Aching feet. It's an occupational hazard for event planners, facilitators, flight attendants, and hotel staff who spend hours on their feet at work. It's not surprising that when Rennette Grace, Virtual Career Coach in the Event Planning and Event Management Group on LinkedIn started the Do you "Dress for Success" or Comfort when running events, a lively exchange ensued. The topic quickly turned to footwear and strategies to keep feet from hurting.
I don't recall my feet aching when I used to wear 4-inch heels as a summer flight attendant back at university but as, the years have gone by, tortured tootsies after events have become a problem. Clearly I am not alone.
Here are some of the strategies I recommend to prevent and deal with aching feet after business meetings, trade shoes, corporate events, or conferences.
Invest in shoes that are designed for comfort.
Brands like Piesanto, Aerosoles, Rockport, Hush Puppies, Naturalizer, Dr. Scholl's, Clarks and Danskos are designed for comfort, They do have a variety of styles including comfortable men's oxfords and pumps for ladies with heels of various heights. You may find that you have to change brands as time goes by, as your weight and shoe size change.
Give your feet a rest before and after events.
Slip into comfortable shoes behind the scenes as well as to and from your destination and event venue.
- Invest in slip-resistant shoes or running shoes if you are working in a kitchen environment.
During set-up and during take down, select shoes for safety and comfort. A comfortably designed construction boot with steel toes is highly recommended when moving heavy equipment & supplies. John Colantonio, Managing Director of Mister Safety Shoes in Canada shared:
"Believe it or not, there are comfortable, slip-resistant oxfords and running shoes for men and ladies with steel toes."
Invest in custom orthotics for your shoes.
These inserts provide extra support for your feet and take pressure off your back.
Always buy shoes at the end of a day when you have been on your feet for many hours.
Feet do swell and it is important to ensure that this is taken into account during your fitting.
- For outdoor events in the winter, use foot warmer packs or invest in ThermaCELL heated insoles.
Put freedom from pain before pride and opt for comfort at events where you are the prospective client.
There is no point in torturing yourself if you don't have to.
Slip into a different shoe just before arriving at evening events.
Just that adjustment will give your feet a well-deserved break.
Book a reflexology treatment for the end of the day.
I discovered when working in Asia, where reflexology is highly affordable, that just one treatment can quickly relieve your feet from agony. I always book daily reflexology when I am in Asia.
Slip Counterpain (available in Chinatown) or Bengay cream and Epsom and into your suitcase.
Soak your feet in hot water or have a hot bath with Epsom Salts before retiring. (Be sure to dry your feet well before applying Counterpain or Bengay.)
To provide relief after events in your hometown, invest in a foot bath or foot massager.
I picked up a fabulous reflexology machine from Osim. They are gradually moving to the Americas and Europe and they do ship for free to the U.S., Canada and some parts of Europe.
For more comfort tips to ensure your comfort, also consult 10 Tips to Stop Going Home From Events Exhausted on the Cvent Event Blog.