A Gathering Place for Adults Who Love Irish Dance

Thursday, October 13, 2011

IrishCentral: Foot care tips and tricks keep Irish dancers on their toes.

Foot Care keeps Irish dancers on their toes
photo by VinothChandar

To dancers, feet are like a prized car that must be cared for, protected and maintained to keep their usefulness and get them where they want to go. For adult Irish dancers whose feet have pounded the ground more than the younger set, foot care is critical. Take the time to prevent foot problems and learn how to care for such setbacks as blisters, and ingrown toenails. 

Most foot skin problems can be avoided simply by correct shoe sizing. Too loose and your skin will slip and rub against the shoe, too tight and you may cause bunions and other bone problems. For Irish dancers that means making sure that both hard shoes and ghillies or reel shoes are snug but not pinching.

Many adult Irish dancers have told me that they couldn't dance without their favorite foot care products. Below are some suggestions for happy, healthy dancing feet. 

Toe Tape help protect Irish dance feet.
Photo from AllAboutDance
  • Bandaids and medical tape can be used on parts of the foot that get a lot of friction.  Wrap the affected area before problems start and the tape or bandaid will take the abuse--not your skin.
  • Anti-Chafing creams and sticks help lubricate areas that are prone to blister.  One such product is a FootGlide Foot formula made by BodyGlide. One dancer claims that deodorant works just as well, but I have never tried it.  Let me know if this has worked for you. 
  • Toe Tape is another product that prevents blisters and chaffing. Check out these cute Smiley Toes Tape.
  • Moleskin is helpful for sore spots and blisters that have already formed.  Simply cut the moleskin to fit and cover the sensitive spot and keep dancing. 
  • Polymer toe caps like Bunheads Pinky Pads cover and protect sore toes (and fingers too). 
  • Cushions for the feet come in a wide variety and help protect the sensitive bottom of the foot.  Dr. Jill's has a Gel cushion that sticks to and helps pad the ball of your foot.  
  • Toe separaters are placed between the toes to prevent and care for painful bunions, corns and ingrown toenails. 
  • Blister Booties reduce blisters in
    Irish dance hard shoes
    photo from Rutherford Shoes
  • When shoes are new they can cause painful rubbing on the ankles, especially those stiff hard shoes.  Blister booties are worn around the ankle and foot, providing protection and relief.

What are your favorite products and foot care tips that keep you dancing and give you the most mileage out of your feet?

Read more:
Bounce Back! 3 Strategies for Returning to Irish Dance After an Injury
Stretch your feet--improve your dancing
Neck Stretches for Irish dancers-health tips and warm ups

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