If your feet are suffering from neglect, fashion fatigue or bad choices, this one’s for you…
WHO ARE YOU?
While your friend stands all night like a champ in five-inch heels, you are about to collapse on your knees. Our feet are not the same, so the first step is to know what type you have. There are three common types of feet: The first is ‘Egyptian’, where the toes taper down from the first to the fifth. 70 percent of feet are of this type and suffer from pain in the heels. The second type is ‘Greek’. It is similar to the ‘Egyptian’, but the second toe is longer than the first. It represents 22 percent of the population and is the “all-terrain” shape that puts the weight forward for you to feel less tired. Lastly, you have the “square” sort, with at least three toes of the same length. It only represents eight percent of the people and such feet are the most sensitive to narrow shoes.
Your feet have 20 bones, over 30 joints and many ligaments, nerves and blood vessels, and carry the supreme mission of supporting your body and fashion caprices. If your feet are forgotten, it is time to give them your attention and money with a reflexology session. This therapy is more of a diagnostic tool than a cure but it is incredibly useful in helping restore overall foot health. The pressure on muscles during a session removes the tension collected at 7,000 nerve endings, restoring the feet back to their natural shape and aiding blood flow.
DO YOUR TRAINING
Heels are powerful weapons because they are elegant, sexy and force you to stand straight. They define the legs and make you look 11 pounds lighter. If you are a khussa fan, you won’t be able to attend an entire night party with six-inch stilettos, but you can work on it. Put some talc, step into your shoes and start advancing straight ahead without watching the floor. Do not cross your feet when walking. Do your training with your new pair on the stairs: climb up and down at home with a slightly crab-like profile!
Never buy shoes without trying them on. A good pair not only looks nice, but is also well designed with the correct structure. Remember that the arch defines comfort and mobility. If your feet do not have the right angle to stand on, you will easily fall. If they feel too tight and you convince yourself that the leather will loosen, wrong! It is preferable to take a half size larger and add a leather insole. You should feel comfortable right away and all toes must be able to move inside. Always travel with a hidden pair of ballerinas in your bag for any foot emergency.
When tired, Her Majesty Letizia, Queen of Spain, removes her heels and wears the super cozy and comfortable Pretty Ballerinas (www.prettyballerinas.com).
You live in the sub-continent and everyone wears flip-flops because they make you feel fresh, comfortable and easily match your shalwar kameez. The problem is that walking every day and everywhere with them will ruin your feet. Why? Because they provide inadequate support for the feet and their use over long periods causes severe pain in the knees, heels and arch region. They force your feet and legs to overcompensate by contracting muscles when they should be at rest. The result is the formation of hammertoes, a foot deformity where the second, third or fourth toe is bent at the joint, resembling a hammer. Please, alternate your sandals with cute but solid strappy models like the super trendy gladiators from the Greek designer Christina Fragista, now available at Labels Karachi (www.labelsestore.com).
CALLOUSES AND ROUGHNESS
Inappropriate flat shoes and heels automatically cause roughness because they change the natural distribution of weight on the foot. Use a foot file once a week to remove hard skin. If you don’t get rid of dead skin around nails, you will build up painful callouses, so use an old electric toothbrush to polish your toenails three times a week. You can also go for the must-wanted gadget: Clarisonic Pedi (www.clarisonic.com). This sonic-frequency, foot-softening callus smoother is both safe and a powerful instrument. Going for a pedicure to the beauty salon is a great and relaxing experience, but think of your feet in the same way you think of your teeth. You must visit a podiatrist at least once a year for a checkup.
As soon as you remove your shoes, wash your feet. They cannot wait for the next bath as they are vulnerable to bacteria. Make sure to dry them carefully to prevent fungi. Afterwards, walk at least 10 minutes barefoot on your heels to compensate the misbalances and relax your Achilles tendon. Rub tired soles with a towel soaked in hot cider vinegar or lemon juice. Both are readily absorbed by the skin and provide instant relief. You can also apply an ice bag to reduce swelling or use the Norwegian Formula Cracked Heel Foot Cream from Neutrogena in a generous layer before covering the soles with thick socks as an overnight repair treatment.
Purifying, moisturizing, lightening… we think that masks are only for the face but why not also use them to take care of your feet? Especially since beauty brands offer great products like The Body Shop Purifying Foot Mask that freshen and clean the skin. If you have time, you can also prepare a complete treatment yourself using grapes and butter. Crush the grapes (just enough to obtain thick pieces), pour the puree into a bowl, soak the feet and rub. Then take them out and let dry for 15 minutes. Finally, massage with softened butter to nourish the skin.
With 18 beauty awards under his belt, Bastien Gonzalez has earned the status of “foot virtuoso”. The French podiatrist provides in Dubai (at the One & Only The Palm Resort Pedi:Mani:Cure Studio) the most exquisite foot treatments, but also claims that the secret to happy feet is to exercise them. Try this routine recommended by the master. Stand facing a wall with your feet together. Then place your right foot diagonally up against the wall so your heel is on the ground and your toes are vertical. Push your body weight onto that leg – you should feel the stretch in your toes and your calf muscle. Hold for 30 seconds and then repeat with the other foot.
Bastien Gonzalez is internationally famous for his unique approach to foot treatments and wishes to give a pedicure its letters of nobility.