We all deal with tired achy feet, regardless of what type of work we do. If you work in an industry that has you on your feet all day, if you work outside in wet conditions, and even those dealing with uncomfortable shoes in the office all deal with sore feet. Whatever the reason, we have the answers for all of your podiatric woes!
Today we’ll go over what causes sore feet, how to choose the best foot cream for sore feet, and how to treat yourself-er- I mean your tired achy feet. But let’s be honest, it’s a treat for you too.
What Causes Sore Feet?
In order to determine what is the best foot cream for your feet, we need to determine why your feet are sore in the first place. It’s not rocket science, but some problems need to be treated and you may need to make some changes to prevent the worst foot issues.
Simply being on your feet for hours can cause soreness due to exhaustion. It’s even more likely if you have a job that requires you to move a lot, such as if you are a server. The type of floor you walk or stand on can also play a big role. For instance, if you work in a factory with a concrete floor you may experience sore feet after a long day.
The type of shoes you wear definitely contributes to soreness. While most industries that require you to be on your feet also require you to wear specially designed shoes, some industries don’t. If you want to limit your foot issues, wear comfortable well-fitting shoes. Make sure to break in new dress shoes to avoid painful rubbing that leads to blisters. It’s advisable to wear low heels or flats to avoid discomfort.
Some types of footwear can also put you at risk for corns, calluses, and bunions. The best way to prevent such issues is to wear shoes with a wide enough toe box (front part of the shoe) that doesn’t severely taper and push your toes together.
No arch support
Even more comfortable shoes, like sneakers, can still leave you with very sore feet if your arches aren’t properly supported. Look for shoes with existing arch support, or buy supportive insoles if your shoes don’t have them. You may need insoles even for shoes that already have support if it isn’t adequate. Investing in some socks with arch support bands is a good idea as well.
Skin issues on your feet aren’t the same as bone, muscle and ligament pain but they can also leave your feet feeling awful. Dry skin occurs when your feet aren’t properly moisturized. It can also occur when your feet are exposed to cold temperatures or prolonged exposure to water.
In extreme conditions cracked skin is inevitable, but it’s also a result of untreated dry skin issues. Cracked skin may appear chapped as well, and will likely bleed. It’s best to treat dry skin before it begins cracking. However, if you work in a job where your feet sweat or they are exposed to water for prolonged periods, you will need to make sure you dry your feet when you get home, and use foot repair cream diligently.
How to Choose the Best Foot Cream for Sore Feet
Not all foot creams are made equally. Deciding which cream to choose can be a bit of a chore if you don’t know what to look for. There are foot lotions, creams, and so much more. In this section, I’ll clear up those questions by going over what you need to look for when choosing a foot cream.
Determining your Foot Issues
We already went over why your feet are sore, but you will need to consider those factors in order to choose the best foot cream. No matter how good a foot cream is, you won’t be able to treat bunions or other bone issues with a cream. You can, however, ease the pain a bit. You may want to avoid putting cream on when you have blisters. The best thing to do is to cover the blisters with a bandage or pads designed for blisters.
If you only have one issue, you may choose to look for creams that target your problem. If you just have cracked feet, you will want an intensive repair foot cream, but if you just have dry feet, you may opt for a less intense softening foot cream.
Qualities of a Good Foot Cream
The best foot creams have certain qualities and ingredients that set them apart from other creams and lotions. Unfortunately, many brands might claim their product is good, but they don’t live up to their claims. Knowing what to look for in a good foot cream will help you avoid purchasing an ineffective product. These are the things to look for in a good foot cream:
- Absorbs quickly
- Not greasy (after application)
- Uses humectants and may include both water and oil-based moisturizers
- Uses natural oils and butters
- Doesn’t have a lot of artificial ingredients
While some preservatives and emulsifiers are necessary, creams that have only chemical ingredients, or more chemical ingredients than natural ingredients, aren’t going to work well. One of the best ways to tell if it has too much is to look at the place the ingredient is listed. The ingredients listed first are what makes up most of the cream while the last ingredients are only a small fraction of the formula.
Ingredients to Look for in a Good Foot Cream
The best foot creams generally have high-quality ingredients. When choosing a foot cream you need to familiarize yourself with the benefits of the ingredients. The following outlines a few of the best ingredients in foot creams and what they do for your feet.
