Taking Care Of Your Feet When Baking/decorating

Decorating By augurey Updated 16 Nov 2011 , 9:24pm by augurey

augurey Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 2:34pm
post #1 of 41

First, not sure if this is the correct area to post...

I know that baking/decorating involves a lot of standing/walking/etc. I'm sure everyone deals with aching feet.

My day job is nothing but sitting, so as it is, my body isn't used to being on my feet for several hours at a time. But given how much I enjoy baking, I know I have to deal with this.

However, I spent the majority of my Thursday and Friday on my feet. My feet were already so sore by Friday morning that it hurt just to put my shoes on (Throughout both days, I tried to sit when tasks allowed me to). So add in several hours more on already painful feet; which has basically left me with barely being able to walk this morning (seeing as apparently my right knee has been affected by this as well).

After thinking about it, I decided that I absolutely need new shoes. That, I think, was a big contributing factor; and now I find that there are a little genetics involved as well after speaking with my mom this morning.

But, even with new shoes and whatnot, I know that I'm still going to struggle with sore feet (which is a given due to the nature of being on your feet for so long).

Does anyone have any suggestions (aside from new shoes) on how to help reduce pain/swelling of the feet? Is there anything in particular that anyone does as a preventative measure?

Also, how about healing measures? I know I'll be soaking my feet as much as possible today (some swelling has gone down since soaking and has at least given me the ability to gimp along without needing to hold onto someone or something for support). Aside of soaking, is there anything else anyone does to help the healing process?

40 replies
Westheimer Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 3:02pm
post #2 of 41

I don't know about healing, but for prevention in the future you might consider some good inserts or orthotics in addition to new shoes. I just wear sneakers with inserts that I got at the sporting goods store. I've found that the insert prolongs the life of the cushioning in the shoes, without much extra cost.

Also, everyone in my family (except for me, oddly) has a lot of foot problems, but they all swear by orthotics. They use several different kinds, but all agree that custom ones made for them by their foot doctor are the best. Those can be pretty expensive, though, so you might want to look somewhere else first.

Hope this is helpful!


EdieP Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 3:23pm
post #3 of 41

the chef's mats work also..we have two of them for our stations in the kitchen. A lot of times I am working in my bare feet because I dislike shoes. Is it good for me? Probably not since I can be on my feet between 7-8 hours a day when we have weddings for the weekend. I have to take breaks, check emails, eat lunch, etc or I would be totally burnt out.

jewels710 Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 3:41pm
post #4 of 41

CROCS!!!! I live and swear by my crocs when I am baking/decorating for long hours on end. Paired with a few sit breaks I am good to go!!!

bobwonderbuns Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 3:43pm
post #5 of 41

I use the gel chef mats. Bed Bath and Beyond sells them at $100 each, but Meijer's sells them for $40 each. I have two of them (and a bad back) and I can tell you these are a lifesaver!!

My neighbor also introduced me to some sneakers that "rock" when you walk -- they take some getting used to but they are supposed to help with the sore feet/legs and back backs. I just got some (I got the cheap pair at KMart) but they can sell into the hundreds of dollars at shoe stores. I haven't tried them yet so I can't speak to how well they work. Stay tuned... icon_biggrin.gif

cakemaker2 Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 3:46pm
post #6 of 41

Gel mats are great, and worth every penny!

Spuddysmom Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 4:03pm
post #7 of 41

You gotta take care of your feet. Good shoes, Gel Mats, Orthotics (esp. if you have "flat feet" you HAVE to get good ones, and since you mentioned your knee hurting, they do help with that, too, then you can stand all day). Epson salt soak is good. There are really nice cooling foot gels, lotions, etc. to use after a soak.

carolinagirlcakes Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 4:30pm
post #8 of 41

I got industrial mats (like what is used at check out registers in some stores) from Costco. They are WAY cheaper than the $100 gel mats at BB&B and IMHO are thicker. I got one mat for $30 and I have noticed a huge difference in my feet by the end of the day. Also I wear Crocs too if they do start to ache or I am not in my kitchen baking.

lorimarie Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 6:00pm
post #9 of 41

Really try a pair of Crocs! You can get them for about $30 online. I wear flip flops all day, have a bad back, but sit at my day job all day. Once I start baking/decorating I will notice my feet/legs/back hurting and put on some crocs- its instant relief. If i start out wearing the crocs I don't have to deal with the pain at all. I love them!

