How to Toughen Your Feet

Updated February 21, 2017

In this modern age, we get so accustomed to cushioned shoes, indoor walking, and sitting long hours in chairs that our feet can become weak and soft, especially when compared to those of our barefoot ancestors. Many hikers, runners, armed services members, martial arts students and fans of barefoot living find out soon enough that their soft, modern feet are not as tough as they need to be. To toughen the feet, they need to be strengthened and acclimated to rough surfaces. There are also products that can be applied to speed the conditioning.

Walk barefoot for about 30 minutes per day. This doesn't have to be on rough or hard surfaces, just enough to get your feet a little tougher. Over time, walk longer distances, over rougher terrain. Start with small pebbles, pea gravel, or bark mulch, and work your way up to rougher surfaces. Begin jogging and running barefoot as well.

Run on sand. According to, running barefoot on sand is a good way to toughen and strengthen the feet. Start with short runs at first. This will also build up your ankle strength.

Apply Tuf-Foot to the feet. Tuf-Foot is a liquid product designed to strengthen the feet of humans and works for dogs, horses and other animals, also. Wet a cotton swab with Tuf-Foot and apply it to the most sensitive areas of your foot. This will accelerate your foot toughening, especially when used in tandem with the running exercises.


Take it easy on your feet. To avoid blisters and cuts, don't work them too hard.

Things You'll Need

  • Tuf-Foot
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About the Author

Darby Stevenson began writing in 1997 for his high-school newspaper, the "Alsea Valley Voice," which won him statewide awards for Best Feature Article and Best Personality Interview. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies and a Bachelor of Arts in religious studies from the University of Oregon.