A good foot file can work wonders on your feet and tackle some of the biggest rough spots and calluses you get. But a bad foot file can actually harm your feet, taking off too much skin, or not being tough enough to get through the hard, dried skin.
That’s why you’ve got to find a foot file that is strong enough to battle the hard, callused parts of your feet, but gentle enough to leave the fresh, new skin alone. It’s a delicate balance, and one that separates the winners from the losers. Proper foot care is not something that you have to leave to the professionals. Now you can do just as good of a job as they can by getting the right tools, and maintaining your feet at strategic intervals.
Choosing the Best Foot File
With so many different offerings these days, it’s hard to choose from among them. You’re definitely not short on your choices, and there are automatic ones, ones shaped like eggs, ones that got their start in the wood shop, and still others that are more old fashioned. There are also some that are professional grade, and that you might recognize the last time you got a pedicure.
You should go with a foot file that gets good reviews, that has been tested in the real world and shown to work, is priced affordably, and doesn’t leave a huge mess when you’re done. We’re looking for the sort of smooth you get after a pedicure, but without having to pay spa or salon prices.
Foot File Review Recaps
We’ve taken out some of your leg work by assembling some of the best-selling foot files and giving them the rundown for you. Now it’s up to you to briefly scan this list for what jumps out at you, go more in-depth in our full review and make your decision from there. With foot files you want to make sure that you choose wisely, as the wrong one might end up hurting your foot, or wasting your time and money.
Ped Egg Recap
The Ped Egg has become something of a national sensation, and the first thing people think is there’s no way that can work. But trying is believing. When we first tried this out we were a little skeptical, because we didn’t think it would know which skin to take off and which to leave on.
To our pleasant surprise it “knew” just where the rough skin was, and continued taking it off until it was gone and only fresh smooth skin was left remaining. Finishing it off with the emery pad really put the final touches on it and we were good to go.
See our full review of the Ped Egg
Microplane Foot File Recap
The Microplane story is one of invention and then ingenuity. They started off in the wood shop, and then noticed that their tool could have many kitchen uses. The next logical step was to see if it worked on feet, and lo and behold it did. The magic is in their patented diamond cut grater.
It plows through dead, dry, calluses and rough patches and stop on nice smooth skin. People have said that this doesn’t blink an eye when it meets rough skin that other files would have a tough time on. This is a solid choice, and one that will likely leave you satisfied.
See our full review of the Microplane Foot File
Pedi Spin Recap
The Pedi Spin looked so promising and we were eager to try it out because the premise was that it was the Peg Egg with a motor. But unfortunately they didn’t manufacture it properly and it’s got some big flaws structurally.
The biggest one was that they let it run on ordinary batteries, so it doesn’t get enough juice to get through anything resembling tough skin. Since that is what it is designed for, this is a big problem. If they would have given it a powerful, rechargeable battery, it’d probably be a winner.
See our full review of the Pedi Spin
Diamancel Foot File Recap
This gets its name because of the bits of diamonds it supposedly uses in its construction. These are supposed to be extra sharp and durable so that they can make quick work out of your rough calluses and let you get on to the fun part – applying the foot cream.
So as far as durability, this gets high marks, and as far as working well it also has good reviews. Whether it’s the diamonds in it or not, it still gets the results you want.
See our full review of the Diamancel Foot File
OPI Foot File Recap
The OPI foot file earned our nod of approval by getting good reviews, but you should note that it will eventually wear out and you’ll have to buy another one if you’re happy with the results you’re getting. Many of the other foot files we’ve reviewed you only have to buy once and they should last for a long time.
But if you don’t mind that, then this is a good way to get your feet nice and smooth. It uses a sander sort of approach so you don’t have to worry about cutting yourself, but it might take more effort than some of the other grater style approaches.
See our full review of the OPI Foot File
The Perfect At-Home Pedicure
Start by soaking your feet in warm water. If you don’t do this very often, it might seem like all the pampering you need, but don’t worry we’re just getting started. Leave them in there for a few minutes, and while they’re soaking you can use a scrub brush to clean between your toes and then all around your feet. Rinse them off and towel them off.