MadMillie Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 6:34pm
post #10 of 41

I have fascia tendonitis and for some time could hardly bear the pain of getting up in the morning and throughout the day. Wore elevated shoes and even did exercises recomended by my podiatrist, still had pain. Finally, I went to a shoe sale at the local hospital. I bought a pair of Alegria. I really bought them because they looked so cool, leopard print. Well, that did the trick. I have ordered several pair since then and rarely have any problems. I have also ordered a pair of Anywhere shoes, very similar to Crocs, but they are elevated and slip resistent from Cherokee 4 Less.

TheOtherCakeLady Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 8:45pm
post #11 of 41

I live in Earth shoes. They're wider in the toe box so your toes don't get squashed, and the heel is lower than the toe box so your back is aligned correctly. Expensive, but wonderful.

I also wear a back brace that forces me to stand up straight, so I don't ache so much at the end of the day.

janeoxo Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 9:09pm
post #12 of 41
Originally Posted by jewels710

CROCS!!!! I live and swear by my crocs when I am baking/decorating for long hours on end. Paired with a few sit breaks I am good to go!!!

Totally agree, you don't know you're wearing them, they are the best! It's what I always wear when baking/decorating

gigiel Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 9:24pm
post #13 of 41

for my two cents, if your feet/ankles swell, per dr. cut out salt in your diet. i really was skeptical, but have given up most all salt and whereas my ankles were swollen every day, now there is none!!!it's amazing and does work. check w/your dr. though, but it DID work for me.

leah_s Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 9:28pm
post #14 of 41

Gel mats and sanita clogs. Chefs always used to wear dansko, but since production moved to china the danskos are inconsistent. So back to the original clog.

tokazodo Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 9:55pm
post #15 of 41

Crocs! If it's good enough for Mario Batali, it's good enough for me! I suffer with arthritis and 2 people suggest Crocs. I have several pair. Even several pair of Croc Flip Flops for summer. It's made a difference and I can stand on my feet longer. Longest day ever: 14 hours on a monster wedding cake and my feet didn't hurt one bit!

I also stand on a webbed restaurant mat. I love my crocs! icon_lol.gif

MimiFix Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 9:56pm
post #16 of 41

I started a thread about this last month and included leg issues such as varicose veins. Compression hose (knee hi) will help, in addition to the great suggestions above.

If anyone is prone to varicose veins (usually hereditary) standing in one place, even if you're standing on a gel mat in good shoes, can be a problem. Move around, take short breaks with feet propped up, and maybe when you get to be my age these issues won't make you cranky.

msulli10 Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 10:32pm
post #17 of 41


lilmissbakesalot Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 10:33pm
post #18 of 41

I wear my what you would call nursing clogs. They are like walking on air. If I forget to change shoes I pay for it for sure. They are ugly (mine are just white and not cool like some can be) but they are wonderful.

*editted for a spelling mistake

scp1127 Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 3:37am
post #19 of 41

Gel Pro Mat... others are not as good when standing for long periods
Prescription inserts, I have Foot Leveler
Dansko and Merrill shoes

augurey Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 1:20pm
post #20 of 41

Thank you so much for the information!

I definitely need to do something; I'll definitely be purchasing these things as quickly as I can.

I fear I have done quite a bit of damage in those two days; my feet were so swollen yesterday that I couldn't get get my shoes on and could barely walk for the entirety of the day yesterday, and I'm still pretty swollen today (still struggling to walk).

I can't go through this every time I want to bake, especially if it is causing more damage that I know of (though maybe not... may find out tomorrow as I'm going to the doctor's for something unrelated and will likely bring it up just to make sure I didn't do something more serious).

Originally Posted by MimiFix

Compression hose (knee hi) will help, in addition to the great suggestions above.

Is there a certain brand? Can you find them at a regular store, or are they more of a specialty item?

DDiva Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 2:38pm
post #21 of 41
Originally Posted by janeoxo

Originally Posted by jewels710

CROCS!!!! I live and swear by my crocs when I am baking/decorating for long hours on end. Paired with a few sit breaks I am good to go!!!

Totally agree, you don't know you're wearing them, they are the best! It's what I always wear when baking/decorating

Crocs wearer for over 6 years and my back and feet love me for it!! I've bought almost every professional chef and nurses shoe over the years. Some work, but the shoe itself is heavy. Crocs weigh less than 3 ounces per shoe!! There are many versions of Crocs, so choose the one that works best for you. I buy two pair that I switch back and forth every week. And buy new ones as soon as you start feeling your back and feet again. They are GREAT!!

