The Best Pumice Stone for Calloused Heels Is Actually a Metal Foot File

The best pumice stone is not a pumice stone at all.

metal foot file leaning against a mirror reflecting a foot
Much more sanitary than a pumice stone.
Photo: Emma Ressel

Diamancel Diamond Foot Buffer #11

The goal: Find the best pumice stone for sloughing off winter skin.

The verdict: The best pumice stone happens not to be a pumice stone at all. According to medical pedicurists — technicians who are trained to deal with all manner of foot issues — the porous rocks too easily collect bacteria. Dr. Krista Archer, a podiatric surgeon who offers medi-pedis, instead recommends dry scrubbing with a metal foot file, like the surgical-grade-steel Diamancel. “Sit on the edge of the tub and scrub, scrub, scrub,” she says. “Then once the snow accumulates, rinse.”

Diamancel foot buffer

More Strategist-recommended foot-smoothers

CND Creative Nail Design Spa Cucumber Heel Therapy

Strategist writer Lori Keong talked to Skyy Hadley, celebrity manicurist and owner of the As U Wish Nail Spa in Hoboken and Blink Beauty Boutique in Harlem, who recommends this Cucumber Heel Therapy Cream. It contains exfoliants like AHAs and urea, but it’s balanced with soothing cucumber, chamomile, and aloe. “The cream softens the heels at the same time and leaves them feeling amazing,” she says.

jar of CND Cucumber Heel Therapy

Baby Foot Exfoliant Foot Peel

Writer Molly Young told us about the heel-saving power of Baby Foot: “Each kit comes with a set of plastic booties filled with clear gel. You insert your bare feet into the booties, tape them shut, and wait an hour. Then you remove the booties and rinse your feet. Nothing happens. A week later, your feet slough pieces of sliver-thin, leathery dead skin that range from the size of a Tic Tac to the size of a pita pocket. This continues for about 48 hours until your feet are reborn. The process does not hurt or itch. In fact, it feels wonderful. Your feet look like they’ve just received the world’s most expensive pedicure.”

Baby Foot Exfoliant Foot Peel
Baby Foot

ProLinc Callus Eliminator

Writer Alison Freer also told us about her pedicurist’s foot secret — the ProLinc Callus Eliminator. Here’s how to use it: “Soak your feet in a tub of warm water for five minutes. (I use this inflatable tub because it’s so easy to break down and store in between uses.) Apply a thin coating of ProLinc Callus Eliminator to your rough, callused foot parts, using a paper towel (you can also just use your hands, but make sure to wash them immediately afterward). Wait three to five minutes (no longer, as it could start to burn), then wipe any excess product off your foot with a tissue. Finally, it’s scraping time. I like using a pedicure-specific microplane rasp (though an old-school Mr. Pumice stone works well, too) and go to town. You’ll be shocked at how easily your calluses are turned to dust.”

ProLinc Callus Eliminator