Natural butters, like cocoa and shea butter, help moisturize the skin well. Cocoa butter hydrates skin and improves elasticity but it also provides a protective layer on the skin after being applied. While it does feel greasy at first, it will absorb into the skin after a bit and will leave your feet feeling soft. A good cocoa butter foot cream will include cocoa butter as one of the main ingredients.
Shea butter penetrates deeper layers of skin and holds in moisture. It’s also an anti-inflammatory which is good for tired feet after a long day of standing or walking. Just like cocoa butter, a good shea butter foot cream will have it as one of the first ingredients.
Pure butters can be great for the skin, but carrier oils help increase the moisturizing properties and can improve the consistency of the product. Some carrier oils work better than others for skincare though.
Jojoba oil is one of the best oils for skin. It penetrates deep layers of skin and works well to soften skin. It’s also very similar to the oils our skin produces naturally so it absorbs easily without leaving a greasy residue. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, vitamin E, and B vitamins, making it a great choice for dry and cracked skin. It’s also anti-microbial, which helps prevent bacterial infections which can happen with badly damaged skin. It’s an essential ingredient for intensive foot creams.
Coconut oil is all the rage right now, and it’s great for your skin. It’s extremely moisturizing and great for things like eczema, but it’s a good oil to use even if you just have normal, dry skin. It does sit on the skin for a bit, but it will absorb eventually. A little goes a long way so it’s not usually one of the first ingredients, but it’s a great ingredient to have if you are looking for a softening foot cream.
Humectants work by pulling moisture in and helping to seal it in. While some of the other ingredients can serve as humectants, it’s the best foot creams include a dedicated humectant ingredient. It will generally be lower on the ingredient list which is fine. Many humectants may sound like strange chemicals, like AHAs and salicylic acid, but they aren’t unnatural.
However, those also serve other skincare issues like acne and anti-aging, which isn’t really necessary for foot care. Glycerin is a common humectant used in a lot of personal care products, and a good choice for foot creams.
Essential oils are amazing. They not only smell great and work really well for skin issues, but they can also help issues like muscle soreness. There are so many essential oils and they have a wide range of benefits from helping you sleep to pain relief. There are way too many benefits to list here but I’ll go over two great ones for tired, sore, and achy feet.
Peppermint oil is great for your feet. Not only does it have a great smell and cooling properties, but it also helps relieve pain. It helps relieve the pain by its cooling effects but it’s also anti-inflammatory so it can help swelling. A good peppermint foot cream will relieve the tension of the day and re-energize and refresh your feet.
Eucalyptus oil is also great for foot creams because it also has cooling and anti-inflammatory properties, but more than that, it’s a natural analgesic. It helps to numb the pain while the rest of its benefits get to work.
There are other ingredients you might find in foot creams, like water, emulsifiers, and preservatives. Water is the basis of most personal care products, which is fine. Though all products need some emulsifiers and preservatives to make sure the mixture stays the same consistency, mixes well, and keeps well.
Beware of any products that contain drying ingredients like alcohol, propylene glycol, or other unnecessary additives. These types of ingredients will only worsen the dryness of your skin and can be very irritating for cracked skin.
The Best Foot Cream for Sore Feet
Champion’s Cooling Foot Cream is one of the best foot creams for dry skin, cracked heels, swelling, tiredness, sore and achy feet. It has all of the essential ingredients we covered, including peppermint and eucalyptus oils so your feet will feel relieved and refreshed after a long day of work. This cream works wonders on your skin but also relieves the pain in the muscles of your feet.
Foot Care for Your Sore Feet
While the best foot creams will do a fine job on their own, there are a few things you can do to help the process along. Follow these tips to help reduce their soreness, and to spoil yourself a bit.
Techniques to Relieve Sore Feet
The following is a list of other ways you can alleviate foot pain:
- Foot soak or pedicure
- Foot exercises
- Exfoliate calluses and corns
In a little bit, we’ll cover doing a DIY pedicure, which includes a foot soak, massage, and exfoliation. However, if you don’t have time for a full pedicure, you can opt to skip any nail treatment or do a soak or massage separately. You can employ the other techniques alone, or in combination with each other.
To give your feet a good stretch, lie down in a comfortable position, point your toes, then flex your toes back towards your body and push your heels out. You can also lift each leg and use a strap around the arch of your foot. Additionally, you can use a strap while doing a point and flex stretch. Bend the knee and bring your foot closer to your body if you are having trouble.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to break a sweat or anything for foot exercises. A few simple moves will help. Stand up straight and raise your heels off the ground and go to your tiptoes. You can also sit and roll your foot on a water bottle or tennis ball, focusing on your arches (kind of an exercise and massage rolled into one!). You can also lay down and roll your ankles around.
