When it comes for caring for your dancer feet, our first and second posts may have you feeling like it’s all about treating ugly injuries! Please don’t think that. You can avoid many chronic foot problems by following these four additional steps.
7. Avoid Dry Feet
A good foot moisturizer is worth the space in your dance bag! You may want to ask other dancers or your dance teacher about their favorite foot moisturizer, then make sure you make moisturizing your feet part of your daily routine. Take special care to rub a little extra into those areas that are prone to blisters, corns, or calluses. The best time to apply moisturizer is before bed, and you’ll increase the value by covering your freshly moisturized feet with socks.
8. Wear Ballet Shoes Properly
This is a biggie, and it encompasses a few different issues. First, make sure your shoes fit properly. Your best bet is to make sure to get your shoes professionally fitted at a specialty ballet shoe store. Pointe shoes, in particular, must be properly fitted, or you’ll do damage not only to your feet but also to your ankles; otherwise, ingrown toenails, bruising, calluses, blisters, and more may result. And if you wear pointe shoes, you know that they require proper padding in order to protect your feet. The toe box especially should include pads made from either gel or wool. Even a single time dancing en pointe without proper padding can cause major problems, so don’t even consider it.
One added shoe-related tip we have is to consider buying two pairs of ballet shoes, allowing you to alternate them. By avoiding wearing the same pair two days in a row, you’ll allow your shoes to dry out between wearings, helping reduce the chances of foot fungus.
9. Don’t Dance with Injuries
If you absolutely can’t avoid dancing with toe or foot injuries, at least take some extra time for a little TLC first, by wrapping the affected area with medicated gauze and then covering it with foam or gel padding before you step onto the dance floor. (If you’re recovering from an ankle or foot injury, arch bands can help offer additional support while lessening your chances of tendonitis.)
This is not a situation where “no pain, no gain” applies, though. If you’re in pain when you’re dancing, you need to take a break. A day or two off to allow for healing can help you avoid a far longer break for a more serious injury.
If you’re constantly having trouble with your feet, you may benefit from visiting a foot care specialist or podiatrist.
10. Equip Your Dance Bag
In order to help you accomplish the kinds of foot care we’ve recommended, we highly suggest you outfit your dance bag with the following tools of the trade:
- Athletic tape & sterile strips
- Nail clippers
- Mole skin and a small pair of scissors
- Extra toe pads or lamb’s wool
- Needle and thread
- Extra elastic