Tips For Bartenders To Look After Their Feet
Feet Care Advice For Bartenders
Anyone who has ever worked in the service and hospitality industries can tell you that being on your feet all day can be a challenge. For bartenders, this is an even greater problem as they need to stand and move in such a small, confined space for an eight-hour shift is painful for feet, which is also then going to cause other aches and pains in your legs, hips, and back.
The key to getting through those shifts each and every day is to look after your feet. After all, your twinkle toes, soles, and heels are supporting the rest of you as you go about your chores so here are some great tips for the bartender to look after their feet and get through their shifts with as much comfort as possible.
1. Find The Right Shoes
It may be a no brainer, but wearing the right bartending shoes is the first step for bartenders to look after their feet. When you’re on your feet all day, shoes need to be comfortable and supportive. This means a nice thick, bouncy sole and cushiony midsole. It also helps if the shoes allow your feet to breathe. After all, you are working and will most likely work up a sweat, especially during happy hour. Most important of all, forget about wearing anything but flat shoes. Heels, even small ones will put a lot of strain on your entire body and will be absolute torture for your feet after a few hours. If you’re not sure of which shoes you should get, it’s okay to ask advice from an expert like a podiatrist.
2. Rotate Your Shoes
Working behind the bar is hard enough on a good day, but on a bad day when things are splashing around, you’re very likely to end up with wet feet. It’s a good idea to have two or more pairs of shoes to wear to work so that if one pair does get saturated, you’ll have a backup pair to use while the other ones are drying. Even if you manage to keep your feet dry, rotating your shoes will help prevent your feet from becoming stressed and if you’ve invested in leather shoes, they will last you a lot longer.
3. Invest In Insoles
There are literally hundreds of different insoles you can put inside your work shoes and the main purpose of them will be to keep your feet supported and comfortable. You can get EVA foam insoles that offer feet a bit of cushioning but you should also look at insoles with anti-microbial properties to keep your feet fresh. After a long shift, your feet can end up quite smelly and you may think this is nothing, but the smell is usually the result of fungus or bacteria. Tired feet often feel like they are on fire so look at gel insoles. These feel squishy and have a cooling effect that your feet will thank you for.
4. Anti-Fatigue Mats & Slant Boards
Running up and down the length of the bar area will cause your feet considerable pain after several hours of work. The cause of this pain is the repetitive action of your feet pounding on the hard floor you are working on. Cover as much floor space behind the bar with anti-fatigue mats. These are firm enough to support you and your feet, but as they are made of rubber, they will also act as a buffer between your feet and the hard floors.
Also, have a slant board strategically placed somewhere being the bar. When you have a bit of downtime, go to your slant board and exercise your feet on it. Changing the positioning of your feet will help to ease some of the tension and this will help you get through your shift without too much stress and pain.
5. Maintain A Healthy Weight
Why does everything always have to come down to weight? It seems the solution to everything is to lose weight and keep it off. So why does this apply to bartenders looking after their feet? The answer is simple. The less you weigh, the less strain on your feet. When we carry too much weight, we also tend to alter our stance and this can also affect how your weight is positioned in relation to your feet. If you needed another reason to shed a few pounds, this is it.
6. Take Your Breaks
Everyone who works full shifts is entitled to take their breaks. Whether it’s your lunch break or coffee break, you need to walk away from the bar and into the break room to sit down. This is a must for any profession but because bartenders spend so much of their time on their feet, the break is very much a necessity. While you’re on your break, take off your shoes and wiggle your toes. Pull up another chair and put your feet up and keep wiggling your toes and rotating your ankles. This will loosen up all those tense muscles and tendons as well as improving the circulation to your tired feet.
7. Apply Ice
If your feet feel like they are on fire at the end of a shift, you can place an ice pack on them or soak your feet in a basin of cold water to relieve the inflammation. If the water isn’t cold enough, throw in some ice and cool your feet down a little faster.
8. Soak Your Feet
At the end of your bartending shift, go home and fill a basin with salt and warm water. Then sit down and let your feet soak. The warm water will relax your feet and help them recover a lot faster and it will feel really good too.
9. Ditch The Shoes At Home
Shoes are a necessity for work but not so necessary once you reach the comfort of your home. As soon as you get home, take off your shoes and your socks and walk around the house barefoot. Those few shoeless hours will give your feet a chance to breathe and you can exercise your feet more easily.