Solutions for cracked heels & winter feet

Spring is around the corner, and it’s almost time to de-shoe our feet. If you need solutions for cracked heels and getting your winter feet sandal-ready, I’ve got you covered!

Unfortunately, many of us are discovering how hideously disgusting, craggy, dry, and callused our heels are after months under wraps (er, socks). And exposing those tootsies won’t fix the problem: they’ll only get more dry from here as they’re exposed to things like sun and sand!

So what to do?

First, get informed. It’s important to note that calluses aren’t all bad; in fact, they’re super complex, and worth getting to know (listen to Katy Bowman’s podcast episode 83 to become a callus expert).

BUT…when calluses start to crack, flake, fill with debris, and cause our eyes to burn when we look at them, it’s time for some foot maintenance that works.

Here’s my 3-step plan for summer-ready feet.

Step 1: file those feet, but not too much. Calluses don’t generally need to be shaved; filing down the cracks and flakes gradually is plenty for most people. I use this tool (no affiliation) on the “medium” side and VERY rarely the “coarse” side. You might THINK you need to be pretty aggressive with it, but gradual is better! Going crazy and shaving off too much skin will just cause your body to make thicker calluses.

Unfortunately, this is a task that needs to be done every few days, but if you follow the rest of my steps, it should get less urgent with time.

Step 2: moisturize, don’t peel…but that’s not all. Seal in in with heel cups. This will make the BIGGEST difference, by far! Lotions aren’t enough – they will inevitably be wiped away the second you stand up. Foot “peels” are a wild card – their peeling action is hard to predict and much harder to control than a file.

Using lotion and sealing your moisture in with a heel cup like this one (no affiliation) will make a HUGE difference, quickly. I can’t stand wearing anything on my feet overnight, so I’ll file, moisturize my heels, and pop my heel cups on when I’m working or lounging. They make a huge difference within 30 minutes. A few times a week should do the trick!

When I’m first getting things under control, I’ll use the intensely moisturizing cleansing balm from Beautycounter, but any old lotion will work!

Step 3: get a medical pedicure! Many medspas are now offering medical pedicures, and they’re a great way to start the spring footwear season. Many will use a cream containing urea, which can be powerful but, in my opinion, is best used in the presence of a professional.

Get cracking – er, un-cracking, friends!

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