good things for feet
November 11, 2020 12:00 PM   Subscribe

my feet are super busted. I want a holiday gift list full of treats for feet.

Just about everything that can be wrong with feet is wrong with mine. (Except bunions. I don't have those. Or corns or warts or fungus.) But I have very tight fascia, old fractures that always hurt, dry cracked heels, calluses...

What can I buy (or be gifted) that is a real treat for feet? I mean like something more than lotion.

I tried a Brookstone foot&leg massager and it hit a bone in my ankle and hurt too much to use, although I love foot massage and would like to find a way to replicate the feeling. I tried Baby Feet, and while it was fun to see the skin coming off, I found that it mostly peeled off the soft parts, didn't do much for the tough dry stuff I was trying to get at.

What have *you personally tried* and found to just... feel really good? (Like, specific brands of foot massagers.) Or products that actually improve gross bad foot situations? During ordinary times I get foot massages, but that's off now thanks to covid.
posted by fingersandtoes to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I use a wooden bead foot roller like this one when I'm watching television. I got it when I had plantar fasciitis, but I still use it because it makes my feet feel great!
posted by pangolin party at 12:09 PM on November 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Urea Cream is gross to me if I think about it too much, but it works like a champ. It's not overnight, but it definitely works! Baby feet did the same thing to me, it didn't seem to get the hard stuff, but the urea cream does.
posted by shmurley at 12:15 PM on November 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

This Tweezerman Toenail Clipper is by FAR the greatest toenail clipper of my life. It is really well made, super sharp, super strong, and completely straight across so it's harder to cut wrong and get an ingrown toenail. It's the best ever.
posted by DSime at 12:26 PM on November 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Coconut oil twice daily, once before work, then after showering in the evening. A light coating on the whole foot with an emphasis on the nail crevices and between the toes. Started doing this in the spring, took a couple weeks to get results but now my feet look and feel the best they have in a decade.
posted by mannequito at 12:43 PM on November 11, 2020

Best answer: I got my partner, who has extensive foot issues after a car crash, UpStep orthotic inserts and they're actually really great! We weren't expecting much considering they're a fraction of the cost of the prescribed ones he'd been getting, but we were wrong. If they're not having a sale at the moment, subscribe and sit tight for a bit because they routinely email about really good discounts (we paid $126/pr; I think I have a coupon code too if you want message me). They have a money-back guarantee and will allegedly remake the inserts until you're pain-free, but his were good on the first try.
posted by teremala at 12:43 PM on November 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

Perhaps a Mont Bleu foot file? I have one, and it does an amazing job on my dry heels and calluses. It's worlds better than a metal file I bought for the same purpose.
posted by Janta at 12:44 PM on November 11, 2020

For callouses and dry skin, I have a flat sponge that is terry on one side and loofah on the other. I go over my feet with the loofah and some soap in every shower. After about a week, they get a lot smoother and lotion works way better. I used to think loofahs didn't work, but they just take time and regular use, whereas I was expecting them to be an instant fix. You don't have to scrub too hard either. I would like a small stool in my shower to put my foot on to make it easier to keep my balance.
For winter cracking, those metal tools that look like graters can be found for under $5 and they too take a light touch a few times to smooth things out. The Pedi Egg is the same concept but looks really sharp and expensive.
posted by soelo at 12:48 PM on November 11, 2020

Best answer: Yoga Toes, excellent for stretching the feet at night and preventing foot cramps that would previously wake me from a dead sleep.
posted by jennypower at 1:40 PM on November 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

I use urea cream on the regular, and a callus shaver. It really does help, and feel freeing, to get the calluses down. It takes some learning to do, but worth it. But be careful.

I have a beeswax-based foot cream (Blue goo?) that I use too.
posted by Dashy at 1:41 PM on November 11, 2020

A pair of crocs where a life saver for me when I had a lot of foot pain. Not the most attractive shoes, though they do make styles you could wear to most offices with no problems, but the traditional clog style was a life saver for me when I could barely walk from foot pain for 6 months. Even now when my fascia starts acting up the crocs are a life saver. Also Oofos sandals if you just need a super soft walking on clouds experience that doesn't have as much support.
posted by wwax at 1:42 PM on November 11, 2020

Birkenstocks are having a fashionable ugly-pretty moment along the same lines as Crocs, and if you have plantar fasciitis or similar issues, you may really enjoy the firm, supportive cork footbed and wide, roomy forefoot which allows your toes to spread out.

