We lived in Australia until I was almost 10. My brother, who is 5 years younger than me, desperately wanted cracked feet like his friend. My mother kept trying to tell him that actually he didn’t, that cracks are painful. He didn’t understand the pain. Nor did I, until I got a crack on my heel, 35 years later.
The timing couldn’t have been worse. I’d spent 4 weeks living in slippers at my parents’ recuperating from surgery. I’d finally managed to move home, but still had to take it easy for another couple of weeks. When I was finally ready, and able, to pack up my house, pack my bag and leave, it struck. It was just a small crack on one of my heels, but it was debilitating. I think the cause was not wearing shoes, and not walking much.
Flexitol heel balm was my friend. After a day of using it the crack felt better and I could walk on it, and in a few days it was almost gone. I brought the tube with me and I’m glad I did. I don’t think wearing sandals or flip flops all the time does your feet any favours in the long run. Your feet can also get very dry, and this is a cause of cracks.
When travelling you often only have 2 or 3 pairs of footwear with you. I find my feet suffer if I wear the same pair for more than a few days on the trot. I also think you need to wear a heel occasionally, and you definitely need some arch support, I’m suffering a bit now with sore feet, but at least the outer parts of my feet are in good nick.
Flexitol heel balm: great for treating and preventing cracked heels. Apply a couple of times a week as a prevention. Also good on rough elbows. A little goes a long way. Shame they don’t make a smaller travel size. If space is an issue you could try and decant it into a small pot. I did this once and it seemed ok, but I can’t guarantee it.
Image source: www.flexitol.com
Foot file: If money was no object I’d buy this file by Margaret Dabbs. If space was no object I would have brought my beloved Ped Egg. As it turns out, I made the mistake of not bringing either and had to settle on a plastic file I bought in China. It’s almost worn out now and I fear the handle will snap soon. Use a file on dry skin, not wet, and always towards the centre of the heel, apply flexitol after. Image source: www.margaretdabbs.co.uk/
Nail Clippers: My favourite clippers are these by Scholl. They have a handy case to collect the cut nails. I gave mine away to someone I met travelling. She was going on to travel for many months, nail clipper-less, and I was going home. It felt like the right thing to do. She was happy with my parting gift. Foolishly I’ve never replaced them.
Instead I bought a set of big and small clippers by TweezerMan, but the big ones freaked me out. They were so flat and intimidating, I gave them to my Dad but kept the small ones.
I have another story related to my Scholl clippers, I lent them to someone I was sailing with once. He returned them, with a full on big toenail jammed in the collection case. How RUDE. I have other nail clipping stories, but I think it best I leave this subject alone now.
Image source: www.scholl.com
Compeed plasters: Pricey, often found in 3 for 2 offers, but it’s worth bringing a couple of Compeed Plasters with you, just in case. I also brought ones for a cracked heel, as I had them already, thankfully I haven’t needed them. The miracle that is Flexitol.
Image Source: www.compeed.co.uk
Foot Massage: I know, not strictly a product, but If you’re travelling in Asia you will be bombarded by places to go for a massage. China has some particularly good foot massage places, where you end up getting a fully clothed massage as well. In any case, it was a treat for my feet. Though I’m still squirming at someone scrapping my hard skin with their finger nail. THEIR. FINGER. NAIL. Wrong.
Image Source: erm….me, nice mosquito bite on my left leg!
What do you think? Have I missed something? Do you have any advice or top tips you’d like to add? If so, feel free to share in the comments section below, I’d like to hear. But please, enough of the toenail stories, I’ve grossed myself out remembering them.