'The £9.99 exfoliating socks that stopped me forking out on professional pedicures'

Our Beauty Editor hasn’t had a pedicure in years thanks to this at-home treatment

Footner Exfoliating Socks
(Image credit: Future / Footner)

Most of the time we don’t really give our feet a second thought, especially when they’re squirrelled away in thick socks and ankle boots throughout the year. But when the weather reaches a point where we're forced into Birkenstocks, it's usually time to get that spring pedicure booked in.

However, if you don't have the time or budget to keep up with hour-long, expensive pedicures throughout the summer, there's one at-home treatment our Beauty Editor swears by for keeping feet smooth, soft and dry skin-free.

So if you want to save on the sloughing of your hard heels and applying copious amounts of foot cream or your best-smelling body lotions that leave you sliding around in your sandals, this 60-second treatment will do all the hard work for you.

The exfoliating socks I rely on to keep my feet sandal-ready

Of the many DIY treatments that I do on the reg, painting my toes with the prettiest pedicure ideas has got to be up there as one of the most pleasant and relaxing. But that’s about as far as my footcare goes. As a beauty editor I should be better at dry skin maintenance on my feet, but alas, I have neither the time nor the inclination. Instead, I rely on hardcore, impactful treatments that I turn to sporadically when my feet are in dire need. That's where Footner Exfoliating Socks come in. 

The balls of my feet and heels can feel dry and callused, particularly after a winter of neglect so I always keep a Footner box in my bedside drawer ready for sandal season to give my soles a seasonal MOT. It’s the easiest and most efficient way to remove dead skin I've come across. And so much cheaper than a salon pedi!

First impressions of Footner exfoliating socks

Hard skin, cracked heels and peeling acids aren’t words that scream glamour and luxury, so it will come as no surprise that this is a funcitional, no frills, let’s get down to business product. 

Within the box, there’s a pair of plastic socks, lined with a combination of acids. You simply cut along the top of each sock to create an opening to slide your foot into. The sock size is generous - apparently up to a UK 10.5 - more than enough room for my size 6s. 

TMI warning: the first time I experienced the infamous peeling process was a bit of an eye-opener, and I’ve maintained a sort of grim fascination with it. Watching my skin shed like a snake is satisfying in the same way as other people find squeezing a spot or freeing an ingrown hair. To this day, I have to forewarn my husband that I’m 'doing a Footner’, such is his abhorrence at seeing my feet all flaky. But it’s a small price to pay for baby-soft soles.

Box and socks out of packaging of the Footner Exfoliating Socks

(Image credit: Stephanie Maylor)

How to use Footner Exfoliating Socks

Once you’ve cut along the dotted line, slide each foot into the plastic sock and seal shut with the tape provided then set a 60 minute timer. It’s best to sit with your feet firmly on the floor, not propped up on a table or lying down in bed just in case the sock contents should spill. 

The socks do stay in place if you find you suddenly need to hobble to the kitchen for a glass of water but my top tip after many years of use is to pop your regular socks on top to hold everything in place. It also keeps feet nice and warm while they’re basking in the liquid acid. 

Once your time’s up, gently remove the socks in the shower and rinse for a minute or so, then pat dry and wait for the magic to happen. After a few days, you’ll start to see your dead skin peeling off - big bits first, followed by smaller pieces. Don’t be tempted to use moisturiser or foot cream during this time as it can slow the process. The shedding phase takes about a week, but for some the whole process can last up to 20 days depending on the thickness of your skin and calluses. You can repeat the treatment after 4 four weeks, no sooner. 

Beauty Editor Stephanie wearing the Footner Exfoliating Socks

(Image credit: Stephanie Maylor)

Should you buy Footner Exfoliating Socks?

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Especially if you don’t have the time or the money to splurge on a professional pedicure every six weeks. And even if you do - because let’s face it, letting someone buff, soak and rub your feet for an hour is no bad thing - then you could use the Footner Exfoliating Socks to keep hard skin at bay between bookings to eke out your appointments.

They are so easy to use, with silky-soft results that rival a salon service. I have had some wonderful pedicures over the years, but at just £9.99, these exfoliating socks cost a fraction of a professional pedi. The peeling process will undoubtedly put some people off, particularly those with an aversion to feet. But I find it weirdly satisfying. My advice? Use the socks a couple of weeks before that big event, holiday or pilates class.

The only thing they won’t do is paint your toenails. But if it’s a no scrubbing, no pummeling, no cutting solution to hard heels and calluses you're looking for, then Footner Exfoliating Socks are hard to beat. 

Stephanie Maylor

Stephanie Maylor is a Beauty Editor working across five national magazine titles, with almost 15 years' experience in the industry.  She has written for many brands, including woman&home, Grazia, Now, More!, Fabulous, NW, Woman, Woman's Own, Woman's Weekly, Essentials, Best, Chat, and OK! online. 

In 2010 she launched her own beauty blog, which was shortlisted for Best Beauty Blog in the 2011 and 2012 Johnson & Johnson Beauty Journalism Awards. She has interviewed many high profile industry experts and celebrities including Alesha Dixon, Twiggy and Christina Hendricks.