If you dance on your feet, then you need pay A LOT of attention to your shoes. Dance shoes are a dancer’s only real equipment. Everything else is either you, or a fabulous adornment of you. Speaking of you, you also need to give special care to your feet. Here are 18 essential tips that will help.
Are your shoes a bit too tight?
- Put plastic bags with water in the toe of each shoe, and freeze the shoes with the bags in them. As the water freezes, it will expand in the bag and will stretch the shoe.
- Spray rubbing alcohol on the inside of the parts of the shoe that are a bit uncomfortable. The alcohol will soften the shoe without damaging it and the shoe will stretch to fit your foot as you wear them.
- Heat the inside of the shoe with a hair dryer before wearing. Wear them for a few minutes with thick wool socks. The heat and the pressure of the socks will help the shoes to stretch quickly.
Do you have pain in the ball of your feet when wearing heels?
- Tape your third and fourth toes together with medical tape. This will lessen the pressure on the nerve that is between your third and fourth toe, which may otherwise cause pain.
- Get a 1 inch thick sheet of foam from a sewing or craft store. Cut 2 pieces to the size of your feet or to the size of the balls of your feet. Slip them inside your shoe for an amazing cushion. You should be able to cut inserts for several shoes, and as replacements once the foam gets too flat, from a single sheet of foam.
Are your favorite shoes getting a bit smelly?
- Put dry tea bags in the toes of your shoes right after wearing them. The tea bags will absorb odor.
- If you practice hard every day, alternate your shoes every day to ensure that they have time to dry out properly. This may also prevent some blisters.
- If your shoes are not getting smelly, but are down right stinky already, put them in a plastic bag and put that bag with the shoes in the freezer. The cold will kill the germs than cause odor.
- Bathe your feet in tea. Yes, TEA! Green tea works the best due to the anti-inflammatory properties it has.
- Put deodorant on your feet before dancing to prevent blisters. Gel deodorant works the best, but spray deodorant is the easiest to use and still works very well.
- If you get blisters or soft corns between your toes, it is likely due to moisture and friction. Wrap the toes that are the biggest problem in soft gauze to prevent this.
Got dry feet or cracked soles?
- Soak your feet in ½ cup of baking soda and 3 cups of warm water to soften even super dry feet.
- If they are a bit cracked, not just dry, soak them in 1 cup vinegar and 3 cups water.
- If your feet are in really bad shape, use 1 cup Listerine mouthwash, 1 cup of vinegar and 2 cups of water and soak your way to smoother feet.
Have a foot cramp?
- Put all of your weight on the foot with the cramp, bend your knees slightly and hold it there.
- Use your hands to pull your toes up and toward you as far as they will go and hold them there.
- Prevent cramps by getting enough vitamins and minerals (especially potassium, calcium, magnesium and vitamin D), making sure that you are hydrated, and by warming up before you dance.
- They may not be cute but they are not such a bad thing for dancers. Callouses form to make the hardest working parts of your feet stronger and better able to handle pressure without causing you pain. If they get too thick, you can file or pumice them down, but think twice about getting rid of them completely. After all, if you have them, you have probably earned them.
Author: Miss P [Celebrate DanceSport]
Photography: Ryan Kenner Photography
Exclusively for Dance Comp Review