There’s nothing like a two-hour hike in 30°C temperatures to get the old feet swelling up. You can have the right shoes, the best socks, the best weather but moving around non-stop for a few hours can make our trotters hot and achy.
So when I found myself on a hiking weekend in the Peak District, I knew that I was going to need some way of rejuvenating my walking-weary feet. I don’t own hiking sandals, so simply shedding layers wasn’t an option (I’m all for barefoot hiking in the wilderness but the number of dogs sniffing around the trails made that a slightly less appealing prospect).
Short of getting a foot massage, the options were limited. I did, however, remember to pack a Seoulista Beauty foot treatment, along with a sheet mask that I was hoping to put on during a self-care hour one evening.
The brand’s Peppermint Toes double-layered boots are specifically designed for active people, whether that’s runners, hikers, or gym-goers. Each boot is infused with eucalyptus, shea butter and hyaluronic acid for anti-bacterial, moisturising goodness. After the longest hike of the weekend, I returned to my hotel room, had a bath and then settled down to give my feet the full Peppermint Toes treatment.
From the outside, it looks like any old sheet mask but unfold the cardboard covering and you’ll discover a pair of silver paper boots. Dry and shiny on the outside, it’s inside each boot that the magic is supposed to happen, with each containing various liquids and vitamins designed to bring sore, tired feet back to life. They’re lightweight and easy to apply; all you have to do is open each boot, slide your foot in and then tape up the side. I actually thought they looked quite cool.
Generally speaking, I never think masks are comfortable. Sheet masks rarely fit properly (they’re always slightly too tight on the eyes or drooping over your lips), but these boots really did feel glorious. I’m a size 8.5 and they fit like a roomy glove, with the cooling serums within each foot cooling down my skin and helping my feet to feel lighter almost immediately.
The instructions said to put on the boots and wait for 30 minutes – a tall order if you’re a fidget like me. But because my feet felt so good when I was wearing them, I was able to luxuriate for almost the full half-hour before getting up to make a coffee. To secure each boot, you’ve got to pull the sticky-back tab on each side around, which tightens the top. Amazingly, that’s enough to keep them in place as you pad around your room/flat – they didn’t move at all.
Once the 30 minutes were up, I pulled my newly refreshed feet out. They felt moisturised and cool – a far cry from the veiny mess they resembled shortly before. When it’s as hot and sticky as it has been recently, it was also gratifying to know that the boots were both antibacterial and antifungal – meaning that they help to protect against things like athlete’s foot.
Value for money
At £10, the treatment doesn’t break the bank and is certainly cheaper than an appointment at a salon. But it’s more expensive than Seoulista’s sheet masks (usually around £7.99) and many other face masks out there. I’d see it as the cost of doing business; if you’re on holiday hiking or training for a race, then you need to take care of your feet.
Having this in my bag was probably one of the best decisions I made during my hiking weekend. I fully intend to bring a couple with me when I go away later in the summer for a week of running and hill walking – only this time, they’re going straight in the freezer on arrival. My feet felt amazingly refreshed and soft after 30 minutes but I can only imagine that pulling on these juicy boots when they’re ice cold would make your feet feel heavenly.
Images: Seoulista Beauty/author’s own