sunday circular

8 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Slippers to Shoehorns

Photo: Chaimae Khouldi

We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked out some of our favourites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and the very good deals we uncovered while trawling the vast online-shopping universe. This week was Foot Week at the Strategist, so we’re highlighting some of our favourite feet treats, including an intensely exfoliating treatment, a stylishly slender shoehorn, and a foot-care brand founder’s trainers. 

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A supremely satisfying foot peel for hydrated heels …

After the skin on her feet became seriously dehydrated, Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton did some sleuthing to find a suitable exfoliant to tackle the issue. She discovered the exfoliating socks by Patchology, which caused her feet to undergo “what can only be described as a metamorphosis.” Here’s how they work: After a quick soak, slip each foot into one of the two packets of “Activating Essence” (a mix of glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids), and wait for 60 minutes before washing and patting your feet dry. “For the first few days after I used the Patchology socks, I thought they must be really mild,” says Viera-Newton. But on day eight, her feet began to shed dead skin constantly, and after weeks of “insanely satisfying” peeling, Viera-Newton’s feet were smooth, her once chapped heels now thoroughly quenched.

And some chunky summer footwear to show them off

We asked stylish women about the shoes they’ll be wearing as temperatures rise. For beauty editor Laura Capon, these tan, suede options from UGG have become her sandals of choice. Capon finds the “dad-at-Disney-chic” sandals as comfortable as they are chunky. Their textile cushioned sole combines with a midsole made from EVA (a foam that’s often used to add a spring to running shoes) to create a truly supportive shoe, and their two adjustable straps make sizing them for optimum comfort a doddle.

An inexpensive foot massager


By mimicking the hand movements of a masseuse, Shiatsu foot massagers target pressure points to soothe aching feet. Whilst they can often be eye-wateringly expensive, this option from Nekteck is available for just less than £50 — and it’s beloved by expert podiatrists. With its six massage heads and 18 massager nodes, Henna Patel, owner of Henna Patel Podiatry, says the massager is the ultimate “boost” and “pick-me-up” at the end of a long day.

A granddadish shoehorn

When trying on a pair of Clarks Wallabees on a shopping trip, Strategist writer Chris Mandle was offered a shoehorn by an employee to help him slip the moccasins on. “I’d never used one before, but sliding my heel into the shoe was oddly satisfying,” says Mandle. “I ended up buying one (along with the Wallabees)”. A few months on, and Mandle stores his now-prized wooden shoehorn within his wardrobe door. It’s even become such an integral part of his daily routine that he plans to travel with it, slipping it into his luggage on upcoming trips.

Podiatrist-approved trainers for going out …

We also chatted to Margaret Dabbs this week, and as the founder of her own foot-care brand (Margaret Dabbs London) and podiatrist to the stars, we thought it was only right to ask her about what she wears on her own feet. For both exercising and styling casually, Dabbs is a fan of the Cloud 5 trainers by On Cloud — she has the pair in all white. “They’re really, really light; that’s why they’re called On Cloud,” Dabbs explains. “They’re so comfortable, and obviously, being a foot-care specialist, that’s very important to me (although I do have to tell you, I love wearing heels as well!)”

… and some springy slippers for staying in

“Growing up in a Chinese household, there was one rule which has remained a constant throughout my life: No outdoor shoes in the house,” explains Strategist contributor Sasha Cordingley. “Inside, we wear slippers.” After trialling dozens of unsuitable pairs, Cordingley came across the cushioned and machine-washable pair from Muji. The slippers are supremely comfortable, with a springy, cushioned sole and light linen lining. Since buying her first pair over five years ago, Cordingley now has a pair of Muji slippers at her parents’ house, her partner’s house, and her own home. “By now, they’ve evolved into a kind of second skin,” she says.

A roll-on deodorant (for your feet)

Throughout the week, we spoke to experts about how to approach all manner of common foot complaints, from painful bunions and uncomfortable calluses to sweaty, smelly feet. And just as you’d apply a deodorant to prevent underarm sweating, both doctors that we reached out to recommended a roll-on deodorant if you really need to tackle foot sweat. This one from Certain Dri contains the active ingredient of aluminium chloride, which is desirable due to its “astringent and drying nature,” according to Michael Trepal, podiatrist and academic dean at New York College of Podiatric Medicine. After applying the product to your feet, simply wait for it to dry before slipping into socks and shoes.

And a skin-quenching balm

As someone that works with his hands all day to design some stylish shoes, Dylan Raasch, creative director of Nike’s Air Max, finds the L’Occitane shea butter balm the most effective at keeping his skin quenched (and restoring some of the moisture drained from frequent hand sanitising). The balm is available with varying concentrations of shea butter — Raasch favours the balm with a 25 percent concentration.

The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

8 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: Slippers to Shoehorns