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Haleth's avatar

What's the best way to deal with foot pain when working retail?

Asked by Haleth (19538points) July 25th, 2012

I just started a new job where I stand all day (9 and a half hours, minus a half hour lunch break.) About two hours into each day, my feet start getting sore, especially my heels. I’ve bought a new pair of sneakers and tried a couple different pairs of inserts, but nothing has helped so far.

Sitting down brings some temporary relief, but my feet usually start hurting again after a half an hour or so. Pain killers take the edge off a bit, but they’re not really effective and I don’t want to take them every day. Mostly it’s a sharp, persistent pain in my heels whenever I’m standing.

This seems to be a new problem. I’ve had no problem standing for long periods in past jobs. If you’ve dealt with something similar, what was the cause and how did you fix it? Thanks.

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10 Answers

trailsillustrated's avatar

Invest in some orthotics, seriously. Get the Dr. Scholl’s kind if that’s what you can afford. Do it, you sound young and you can damage your feet for life by doing this. Good luck!

AshlynM's avatar

Talk to your boss and see if you can buy an anti fatigue mat. You can buy them at Amazon. I had a job where I had to stand for part of the day and they had this thick, rubber mat for me to stand on.
If you can’t get the mat, then the next best thing might be shoe inserts.

bookish1's avatar

+1 for the orthotics suggestion.
Also, part of the problem might be that you’re wearing new shoes at a job that is already hard on your feet. Have you tried wearing shoes that are already broken in?

YARNLADY's avatar

In time, it will stop hurting. I bought a foot bath/spa for the new workers in my family.

lillycoyote's avatar

You might want to look into a nursing supply site. Yes, nurses’s shoes.

That’s just one site, as a suggestion. You can find other suppliers.

gailcalled's avatar

Bottom of the soles of the feet towards the heel or the back of the heel where you get blisters?

I have similar pains, caused by planar fasciitis.Facts

I use plastic heel cups in all my shoes save cushioned walking shoes and sandals. They look like cheap plastic cups but work well and last for ever.

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laureth's avatar

I worked a stand-up job for 13+years. I had the rubber mat to stand on, and later on, when the heel spurs came, I got the $250 molded-to-my-foot-shape by-a-real-doctor orthotics. Those helped make it less bad, but the only thing that made it semi-better was quitting that job. If I had quit before the decade mark, I might not still be damaged today.

If you keep the job, though, those are about the best two things, along with frequent sitting breaks (as long as you can get away with), stretching your feet, high quality shoes, and cortizone injections eventually. Good luck.

Adagio's avatar

What the floor is constructed of has a large bearing on the discomfort you feel, a wooden floor is going to be more forgiving and much kinder on your feet/knees than a concrete floor which has no degree of flexibility whatsoever. I would recommend a really good pair of shoes, maybe some shoes specially made for running would be helpful, marathon runners run for miles on roads and must have some way to mitigate the effects. And perhaps it would be a good idea to speak with a physiotherapist who might suggest some foot exercises you could do at odd times through the day…

aquaticeyes's avatar

I’ve had two foot surgeries in the last two years and I found that the replacement soles (I think they are called that) that you can buy at Walmart are the best cure for foot pain! I have to buy new ones every so often because they are so (for lack of a better word) squishy and soft that my footprint gets worn into them.. Hope that helped in some way :)

Haleth's avatar

Thanks, everyone, for your answers! It looks like the best long-term solution will be orthotics, so I’m going to look into them once I can afford them. Tonight was a busy night, which actually made it a lot easier. As long as I’m moving around a lot, instead of standing in one place, it’s not so bad. I’m going to ask my boss if I can put a fatigue mat at my station in the middle of the wine department.

Thanks again!

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