The following is a basic recipe for a great sport pedicure. Feel free to use your own preferred brand of products. The service should take approximately 60 minutes.

1. Examine the client’s feet and have the client fill out a questionnaire to make sure she is a candidate for a pedicure. If she has any open wounds or signs of infection, refer her to a physician for treatment.

2. Prepare a clean foot bath with warm water and one cup of Epsom salts or the appropriate amount of a pedicure foot-soak containing Dead Sea salts.

3. Soak the client’s feet for five minutes.

4. Use a professional foot scrub to begin the exfoliation process. Concentrate the scrub on callus-prone areas such as the heels, balls, and sides of the feet. Rinse.

5. Use a pedi-file, buff block, pumice stone, or callus smoother to reduce areas that have excess callus build-up. (Check with your client to make sure she wants calluses reduced). If heavy calluses are present, a callus-reducing aid containing alpha-hydroxy acids may be incorporated into the pedicure. Rinse the feet. For a salon promotion, use an item that can be sent home with the client for ongoing at-home care.

6. Clip the toenails straight across, then gently round the corners to avoid pressure when running. Runners tend to keep their nails on the short side.

7. File toenails to smooth edges.

8. Apply a cuticle cream and clean up the nail area and underneath, using a sweeping motion to avoid damage to the cuticle or sidewall areas.

9. Apply a thick layer of foot cream as a moisturizing masque and wrap feet in towel for a few minutes.

10. Unwrap the feet and massage. Use a combination of kneading, friction, and long strokes to relax and recharge your client. Massaging the lower leg and foot may help reduce soreness after a big race.

11. Incorporate reflexology into the massage for an extra special treat. If reflexology is new to you, check out the education section at your next trade show and sign up for a class.

12. Dry and rewrap feet.

13. Buff nails with a three-way buffer to smooth ridges and add shine.

14. Clean nails before polish application to increase adhesion.

15. Apply base coat, polish, and top coat, if desired.

16. Allow the client to relax as the polish dries.

Note on the client card any problem areas you see. Keep track of product recommendations you make so you can follow up later. If you offer samples of products for your client to try, note those also, so you can get feedback on her next visit.

– Erin Snyder Dixon is a freelance writer, nail technician, salon owner and best-selling author, based in Newport News,Va. Dixon has completed five marathons and numerous other races for charity. 

For additional information about your athletic clients' special needs, read Running After the Athletic Client, and Going the Distance (Restoring Runners' Feet), published previously in NAILS.

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