It's no surprise suffering with sore feet is one of the most common problems bartenders face when spending around 7 to 9 hours on their feet per shift. But you shouldn't have to suffer after work because of your tender soles. These TLC tips do not need to be time consuming or financially exhaustive. You can find a complete list detailing how bartenders can look after their sore feet, below.
1. Soak your feet
Soaking your feet in warm water can help alleviate any cramp or tension in your muscles. The warm water eases the muscles and tendons in your feet. Simply soak your feet with warm or hot water depending on the severity of the pain, then combine with bath salts or household items such as vinegar or baking soda for quick relief.
2. Apply ice
Swollen feet is a common issue for bartenders. This is mainly caused from standing on your feet for most of your shift and wearing the wrong type of footwear. The more you allow the problem to develop, the further your feet will swell leading to both pain and stress whilst you're working.
You can combat swelling by applying ice to the sore areas on your feet. Gently dab the swelling with ice cubes wrapped in a tea towel covered bag (or use a bag of frozen vegetables inside a tea towel) and the swelling should gradually reduce.
If you are unable to use ice, you can invest in cold packs which can be stored in the fridge to chill before being used to offer the same relieve.
3. Take breaks
By working on average of 7-9 hours per shift you're entitled to a 20 minute break. Whilst it's understandable that it's often difficult to find time to take your break, it's crucial that you do.
By taking a break it will allow you to sit down and have a break from being constantly on the move which will help reduce foot fatigue or strain.
4. Invest in an Anti-Fatigue Mat
This may be something to run by your bar manager, but investing in an anti-fatigue mat can do wonders for foot pain or better yet, avoid it entirely.
An anti-fatigue mat offers slip-resistant features given the wet work of the job, but more so, it allows for a further layer of cushioning between your shoe and the hard-nature of bar floors. This alleviates the pressure and weight put on your feet and allowing you to work pain-free.
5. Keep your feet dry
One of the easiest things you can do as a bartender to look after your feet is simply keeping them dry.
Having wet feet can lead to blisters and excessive skin irritation. Doubling up on thin socks is a useful tactic for all bartenders. Try to avoid thick socks, as they are key contributors to sweating and reduce air circulation which can help cause blisters and tenderness.
Tip: Wash your feet before and after each shift to help keep your feet clean and healthy.
6. Massage your feet
This is most likely the most time-consuming tip, but try to make time to give your feet a rub-down or some TLC.
When massaging your feet, pay close attention to the arch of the foot and apply pressure with your thumbs to massage the knots and pressure in your muscles. Combine this foot massage with moisturiser or oil to avoid dryness and also relieve any stress build-up.
7. Buy the right footwear
The most fundamental way to prevent bartender foot pain or sore feet, is to make the right preparations or adjustments in advance of each shift. It can be as simple as investing in a suitable pair of slip-resistant bartender shoes. These shoes are best suited for employees who are on their feet for most of their shift and need footwear that has incredible grip on slippery floors.
Executive Wing-Tip III: Elegant and smart work shoes for bartenders
Old School Low Rider IV: professionalism and casual comfort combined
Remove sore feet from your bartending problems and view a fantastic range of bartender footwear:
If you're looking to advance in your career, check out these common bartender interview questions below and take your preparation to the next level.