Now it’s time to get the rough spots with your selected foot file from this page. Since your feet have been soaking, the skin is now softened so that you’ll have an easier time with the tough stuff. Take your time on this part, because if you rush you might hurt yourself, or miss a spot, and then you’ll be sorry that you weren’t more patient. Remember that this is “me time” so don’t let anyone distract you, and block out the world for a few minutes so you can do a proper job.
After you’re done filing, make sure your feet are good and dry and then apply one of the top reviewed foot creams to both of your feet, paying extra attention to your problem areas. As you rub, give yourself a mini foot rub, taking extra time on parts that hurt and rubbing them until they feel better. It’s best to do this when you don’t have anywhere to be afterward, because you’ll want to put your feet up and just relax after you’re done. If you’re super busy, do this as a before bed routine once a week and you’ll always be on top of your foot care.
Grating, Sanding, or Shaving
There are three basic ways that you can go about getting the rough parts off of your feet. The most popular way is to grate the calluses off, using something that very closely resembles kitchen grater. This is the method employed by the Ped Egg as well as the Microplane foot file.
A sanding approach can also work well, and for rough stuff you’ll want to use one that has a courser grit to it. Use one with a fine grit as a finisher, as it will be able to smooth out the smaller bits that get left behind from doing the big jobs.
Lastly, you might see a shaver being employed at a salon. This basically takes layers off at a time and is brought out as a big gun when you have really thick calluses. It is best left to the professionals because one mis-swipe and you’ll take off a layer of skin, and it can actually end up being a good piece. It takes weeks to heal up completely and can even leave scar tissue. Trust us, we speak from experience, a bad experience at a salon.
Even the most expensive foot files we’ve reviewed so far still make sense when you compare them to going to the salon or a spa. Sure, the pampering effect is lessened, although you can still use this in a self-pampering way. It is hard to ignore the fact that you’re the one putting the elbow grease in to get the job done. But at the end of the year when you have less pedicure bills than you did the year before, you’ll appreciate the cost savings. Plus there’s nothing saying that you can’t still get one done every once in a while. You just won’t feel like you’re being forced to for lack of a better option.
Salons are also notorious for having a very noxious smell of nail polish and nail polish remover and other chemicals to help the nails set. It’s really a healthier option to do it yourself at home, or to have it done in a spa that will be more health-conscious about the surrounding conditions and will work to make you feel more relaxed and truly pampered.
Things to Avoid
Cheap foot files are a sure sign that you’re in for trouble. You want to put a little bit of money into this so that you don’t end up with something that was made overseas with questionable materials. Preferably you’d want something made with stainless steel so that it will last and not rust up, since you’ll likely be using it with slightly damp feet.
You’ll also want to avoid files that don’t have many reviews yet. Sure, somebody’s always got to be the first to buy a review, but since there are so many that have already done the trial by fire bit, you might as well benefit from other people’s experiences and avoid a file that either won’t get you results, or could potentially harm your feet.
Proper Maintenance is Key
Feet are easy to maintain once you get them back to their default state of softness and smoothness. It’s only after we forget about them for a while that the problems start to add up. As long as you wear comfortable footwear, and add them to your daily moisturizing routine, they should give you years of quality use, and not ask for much in return.
Slow and steady progress is what you want to go for here. If you feel like your feet are beyond help, pay a little extra to get a pedicure so that they can give you that instant turn around, and then resolve yourself to maintain their new appearance. This way you won’t have to wait long to see results, and then you can benefit by keeping them looking good without having to pay the higher price again.
Our Foot File Recommendation
It’s really up to you what you’re going for. Some of the top foot files all do pretty much the same job, so it’s really a personal preference. If you want something that fits nicely in your hands and cleans up while you go along, get the Ped Egg. If you want something that will give you a little more leverage and work with less effort on your part, get the Microplane foot file.