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Sore Feet

Date:    Tue, 17 Mar 1998 19:09:26 -0800
From:    JC Dill
Subject: Sore Feet

I have a question for followers:  What do you do about sore feet after an
evening of dancing in high heels?  The balls of my feet are really starting
to hurt after an evening's dancing.  Do the special "Argentine Tango" shoes
from Argentina really make a difference, do your feet still hurt but hurt
less or do they not hurt at all?  Do you use any insoles in your dance
shoes?  Do you wear heels daily (at work etc.) or only when you dance, and
do you think this affects whether you get sore feet when dancing or not?

I don't wear high heels much.  Occasionally at work, but I am sitting all
day, not on my feet much.  My feet are so sore after only a few hours in
heels that I have to go soak them when I get home.  This is *new* and not



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Date:    Tue, 17 Mar 1998 22:54:16 -0500
From:    Erica
Subject: Re: Sore Feet


I started out dancing in Character shoes with a short heel (2 inches)
that I had had for years before tango and just dug out of the closet.  I
still resort to them on occasion.  I find them to be comfortable
although I do not like walking on the chunky heel and in fact, feel it
slip across the floor sometimes when walking (heel-first gait).

I was lucky enough to have a fellow dancer bring me a pair of Flabella
shoes back from BsAs and there are perfectly comfortable for dancing and
normal wear.  I prefer them to my character shoes as they are taller
heels and I benefit from the height boost.  They are also rugged like a
street shoe and I anticipate they will take a good beating.  (already
hit first re-polishing last week)

Onto foot care:  I am sure everyone has their own remedies, but I
subscribe to the idea that you have to be preventative.  Lots of "sore
foot" may not be your shoes, but your foot muscles.  A former dance prof
of mine used to swear by sitting on the floor, legs straight in front of
you, hips loose, not tight.. and then "rolling" your foot from a flex to
a point.  You will notice that if you can continue this for a good
amount of time (try while reading, Tv...) you can improve your
flexibility through your foot AND toes to the point that you can roll
SMOOTHLY.   So.. flexibility and strength... both may be helpful in
preventing foot pain.

As for the "get-home-soak", I avoid hot water, it makes them feel
swollen.  I stick them under cold water for a few seconds and that is

Erica Sutton

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Date:    Wed, 18 Mar 1998 00:31:20 -0800
From:    Jean-won Chao
Subject: Re: Sore Feet

Ahh, a subject dear to my heart.

For me, sore feet usually result from callus build-up on the balls of my
feet.  A good pumice stone and feet soaked in water usually does the trick of
getting rid of them.

Another remedy I recommend is placing insoles in your shoes.  You may want to
have your shoes stretched out ahead of time if the toe box gets too tight.
The other option is to deliberately buy shoes .5 or 1 size bigger.

Hope this helps!


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Date:    Wed, 18 Mar 1998 18:39:01 -0500
From:    Sharon Pedersen
Subject: Re: Sore Feet

My sore feet from dancing in high heels (well, cuban heels 1 1/2 ")
seemed to stop about the time my balance improved, caused by
practicing dancing alone on the balls of my feet, usually wearing
flats for practice but sometimes heels.  Somehow my feet learned how
to hold my body's weight on the balls with*out* having my feet get
excruciatingly sore in that nasty high heel kind of way.

But you say it's new to have this soreness.  When I have new soreness
doing usual things, I look at --
... calluses (pumice 'em);
... shoe padding (put in insoles, arch supports or whatever where the
soreness is);
... injuries in other parts of the body that are causing my whole body
to be out of line and stressed in other places;
... have I simply caused an overuse injury by increasing activity, and
need to rest and strengthen the part?

When my feet are just plain tired and sore, I massage them, paying
particular attention to the deep muscles in the soles.

Good luck un-sorifying your feet!

  Brunswick, Maine USA
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Date:    Wed, 18 Mar 1998 12:33:21 -0500
From:    "Jason R. Pascucci"
Subject: Re: Sore Feet

Leaders get sore feet too. I frequently get various pains, mostly down the middle of my arch on the bottom: I suspect this is from 'foot placement'.While walking in tango, one should push the steps from the back foot, placing the forward foot, as opposed to just walking, where one places the heel and rolls onto the foot. While tangoing, the bottom of the back foot extenses more than in normal walking. I've found a steel 1/2 or 3/4 shank in some dancing shoes to help immensely. My Flabella shoes, while a little small, also work pretty well for that.

I note when I was in Argentina, where 80% of the ballroom floors were marble, I did not have any foot pain, even if I was dancing for 6 hours a day. I suspect the answer is that because the floors were more crowded, the style of dance was shaped by those around you, and you ended up doing smaller things than I find myself doing at my home town. So, perhaps some pain might be caused by dancing 'too hard'. Just a thought.

I note for women (an old gf had this problem) it appears that one can walk too hard in high-heels if one is not particularly used to them, where other women might be inclined to walk more softly. This is especially true if you wear 'comfortable' shoes or sneakers often, since you are more inclined to pound on your feet with the heavy cushioning afforded by such things. My suggested remedy (which seemed to help) was to get used to them and wear them more often, but be conscious of your walking: you don't always need to walk full-tilt everywhere you are going, usually a gentle saunter is preferable. Look at the difference between how you walk in 2 1/2" or 3" heels, 1 1/2" or 1" heels, and flats, and see if you can decrease the difference. Also, get used to wearing strappy shoes that move with your feet: even flats make you walk funny if you feel like you could step out of them at any minute.


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Date:    Wed, 18 Mar 1998 11:33:42 EST
From:    MACFroggy
Subject: sore feet

Hi everyone,

Nice to meet you. I've enjoyed reading all the posts and discussions.
At last there's a thread I feel I can contribute to, and so, for today anyway,
I'm not just a lurker.

I'm new, having studied AT for just a few months. But I've danced all my life.
(I've left the best for last, as it were.) And I sure have experience with
sore feet.

For we women, I think the problem in AT is the heels.
The ball of my left foot hurt so much six weeks ago, that I went for the first
time ever to a podiatrist. He diagnosed "bursitis" and gave me a shot of
cortisone (did that smart!!!), which relieved the pain immediately, and I
borrowed bigger shoes to fit over my bandages and went to the milonga that
night. But I understand that the cortisone effects are probably only
temporary, and you can't get repeated injections as that just makes the
problem worse. So I am concerned.

But I tried Dr Scholls' gel inserts, and they feel great! They're a little
expensive (around $10), but it's like dancing on a cloud. And they fit right
into my dancing pumps.

Also I've been working on my corns and calluses (never a problem before
tango), which also helps.

Too bad we can't dance in athletic shoes. But who ever said it's easy being a


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Garrit Fleischmann Mar.98
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