The spring carnival is well and truly upon us and the fashions on the field are always a key focus of the day. Whether you stick to the traditional “black & white” for Derby Day or streams of colour for Cup Day is not something that we consult on.  One area that we do have some expertise, however, is what goes on your feet.  We can give you some handy hints to survive the day and ensure that you can finish the day the way you started – With your shoes on your feet.


Your shoes can make your outfit – but they can also make for a bad day at the races (and in many cases the days following).  The way the shoe fits your foot plays an important role on how your foot copes with the load and stress of the day. Shoes that don’t fit well leave you at risk of blisters, heel, forefoot, midfoot or ankle pain and overall dissatisfaction with the day.


The biggest thing that catches ladies off guard at the races is the amount of time standing. It can be a long day, and if your traditional footwear is more of the “activewear” variety or any kind of low heel, stepping it up for a whole day can be tricky!


First off- choose a shoe that is actually good for you!


For the ladies the features to look for in a shoe (apart from a complementary colour to your dress) include:

  • heels with arch support
  • a secure heel counter (to lock your rearfoot in to place to prevent excessive movement)
  • A heel cups to cradle your plantar fascia origin
  • A cuboid notch (to prevent excessive lateral movement from the rearfoot complex) and a metatarsal dome (to help spread the load across the metatarsals in the forefoot
  • All of this as well as fixation across the shoe to hold your foot on to the shoe- to ensure you can feel the benefits. If our feet are not held down appropriately, the instability can lead to developing a secondary issue or injury.


One key feature that irrespective of the brand, is that a heel should have a block heel and have rearfoot support in the way of a heel counter. The stiletto heel with an open heel at the back is a recipe for race day Podiatry disaster!

These days you don’t have to sacrifice fashion for good footwear and function.  Some brands that we recommend because they prioritise function as well as fashion include Bared Footwear and Frankie4.


For the men- wearing a shoe in prior to race day is key. As men’s shoes are traditionally low-to-no heel you’re more likely to have a comfortable day at the races. It’s males who don’t spend time wearing in their shoes before that get themselves in strife.


Wearing sportstape, hypafix, fixomull or a giant adhesive plaster on the back of each of your heels will help reduce the friction of initial wear. If there are tight points within the shoe, most likely your shoes are made from leather and the wear process can be fast tracked by using the back side of a teaspoon to help soften the leather to prevent friction or hotspots.


So what happens if you are having a bad day on your feet?


  • First of all, any hot spots should be treated immediately with a band aid or a gel spot on the shoe. Dispersing the direct pressure will help. Also sitting down for a while to help reduce any potential swelling in the feet will give some relief.
  • Secondly, if you can’t stand the idea of putting your shoes back on? Some Archies thongs on your feet will help get you home. Don’t go for the barefoot option!! You never know what you might stand on! Let alone if you have a popped blister and catch an infection. Have you seen what people leave behind at the races!
  • Thirdly: if you have a blister? Don’t pop it! You can see more hints on blisters in our previous blog


Have a great day at the races, our tip for the cup – Surprise Baby!