The Melbourne Cup Foot Survival Guide

Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival is almost here!

It’s the perfect time of year to dress up in your finest, get your hair and make-up done, and step out in style. But while we may embody elegance and style at the beginning of the day, our poise can slowly disintegrate throughout a day spent walking in high heels.

When uncomfortable shoes rub, pinch, and put stress on your feet, the most obvious solution can be to take your heels off and hobble home. But walking barefoot puts you at risk of injuring your feet and potentially picking up a nasty infection. Plus, it’s really not a classy look!

Don’t let your day at the races be ruined by blistered and sore feet. Here are our top tips to enjoy the Melbourne Cup in comfort.

Choose your shoes wisely
Strappy pumps may look gorgeous as you strut around the shoe store, but over 4-8 hours of wear, they can turn into instruments of torture.
The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort. Look for shoes with:

A low heel
Sure, you may sacrifice a bit of height with a lower heel. But you will thank yourself for your rational choice after hours on your feet during Cup Day. A low heel reduces the stress on your forefoot, and also stops your weight from sliding forward and cramping your toes.

A wedged heel
Wedges give your feet room to spread out the pressure caused by your body’s weight. Their greater surface area also means you’re less likely to sink into grass (and risk an embarrassing fall or ankle injury).

Rounded toes
Pointy toed shoes squash your toes together, which can cause them to become cramped and sore. A rounded shoe gives your toes room to move and spread out. If you have your heart set on pointy feet, try open toed shoes instead (as long as the weather allows – don’t freeze your feet).

Buckles or straps
When you wear open shoes, your feet need to work harder to keep them from slipping off. With each step, the muscles in your feet work harder as, your toes claw inwards to keep your shoes on. After a few hours of this, your feet will probably feel exhausted and sore.

Shoes with a strap or buckle are not only safer (reducing your risk of tripping if a shoe comes off suddenly or gets caught in the turf), but they also let your feet relax a little instead of working so hard to keep your shoes on your feet.

Choose soft materials
Avoid shoes made out of patent leather or hard synthetic materials. Your feet will likely swell during the day’s activities, and hard materials won’t stretch... they’ll rub on your feet instead.

Also, pay attention to any seams or bumps that press on your feet. Even the slightest irritation can become extremely uncomfortable after 6 hours of constant pressure.

Prepare your feet
Give your feet some extra pampering leading up to Race Day. Soak your feet daily, then give them a massage with a quality moisturiser, and top it off with a good rub to remove dead skin.

If you have calluses or corns, consider seeing a Podiatrist at the Brunswick or Sandringham Foot Clinic for professional advice and treatment.

Use padding or gel cushions
Most chemists and supermarkets carry good quality gel innersoles for a variety of different shoe types. Having the extra cushioning under your feet can make a big difference to your level of comfort throughout the day. Make sure that even these thin gel innersoles don’t then make your shoes too tight.
If you are unsure of the best choice for you, speak to a Podiatrist for professional advice.

Plan for emergencies
You can fit a few Band-Aids into even the smallest bag. Whilst they can be a real blessing if a blister starts to form they work best to protect your feet against any hotspot from your shoes. Also, sneak a pair of flexible ballet flats into your bag if possible. Do not walk home barefoot – you risk cutting your feet on sharp objects or glass.

What to do next
If you want to make sure your feet are in top condition for the races, seek professional advice and treatment from a podiatrist. Melbourne Podiatrist has two foot clinics located at two convenient locations in Brunswick and Sandringham.

To book an appointment, click here.