Carmen500 Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 3:07pm
post #22 of 41

For a hobby baker,I have the same issues w/ varicose viens.After a long day baking and decorating cramping was a big issue for me.I bought a pillow for my feet so its elevated all night and yoga helps my back and so far its been great I can work for 12 straight hrs. w/out a problem,thank god I'm ready to give up baking

DDiva Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 3:11pm
post #23 of 41

I forgot: if you have a Big Lots in your area they have the gel mats for $18. And yes, it's the same mat that is sold at BB&B ( I checked).

MimiFix Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 3:44pm
post #24 of 41

augurey, don't worry too much, just remember to take care of yourself now. This recent pain is your body sending a warning. You're clearly paying attention, so long-term future damage is averted.

After thirty years of abusing my legs, I had surgery and the doctor wrote a prescription for compression hose. There are other over-the-counter types available (which are much cheaper) but they're not as strong. I've worn both types, they all help, but these definitely take getting used to. And the benefits are worth it.

Good luck at the doctor's. Remember to be kind to your body. It's the only one you have.

Apti Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 4:01pm
post #25 of 41

This was fascinating! Thanks OP. I have never worn crocs, but, by George, I'm getting a pair to try after reading all this AND the following article:

Crocs: Healthy Shoes or Just Comfy?
Do those eye-catching shoes have a place in good foot care? Doctors and consumers share their views.


I am very obese (5'2" and 280 pounds), and it sounds as though these may be a big help when I'm standing doing cake decorating.

CakeInfatuation Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 4:07pm
post #26 of 41

I have the FitFlop Clog. I used to be okay as long as I was on my gel mat or wearing normal slippers or shoes. BUT then we renovated the kitchen and put in tile floors. They are so hard that after a few hours, the soles of my feet felt bruised and so sore.

I did a LOT of research. And I found thesehttp://www.amazon.com/dp/B003GISLUE/?tag=cakecentral-20 Hopefully you can see the link. If not, search on Amazon for "FitFlop Women's Gogh Clog". They are AMAZING and I love that they double as a slipper, shoe, etc. I put them on to work, wear them out to the store, or just wear them around the house and to get the kids at the bus stop.

They have a VERY high rating. More expensive than clogs, but also a little more fashionable... (if you care about that). icon_smile.gif

augurey Posted 14 Nov 2011 , 1:06am
post #27 of 41

For as much pain as this has caused me, I want to take up every suggestion possible which means a lot of money (though in the long run, it'll save me money and pain).

What would anyone advise a good order of importance to purchase such items?

Right now, my mom has given me shoes that have helped her with her feet issues (which I now believe is part of my problem); so maybe I could use those for now and spend money on the other things that will aid in comfort and then once I'm able to, shell out the money for a good pair of shoes. I've always had cheap shoes, so I know I have to spend the money on a good pair -- every day pair and perhaps a couple pairs for baking/decorating.

Annabakescakes Posted 14 Nov 2011 , 1:53am
post #28 of 41

Wow I guess I will be off to buy some ugly-@$$ crocs.... icon_wink.gif

Evoir Posted 14 Nov 2011 , 2:05am
post #29 of 41

I wear hot pink ugly-a** croc knock-offs. I think they cost me $6 a few years ago. That's the first thing I'd suggest you buy. I also just bought a pair of Birkenstock chef clogs and they seem good, but are heavier than crocs. I need these though for doing sugar work, as my crocs have holes in the top!

As a physical therapist, I would also recommend you start slow with baking/decorating on your feet, if you have come from a desk job! You need to ease into it, and also watch the flexibility in your lower legs, upper legs/hips, and lumbar spine. posture is super important, and you need regular breaks, stretches, and strengthening work to improve your caking-fitness! Over time your feet and whole body will adapt to standing long periods, but you need to ease into it. Another key problem area is shoulder and upper limb dysfunction. Again, ease into it, stop for rests, and stretch/strengthen every day.

Even though we have a physically demanding job, you should also do regular exercise out of the kitchen/studio. Swimming and walking are great!


gbbaker Posted 14 Nov 2011 , 2:57am
post #30 of 41

My friend gave me her old pair of skecher shape-ups, she's a hair dresser
and swears by them. I thought they were goofy, but they are the most comfortable pair of shoes. I wear them on cement and after 8 hours my legs and back feel great.

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