so obvious--get a foot deodorant. This stuff, Lavilin, is weird. It's bright blue-green, it smells funny, but it works and you only have to put it on every few days. You can buy it and other products (including some that make me grateful that my feet are only ugly and huge) at Great selection of shoes there, too, for people who have horrible feet and/or difficult to find sizes.

I like this stuff too, made by Boots (the beloved British company, products available in the US at Target and at this site)--it's a foot and leg spritz with echinacea and feels delicious.

And if you're not totally grossed out, what footcare tips do you have?

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At 7:04 AM, Blogger MaryF said...

Janet, great advice! I may use the tea bag trick myself.

Speaking of foot deodorant, one of the morning news shows analyzed them and said the less expensive ones - Degree, I think, or Secret - were the most effective.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Mo H said...

Loved the foot advice, Janet! Something one of my chaptermates told me is to alternate between high heels and low ones or flats. I'd add to put arch supports in your flats, as well.

Here's some advice from my daughter, a bonafide bunhead (ballet): If you get blisters, soak in a water and epsom salt solution. Once the blisters are clean and dry, bandages don't always stay on toes, so tape them. My daughter uses spongy first aid tape for the first layer, then clear first aid tape over the spongy. Other dancers swear by moleskin and corn pads--in the foot care aisle.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger Louisa Cornell said...

What a great idea! I never would have thought to worry about my feet! I have my shoe selections all lined up in the livingroom for test runs to see which ones I absolutely need. I had never heard of the tea bag thing! Off to sniff my shoes and make sure none of them are offensive!

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Esri Rose said...

I use that salt rock as a deodorant, and they say it works on feet, too. Don't know if it would leave salt marks on your shoes. Probably only if you sweat, and only on the inside. And they'd probably wipe off with a damp towel. The stuff is great. You just wet it and wipe on. And it's definitely not spendy. You can also find it in travel sizes occasionally.

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Janet Mullany said...

Esri, I've used the salt rock deodorant and it does work tho it gives me a rash in the pits (TMI).

Mo, I'm a great fan of Epsom salts too--wonderful for a foot soak, and I thoroughly agree with the advice to change shoes often.

I'm blogging today at Risky Regencies
on Regency shoes! Some very cute pix. Come and take a look.

At 11:24 AM, Blogger Diane Gaston said...

I love the National conference, because it is the only time of year I can obsess about shoes.
I love shoes, but in my present life, I could get along very well with 3 pair. Not at RWA, though. I have to have shoes for EVERY possible circumstance!! And I can wear shoes there that I love but have no use for at home. Who wants to wear high heeled flip flops around the house? But at the conference....

At 12:00 PM, Blogger Theresa Ragan said...

Tea bags? I've never heard of that but that's a great tip for those shoes you just can't throw away...

Definitely get a pedicure or beg your husband to do your feet (ha!)before you go because you'll feel better knowing they've been done even if noone sees them.

Thanks for the tips, Janet!

At 12:31 PM, Anonymous Linda in Burlingame said...

A very good pedicure makes your feet look great and you feel pampered. Alas, I have no money for a pedi! But I sure need one - you could grate cheese on my heels alone. I'm really bad about self-care which is really stupid because I have diabetes and foot care is #1!

As I live just south of SF, I probably won't be doing much sightseeing - but I will have my feet up in the Concierge Lounge, sipping a martini and I know hydration is good for your feet!

At 9:02 AM, Blogger Trish Milburn said...

Great advice, Janet. Trust me, I want to take care of my feet this year. Last year, a pair of shoes caused a sore on my foot that got infected and lasted forever. I still have the scar.

At 9:17 AM, Anonymous carrie said...

Hey Janet - great tips! But that's a very old photo of the Lavilin Foot Deodorant - you should check out the company's website to see the new packaging - also the current product isn't green - it's a white color that dissappears pretty quickly after applying.


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