5 Tips For Dealing With Your Gnarly Climber’s Feet

3 Miura Ladies

Sure our feet look cute here, but you don’t want to see what’s under these shoes.

Since it’s wedding season, I’ve started noticing all my non-climbing friends’ lovely looking pedicured feet, and then looking down at mine and thinking hmm… and while I wouldn’t trade climbing for nicer looking feet, I started thinking I could probably take better care of them.  And look, this is not to judge, if you love your dusty toes, I have no problem with that.  But, if you are looking for a few easy things to incorporate into your routine that will greatly decrease the gnarliness of your current situation, AND you want in on some free products we are giving away, then read on!

1) Wash your shoes.  This is most important. If you don’t do this from time-to-time, everything else is somewhat moot. We sweat in our shoes with no socks on all the time, and washing decreases a) the bacteria that contributes to the stank and b) the fungus that causes that dried out rough skin, and the yellowed, flaky toe nails that (admit it) you’re sporting.  Wash them on a cold gentle cycle, don’t use soap, and don’t put them in the dryer.  Let them air dry in a nice non-humid, area of your home or outside.

2) During the climb, let those toes and shoes air out a bit between efforts.  Duh. Not only is that probably something you want to do because your feet hurt anyway, but it’s also good for the extending the life of your climbing shoes.


3) Post climb, wipe em down.  Most of us go right from climbing to something else.  A bar, a long car ride home, to bed, whatevs.  Most of us aren’t going to immediately jump in a shower (because we are just filthy people really). So let’s consider maybe giving the tootsies a little wipe down before moving along.  You could use just a towel and water.  Or, you can get uber fancy, and try Fresh Feet Wipes . These wipes are so refreshing and soothing, made with all natural peppermint and aloe, your feet will thank you after you just crammed them into tiny, weirdly-shaped, sweaty shoes repeatedly for hours. Added bonus, Fresh Feet is a female-run, and operated business, that donates 10% of its proceeds to charitable organizations (they are also from New England, which we of course love).

4) Slough ’em off.  In the shower use a pumice stone (or other foot scrubbing product like a foot scrub or even a re-usable emery block) to slough off dead skin on the heels, balls of feet, toes, and in-between toes.  You want to strike a good balance here, just like you do with your hands.  While you need some calluses for protection in certain areas of your foot, especially depending on your shoes, a light sloughing a few times a week can help prevent corns and blisters, which can result from friction and pressure on excess skin. Plus, getting the top layer of dead skin off allows treatment to penetrate more deeply (see below).



Behold the multi-tasking powers of tea tree oil, in spray and powder form.

5) Treat ’em.  If you really want to make your feet sing, you can give them a little spritz of tea tree oil, which is an all natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.  I especially like this spray by Desert Essence.  It has the added benefit of soothing sunburns and bug bites (because it’s a fact that there is nothing that tea tree oil can’t do, look it up, it’s science).  You can toss this product in your gym bag or backpack and use post-climb.  Also Lush makes a great tea tree foot powder, if you’d rather a dry option. Actually their whole foot care line pretty much rules, and is all natural too.

Lastly, one of the best foot treatments I can think of is very complicated.  See if you can follow these steps: 1) Put any kind of moisturizer on your feet 2) Put on some socks 3) Go to bed 4) Wake up with gorgeous feet!  Seriously, that easy.  For lotions I still love Lush, and Desert Essence (they make a tea tree balm that is lovely-I know, I know, why don’t I just go marry a tea tree already).  I also love a good cuticle stick.  My favorite is this one from Sephora.  If you buy it in the store, they also have ones that come in scents, like lavender. Cuticle sticks are fun because a) it’s kinda fun to say ‘cuticle stick’, b) they are really portable, and c) they are easy to apply with no mess or having to get your fingers oily.

And there you have it.  Way more than you ever probably wanted to know about foot care.  Follow my five tips, and your feet will thank you.

Now, if you want in on some free Fresh Feet products, here’s how to win: 1) Follow @cruxcrush on Instagram 2) Post a picture of your best footwork 3) Tag it #cruxcrush and we’ll pick our favorite by Friday 09/20/13.  The prize includes full sizes of all three of Fresh Feet’s products, the yoga mat wipes, the kid wipes, and the original feet wipes-all three made with all natural ingredients. You will be so fresh people won’t even know what to do.

-Climb On


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4 thoughts on “5 Tips For Dealing With Your Gnarly Climber’s Feet

  1. Erica says:

    Nice tips! How about a follow-up for hands? I find my mitts get even more beat up than my hard-working feet. Thanks for all the great info you gals put out!

    • Missy says:

      Hi Erica-
      Thanks, and good idea! We have this previous post about skin care, on the whole, which mentions the hands: http://cruxcrush.com/2013/05/22/dr-jess-talks-skin-care/ and as you can see in the comments it started this “hot debate” about whether or not to moisturize the hands. Haha. Much like route grades, and shoe style/fit, apparently you never want to get a climber started on how to care for the precious callouses on your hands 😉 But, all that said, I think it would make a good debate, so I’ll do a little research, and you can definitely look for that post in the future! Thanks for reading! Missy

  2. Ruth says:

    I always dust my feet with Lush’s t for toes before putting my boots on. I’m not sure if it helps my climbing boots but it does help my feet after a good session.

  3. Josh says:

    oh you don’t know how i like to see whats under your shoes

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