With a return to crowds again for the Spring racing carnival this October and November, it’s time for those who love a day at the races to start planning their outfits.
Whilst the men have got it easy, suits, tie and dress shoes, the ladies often have to coordinate an outfit (dress/skirt/pants), headwear, accessories and of course, choose a pair of shoes.
Choosing a pair of shoes for a day at the races can be tricky. You need to be able to walk long distances and stand all day in them, but of course, want to also look fashionable at the same time. Your choice of footwear can make or break your day, because once you get a blister or a sore from a pair of shoes, there is often no quick remedy to solve it, and the pain tends to linger ALL day!
TIPS FOR SPRING RACING FOOTWEAR
- Try and avoid wearing brand new shoes to the track.
New shoes can often cause pain and blisters, so it’s important to wear-in new shoes purchased for a race day prior to the event. Wearing your new shoes with a pair of thick socks around the house in the lead up to a race day may help to soften and stretch the upper of the shoe and reduce the chance of rubbing, friction and potential blisters.
- Choose a block or wedge heel
Stilettos and grass do not make good friends. To avoid getting caught in the grass, opt for a block heel or a wedge style heel where possible.
- Ensure your shoes fit properly
Wearing shoes that are either too Big or too small can pose a big problem. Don’t buy shoes that you “need to stretch” a lot prior to wearing them. Shoes will only stretch a very minimal amount. Shoes that are too tight will cause compression of your foot which can lead to nerve pain and injury. Shoes that are too big, will often result in your foot moving around too much within the shoe and can lead to blisters, irritation or injury from having your feet slip out of the shoe too easily.
- Lower the height of the heel (if you can)
Whilst we love nothing more than the extra height we get from a pair of heels (particularly those who are vertically challenged), wearing a high heel for 7-8 hours of standing can put a lot of excessive pressure on the forefoot (ball of foot), ankles, knees and lower back. Slightly reducing the height of the heel may help with reducing any pain you might feel.
- Walk in and home from the track in a pair of fold up ballet flats
Race tracks are big places, often there is a lot of walking both to enter and exit the track. Buy a pair of foldable ballet flats [Scholl party feet fold up ballet flats] and use them upon entry and exit of the track. Change into your heels once you have reached your destination. This is a better look than walking barefoot, heels in hand, and of course, saves you from accidentally stepping on anything that may cut the sole of your foot.
- Pack Band-Aids or blister prevention pads
Have a stack of Band-Aids- fabric ones work best, to patch up any areas that you may feel start to rub in the shoes. Putting a bandaid on an area before it has the chance to develop a blister can often make a huge difference to your comfort levels during the day. Even better again- invest in some bluster pads from the chemist- these are little gel like pads that act like a second skin- they come in a range of sizes to suit your toes, back of the heel and sides of the foot- the most common spots where blisters will occur.
- Try and sit down during the day
Common sense, but where possible, try and rest the feet by sitting (if able to). Perhaps send your male friends off to the bar to fetch you that next glass of champagne, so you can limit your walking!
WHERE TO FIND A GOOD PAIR OF HEELS?
As Podiatrists, we LOVE recommending Bared Footwear to our patients (and we love to wear them too!)
Bared footwear is a shoe company, designed by an Australian Podiatrist, to make fashionable but supportive footwear. Whilst wearing high heels is not great for your feet, we know certain occasions call for them. Investing in a really good pair of heels, which offer slightly more comfort and support can make a big difference.
Bared heels all come with an inbuilt arch support and metatarsal dome, which help to support your feet. They have a huge range of styles and colour options to choose from!
Some of my favourite styles include the following: