We spent over 43 hours researching and scrubbing our feet to a baby-smooth softness to determine the best product for removing calluses from your feet. After hours of sloughing away, we found the best product to be PurSources, Urea Foot Cream.
Table of Contents
How Do Calluses Form?
For the most part, it’s the wear and tear that our feet endure while walking that causes our calluses. Calluses are essentially a layer (or more!) of skin that has thickened and hardened over time as the body tries to prevent the soft, underneath skin from being damaged by the constant rubbing of shoes.
Another way that we develop calluses is by using a part of our body repeatedly in a way that rubs our skin against a rough surface. Examples of this can be seen on machinists, guitar players, mechanics, carpenters, and others who work with their hands. Additionally, ice skaters, hockey players, and other sports players can easily develop calluses on their feet and even their ankles where their skates and shoes are rubbing against them. There are a few ways to deter calluses from forming. The first is to wear socks. Wearing socks can reduce the friction between your foot and your shoe which is a major cause of calluses. Think of your socks as a protective layer between you and your shoes.
Another way to deter calluses is to wear shoes that fit properly and, unfortunately for many beach lovers, not going barefoot or wearing flip flops. Any friction against your skin can lead to calluses.
Basic Foot Care
No matter where we go, or what we do, our feet are right there with us – usually taking a beating as they help us make our way to our destination. Summer can be especially brutal on our feet as we are often barefoot or in flip flops. Taking care of our feet is not difficult, but it does take a bit of time and effort, and unfortunately, many of us overlook our feet.
Here are some simple steps to keeping your feet in tip-top shape:
Wash Your Feet – this may sound simplistic, but sometimes it’s easy to forget to reach down and actually scrub the sweat and dirt off of our feet. Don’t assume that the water from the shower will rinse it all away without a bit of elbow grease.
Trim Toenails – be sure to trim your toenails regularly. It is important to trim them straight across to avoid ingrown nails that can occur if your nails are rounded. Smooth them with a file if they’re rough or jagged.
Examine Your Feet – If you have an illness that can affect your feet, such as diabetes, be sure to examine your feet every day. Otherwise, check them out once a week or so to be sure there are no issues. Some of the things to look for would be
- Dry Skin – Be sure to use moisturizing soaps and creams to keep your skin soft, but be sure not to put creams between your toes where fungus can grow.
- Blisters–Avoid blisters by wearing shoes that fit properly. If you do have a blister, don’t break it open as that could cause infection. Clean it and cover it with a bandage until it heals.
- Cracked Skin – Dry skin can lead to cracked skin which can be quite painful. Be sure to use a healing cream and keep the affected area covered.
- Plantar Warts – These can sometimes look like calluses but are much more painful. Check with your doctor for the best treatment.
- Ingrown Toenails – Ingrown toenails can cause pain, redness and even infection. They are caused when the edge if your toenail grows into the skin and cuts into it. Check with your doctor for the best treatment.
- Discolored Toenails – Discolored toenails can be a sign of a fungal nail infection. Especially if they are yellow, thick, and brittle. You might need a long-term, topical medication to treat the infection.
- Blue or Black Skin – This can be cause for serious concern and might be signs of a blood flow issue. Call your doctor immediately.
- Calluses – These occur in areas where the foot is continually rubbing against your shoe. You can usually remove them over time by using an emery board, pumice stone, or any other type of callus remover. Do not try to remove them all in one go as you could damage the healthy skin that’s underneath.
How We Selected
With over 1,000 different callus remover products on the market, we needed to weed out quite a few to come up with the five products that we tested in this guide.
First, there are so many types of callus removers that we wanted to test more than one type to compare the results. We knew that we wanted at least one each of a cream product, a hand-help rasp-style remover, an electric/battery operated style and all-natural remover, such as a pumice stone.
From there we read heaps of online reviews to see which products other people were using and liking. We didn’t want to bother reviewing a product that wasn’t already loved. Additionally, we felt it important to keep the price below $25 as we felt that this price range would be the best for most consumers.
The final push for our top five choices came as we read through renowned beauty sites such as Self.com and Vogue.com to investigate their views on which products work well.
How We Tested
With so many ways to deal with calluses, we wanted to be sure to test the best products on the market to give you the most conclusive “low-down” on each.
Most importantly, we wanted to be sure that the callus removers we tested could perform their job without too much hassle. We weren’t interested in products that took more time than was worth it compared to the results they produced.
Additionally, we tested each product to be sure that you could easily achieve good results without much effort. For example, having to manually slough away for hours is not what we would expect from a great product.
What We Liked
- We LOVE that the PurSources skin cream is FDA registered, made in the USA, and doesn’t test on animals.
- We like that the Naturalico is waterproof and comes with two rollers of varying coarseness so you can choose the amount of exfoliating you’d like and vary it accordingly.
- We liked how plain and simple the Microplane rasp was. It’s an old-fashioned style exfoliator that’s tried and true!
What We Didn’t Like
- We didn’t like that the roller head of the Naturalico was flush with the sides of its holder. We felt it wasn’t reaching spots as easily as it would have if it bumped out a bit.
- Unfortunately, the charge does not last as long as we had hoped on the rechargeable devices. This was actually more of an issue when we started our testing. Then, as our feet healed, we didn’t need to use the remover as frequently, and this became less of an issue.
- We didn’t like that the Vena Beauty booties took one to two weeks to complete, but the results were fabulous. If you have the time, these are the product for you.
When the summer season rolls around, we all tend to find ourselves more attune to our feet and hoping that we can smooth them to a baby-soft finish. However, because of the amount of “wear and tear” they receive, they often have the thickest skin on our bodies and therefore need the most attention. We tested and reviewed five of the top callus removers to see which styles and models work the best.
We tested everything from a simple rasp-style callus remover to a weeks-long chemical peel that’s all the rage. Because we did all the leg work for you, you’ll only need to read the above guide to know which is the best choice for your situation. You’re sure to have beautifully happy, “vacation feet” in no time at all!