They're hardworking, under-appreciated and most often hidden from plain sight. And unfortunately, they're often neglected when it comes to routine body maintenance.
But it won't take much to catch up on all those years of foot neglect.
Chris Brunner, co-owner of Wildhorse Salon, suggests women (and men) get on a regular maintenance plan with pedicures. But even if you can't justify paying $40 for some footwork, salon professional Kelsi Edwards says investing in a foot file and exfoliating scrub for the shower is an absolute must.
Caution must be taken when doing basic foot maintenance such as clipping or painting toenails. Clip too close and you could end up with a painful hangnail. Forget the base coat when painting toes and "that's why nails turn yellow," Edwards says.
Edwards is one of Wildhorse Salon's primary foot care providers - and she genuinely enjoys working on other people's feet. In addition to being an enjoyable and relaxing experience, a pedicure also should be safe, so you need to pay attention to the tools being used at salons in Steamboat and across the country, Edwards cautions.
Make sure the footbaths and tools have been sanitized. Wildhorse Salon uses portable footbaths, and they run a bleach solution through the system to clean the small tub. The salon also uses a sea soak with a disinfectant, so people's feet are clean before any salon employee touches them.
Pedicures at salons in Steamboat frequently include filing, rubbing and moisturizing.
"It's Colorado - people's feet are always dry," Edwards says.
But don't expect your feet to be as smooth as the skin on, say, your cheeks or underarms. Be cautious about filing away too much of the skin on your feet.
"You never want to fully get rid of calluses because they are there to protect your feet," she says.