The Boston clogs are pretty good for non-messy winter days. (Not Birkenstock, but Haflinger slipper clogs have a very similar footbed and I love them to death.)
posted by fountainofdoubt at 2:24 PM on November 11, 2020

This "pumice stone" is the best thing I've found for calluses. The trick is to use it on DRY feet. I do it outside because you get a lot of callus dust. Just scrub it back and forth until your calluses are a little pile of dust on the ground. You can do it over a few days. Once you get them back down to normal skin it will go much quicker if you keep on it. I usually break. the stone in half so it's more maneuverable. Not glamorous but it really works and it's dirt cheap to give it a try.
posted by BoscosMom at 3:00 PM on November 11, 2020

I rotate between these cream options: 40% Urea Cream, 100% Lanolin (very sticky), Shea Butter mashed with a bit of Glycerin, and recently: VaniCream Ointment. For calluses, the foot rasps that are basically sandpaper glued onto a plastic paddle (daily), reconstituted pumice stones and a bona fide one from a volcano, the callus shaver, and for a serious used-by-professionals-in-salons effort, Callus Eliminator brushed on with a dollar store makeup brush so you can target certain areas, followed by exfoliation, creams, socks and crocs around the house. No flat sandals ever.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 3:47 PM on November 11, 2020

dry cracked heels, calluses...

I just made a major discovery on the cracked heels front. Vaseline. It really worked for me, and in a matter of days.

A. I'd soak my feet in hottish water for about fifteen minutes,

B. I'd apply moisturizer before they started to fully dry (nothing special, just a daily moisturizer)

C. I'd follow up with Vaseline (original formula) liberally applied to wherever there was cracking.

Like I said, in a matter days, I saw serious improvement with something that had been bugging me to varying degrees for a few years.

No, I don't work for or own stock in Vaseline.
posted by philip-random at 4:02 PM on November 11, 2020

Best answer: This Microplane foot file is the best thing I’ve found for seriously removing calluses and dry skin.
posted by MadamM at 5:39 PM on November 11, 2020 [2 favorites]

Foot baths with Dead Sea Salt, half an hour each time. Done regularly, they would soften and deodorize your feet. You can get sachets that are already scented with essential oils like lavender with other added ingredients. Otherwise, unscented Dead Sea Salt can be purchased in bulk.
posted by whitelotus at 5:48 PM on November 11, 2020

Best answer: Crocs are mentioned above, but let me tell you about Crocs slippers. First of all, they’re slippers, so they don’t need to be fashionable. Second, they’re lined so they’re not clammy. Third, slip-on, so no bending over. Fourth — AND THIS IS KEY — they don’t deflate after a while like memory foam. Cushiony for life.
posted by condour75 at 6:30 PM on November 11, 2020

Best answer: My instant relief product is Bag Balm, made originally for cows who are milked daily. It comes in a square green tin, direct from the manufacturer. It is Vaseline-like, but it includes lanolin and a tiny amount of hydroxy quinoline sulfate, because it has to be food safe. When my feet are dry and cracked, I shower, then apply a good amount to both feet, pull on some white crew socks and let it soak in overnight. The effects are immediate and quite remarkable. If you use it three nights in a row, you will have baby feet. It doesn't hurt to use a little extra on thick callouses. It is also really, really good for rough elbows. It's been around since 1899 for a reason, and my family has always had a tin around the house.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 5:31 PM on November 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: various products ordered. So far what's arrived and stood out is the microplane file. I've used a Revlon egg-type grater for years, but this thing is a whole nother level!
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:15 AM on November 14, 2020

Response by poster: updating to say I got the yoga toes and I don't know if I over did it last night or what, I couldn't feel anything strange at the time, I only wore them maybe 25 minutes while watching TV, but I woke in the night with terrible pain in the ball of one of my feet and can't walk on it today. I suppose could be a coincidence, but I doubt it. Updating for anyone looking at this list to recommend caution on the yoga toes.
posted by fingersandtoes at 1:47 PM on November 16, 2020

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