Treat Yourself with a DIY Pedicure
If you’ve never done a pedicure yourself, it’s actually quite simple once you know how to do it. You only need the following items to do it:
- A foot spa or basin (you can also soak your feet in the tub)
- Hot water
- Epsom salts
- Foot scrub (optional)
- Light oil (optional)
- Essential oils
- Dry clean towel
- Pumice stone
- Foot file or scraper
- Nail/foot brush
- Nail clippers
- Nail file
- Cuticle scissors (optional)
- Cuticle pusher (optional)
- Buff board
- Polish (optional)
- Polish remover (only if you need to remove old polish)
- Foot cream
You can simply do a soak and skip your nails, but I recommend at least trimming and filing nails. And yes gentlemen, it’s perfectly okay to give yourself a pedicure. It’s just as beneficial for your feet, and you can skip the polish, opt to buff your nails, or simply just trim and file. The following steps will have your feet feeling better in no time!
To begin, you need a foot spa or basin, and hot water. You can use the tub if you like but I personally recommend buying a decent foot spa. I purchased an affordable one with jets, a warmer, and a rolling massager on the bottom and it was a great investment. It cost less than $40 and I’ve gotten quite a bit of use out of it.
You will need to start by filling it with hot water even if your spa has a warmer, but especially if you are using a simple basin. I like to boil mine and turn on the bubble feature, then let it cool a bit. Just make sure to test the water if you choose to do this or put in water that’s a bit cooler to start. If you have any nail polish already on, it’s best to remove it at this point. After you’ve filled the spa add bath salts or Epsom salts and if you’d like, you can add some oil to the water, like mineral, coconut, or olive oil.
You can also add essential oils to the water. While it’s technically optional, I didn’t list it as so because I strongly recommend including them if you can. Choose whatever oil you’d like, although I recommend using the same refreshing oils you find in your cream. Soak you feet for at least 10 minutes.
I personally like to soak my feet for a few minutes with a foot scrub, then let them soak a bit more before I move onto the rest of the exfoliation. Since my spa has a massager, I tend to focus on using the massager during the first soak. If you don’t have one, you can simply give yourself a little massage while finishing with cream.
After your feet have soaked, it’s time to break out the pumice stone, and a file or scraper. Be careful with foot scrapers because you can grate the skin uneven, or grate too much. I recommend using scrapers only for the toughest calluses and corns, and then I even it out with the pumice or file. At the minimum, you should use a good pumice stone. You want to try and get the exfoliating done while your feet are still softened from the soak. You can opt to do one foot at a time in order to ensure your feet stay soft.
After exfoliation, I usually soak my feet for a few minutes again and use a foot brush and soap while doing it. You can definitely skip it or wash with clean water if you’d like, but it’s best to remove any oils if you plan to buff or polish your nails.
Trim and shape nails
I typically use the tiny file inside my clippers, or the other end of a cuticle pusher to scrape any dirt from under my nails first, then trim them. Afterward, I use my file to shape my nails and smooth down the surface of the nails. I also tend to deal with the skin around my nails by lightly filing them. You can use cuticle scissors if you want, but be careful not to cut into the skin too hard and cause bleeding. Despite the name, I don’t advise you to cut or remove your actual cuticles. I use a pusher and gently push the cuticle back if necessary.
Buff or polish
This step is optional, but if you plan to buff or polish, I recommend doing so before applying the cream. I’m not big on nail polish because it’s such a pain, but I definitely recommend buffing. It not only leaves your nails looking beautiful (if you do it right you would swear you are wearing clear polish), but it’s a good step for healthy feet and nails. It helps stimulate the nail for growth and can stimulate circulation in the toes.
The last step is the cream. If you are using polish, allow nails to dry completely, then apply the cream all over feet and massage feet. You need to allow the cream to completely absorb into the skin.
Tips For Using the Foot Cream
You can simply apply the cream to clean skin after you take off your shoes when you get home, and/or to follow up a foot soak or a DIY pedicure. For even better results, put the cream on before bed nightly, and put socks on once absorbed.
Now relax, unwind and enjoy the blissful feeling of your refreshed feet! You have everything in your arsenal for all of your sore feet needs, and you know how to choose the best healthy feet foot cream for sore feet. I hope you liked this article because I always love sharing my tips, from my home to yours.
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