Although by now it is a fact well-established that I do whatever possible to avoid wearing uncomfortable shoes, sometimes it can't be helped. And by "can't be helped" I mean I have a skirt that I can't wear clogs with and not look like a small-but-effective dump truck. It's sad, but true.
Since my feet are made of the finest onion skins, they chafe, rub, blister, and bleed like nobody's business. When I do wear fancy, cute, or pointy shoes I have to take major-league proactive measures to protect my tootsies -- and the shoes themselves. Over the years, I've developed -- in the words of Liam Neeson's seminal role in the film Taken -- a particular set of skills when it comes to keeping discomfort at bay.
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It's easy to hold your breath and hope for the best when you slip on a pair of new (or perpetually wicked) shoes. "I'll only be walking to the car," is a popular rationalization in which I myself have indulged. As fun as self-delusion can be (ask me about the full week I managed to convince myself that I was the lost Princess Anastasia*) it's even more fun to be confused with the town's local murderer, leaving bloody footprints hither and yon. Here are some tried and true methods for keeping your feet ouchie-free.
1. Friction Sticks
These things are the business. I'm partial to the Band-Aid brand. A major cause of blisters is the rubbing caused by warm, moist feet -- and most of our feet get warm and moist when they are encased in cow-parts. A quick brush onto problem areas (for me that's heel and toe-box) before donning your footwear will save you hours of friction yickiness.
2. Second Pair of Shoes
I'm known for always having at least three pairs of shoes on my person at any given time, so fiercely opposed to foot-pain am I. One of these days I'll ditch the heavy soles and opt for some of these fun, cheap, foldable flats. A pair for each purse, I say! Dr. Scholl's makes pretty cute ones, too.
3. Customized Stretching
Any time you use the word "custom" it makes you sound slightly rich, which is a plus. Here's a trick even us poor folks can use with great success. Fill two plastic sandwich bags with water. Put these bags in your shoes. Then put the shoes in the freezer. The bags will expand as the water freezes, stretching out your shoes. Once the contents are completely frozen, remove them and (here's the tough part) put on the shoes. It will be cold as balls, but as the shoes shrink back down, they will mold around your feet creating the perfect fit.
4. Pantyhose Are Your Friend
Thanks to Kate Middleton, "flesh" colored pantyhose are back in style. In a pinch, pantyhose over cotton wool covered sensitive spots will keep you cushioned, while the pantyhose keeps the wool in place without grimy adhesive.
Gross name, decidedly ungross results. These self-stick pads are great, adhering like the proverbial second skin. Much like with fake eyelashes, don't just assume you have to wear the moleskin as is -- trim accordingly for maximum comfort. Also, buy a Moleskine and write in it while wearing moleskin on your feet. If only to please me.
What do you do to prevent blisters and other foot woes?
Image via Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com/Flickr
*Have you heard there's a rumor in St. Petersburg?