A new job has me on my feet: Is it normal for my tootsies to get numb?
July 19, 2007 8:39 PM   Subscribe

I've got a new job where I'm on my feet about ten hours a day. The outsides of my feet are going numb. Is this normal?

In the past I've either worked office jobs or short (6 or fewer hours) shifts. My new job has me on my feet about 10 hours a day, 5 and a 1/2 days a week. I've noticed that the "outside" of my feet (The right side on my right is the worst, although the left side of my left is also getting there) is going numb. It's not like I can't feel it, but if I go to scratch the spot of rub a hand on it, it feels like that part of the foot is asleep, like I'm trying to touch it through a sheet.

Is this normal? Do waiters encounter this kind of thing? I've got a great pair of new sneakers, so I don't think it's the shoe wear. I'm just a little freaked out.
posted by GilloD to Health & Fitness (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You may have a great new pair of sneaks, but that doesn't mean they are great for being on your feet all day like that. You need to get yourself purpose-built shoes that provide the right sort of support and stability for such duty.

There was a thread here a month or so ago with some great recommendations for sneaker-type work shoes.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:52 PM on July 19, 2007

Me too, sort of. I get this when I run over three miles on the elliptical at the gym, so you're not alone. However, I do NOT get this at work, and I'm on my feet for anywhere from 6 to 10 hours, 5 days a week. I wear heels at work, too.

I'm wondering if your shoes are too tight? Mine could probably fit me better, but they were an impulse purchase at Skechers after I joined the gym, and they were the only ones in my size left. I wonder if I should have gotten a half size up.

Eagerly awaiting the answer here, too :)
posted by Verdandi at 8:55 PM on July 19, 2007

Here are a few relevant threads:

-advice for being on your feet at work all day
-good shoes for nurses
-Be sure to check out paulsc's comment in this thread (paulsc used to work for a shoe-making company and therefore knows about this stuff)
- recommendations for good running shoe store in NYC where they can look at your posture and gait and give you intelligent advice about what you need in a shoe
- best shoes for standing all day?
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:05 PM on July 19, 2007

I know that walking or standing in shoes designed for running KILLS my feet. Can you switch it up? Wear some Rockports or similar for 5 hours, athletic shoes for 5 hours?
posted by peep at 9:07 PM on July 19, 2007

I was about to say the word "Birkenstocks" but the threads above pretty much cover it and come to the same conclusion.
posted by rokusan at 9:16 PM on July 19, 2007

Yeah, as pointed out above, comfortable sneakers don't necessarily make for good on-your-feet-all-day-shoes.

When I was in that situation, I turned to combat boots. My logic being that I could polish the hell out them and make them look good, and they were designed for walking/ marching/ standing all day.

Though I did come to respect those around me who paid for high quality dress shoes. But that had more to do with the long wearing of the style more than the comfort.

At the end of the day though, I'll turn to my mother-in-law who waitresses at a high-end restaurant to pick up extra cash. When I asked how she could keep doing this after all these years, she pointed to her plain and basic work shoes. The same ones that I see nurses wear.

They may not look that cool, but apparently they are the things for being on your feet all day.
posted by quin at 10:47 PM on July 19, 2007

They might feel weird at first, but Dansko clogs have long been the shoe of choice for many high end waiters.
posted by elwoodwiles at 12:28 AM on July 20, 2007

Are you moving around or mostly standing still? I cooked for about 12 years and while my legs got achy, I never got numbness in my feet. For sure, find yourself some good shoes (although I wore some pretty cheap boots most of the time) but try moving around and stretching too.
posted by qldaddy at 5:39 AM on July 20, 2007

They're dorky as all hell - but have you considered compression stockings? They're basically tight knee socks. They aid your circulation by compressing the calf, so that the vasculature in your legs doesn't have to work as hard to pump the blood all the way back up to your heart. Most people don't realize there are little muscles in there actually helping move that blood back up. You can buy them at places like CVS.
posted by selfmedicating at 7:02 AM on July 20, 2007

I much prefer Jobst stockings if you're going to go that route, but I think probably some of the other suggestions are better.
posted by RobotHeart at 2:36 PM on July 20, 2007

take care of your feet, and don't ignore the problem for too long.

i started a job that has me on my feet 13 hours a day, 6 days a week; 4 weeks into the job, i had strained my left foot so bad, i have a nasty stress fracture.

please, please look after yourself.
posted by gursky at 6:20 PM on July 20, 2007

Kumfs. They're what I got after the first two weeks of standing all day nearly killed me. The pair I got are ugly as hell, but they make life bearable.

(I've also found that Crocs are great for standing in... but some folks would find them more objectionable than the Kumfs.)
posted by web-goddess at 12:35 AM on July 21, 2007

« Older Linking Texts   |   Steal my family secrets? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.