The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission. Why trust us?

9 best foot creams for combating cracked heels

Keep your feet healthy and looking their best with these foot creams

Lauren Cunningham
Friday 28 April 2023 17:10 BST
<p>These moisturising creams slough away dead skin to reveal soft and supple results</p>

These moisturising creams slough away dead skin to reveal soft and supple results

Our Top Picks

Sandal season is fast approaching, which means one thing: it’s time to take our crusty, dusty feet out of our trainers and make them look a bit more presentable. If you’re anything like us, your feet are bound to be looking a little neglected and in need of a quick fix.

While not everyone feels the need to carry out an at-home pedicure – nail clippers in one hand, pumice stone in the other – believe us when we say your feet will thank you for a little TLC.

Taking things back to basics with the one product we all need, we’re here to talk about foot cream. Sexy? No. Essential? Absolutely. Not only do these creams keep the skin on your feet soft and supple, they can also help heal sore, cracked heels and combat hard skin.

For those who truly stay on top of their grooming, a good foot cream should be used year-round, to keep feet looking and feeling healthy. But which one should you buy?

Here to help, we’ve tried a huge number of foot creams to help soothe tired feet and legs, smooth skin, and help hardworking heels. Keep reading this article to find out which brands impressed us the most.

How we tested

Testing foot cream is rather self-explanatory. So, after a long winter of keeping our toes toasty in socks and boots, we tried a wide range of foot creams of different consistencies, price points and formulas, looking at how each product soaked into the skin, hydrated the feet and felt, while applying over the course of six weeks.

Just a few of the foot creams we tried, during our search for the best

The best foot creams for 2024 are:

  • Best overall – CeraVe renewing foot cream: £8.50,
  • Best everyday footcream – Beauty Pie footopia super-softening foot and heel cream: £25,
  • Best for cracked heels – Leighton Denny pedicure treatments well heeded exfoliating foot pump masque: £15,
  • Best for sensitive skin – Ókiki moringa and chamomile with arnica hand and foot balm: £9,

CeraVe renewing foot cream

best foot cream
  • Best: Overall foot cream
  • Size: 88ml
  • Scent: No strong scent
  • Key ingredients: Glycerin, niacinamide and ceramides
  • Suitable for: All skin, including sensitive, hard and dry skin

CeraVe is a go-to brand for budget-friendly beauty basics. Looking more medicinal on the outside, you won’t find any beautiful packaging, fruity fragrances or luxury-looking ingredients in these products. Instead, what you will find is hardworking formulas tailored to get the job done, and that’s exactly the case with this foot cream.

Glycerin hydrates, niacinamide works to help heal the skin barrier, salicylic acid sloughs away dead skin cells, and a blend of three essential ceramides defends against dryness and irritation. After one use, we were instantly impressed, and when using it every day for one week, our feet felt and looked incredibly healthy.

  1. £8 from
Prices may vary
Back to top

Beauty Pie footopia super softening foot and heel cream

best foot cream hard cracked heels
  • Best: Everyday foot cream
  • Size: 75ml
  • Scent: Subtle minty, floral
  • Key ingredients: Shea butter, cocoa butter and cactus enzymes
  • Suitable for: All skin, including hard and dry

The first thing to note about this foot cream is the packaging. Forget the medicinal-looking colours and logos like the ones found on some other products. Instead, this minty green tube would make a lovely addition to any bathroom shelf or bedside cabinet.

A lightweight yet deeply hydrating formula, we found it to be the perfect fix for keeping feet looking fresh, if used every day. It absorbs into the skin pretty quickly, meaning you can use it in the mornings too.

Cocoa and shea butter give it its moisturising properties, while cactus enzymes and syn-urea+ exfoliate dry skin and boost the natural peeling process. Microbiome+ has been added as a prebiotic for your feet, supporting the skin and removing any odour too. So, this foot cream really does do it all, and it’s vegan, too.

Back to top

Leighton Denny pedicure treatments well heeded exfoliating foot pump masque

best foot cream hard cracked heels
  • Best: Foot cream for cracked heels
  • Size: 150ml
  • Scent: No strong scent
  • Key ingredients: Papaya and pineapple extracts, glycerine and aloe vera
  • Suitable for: All skin, including hard and dry

Coming with a pair of bow-adorned socks (although they certainly aren’t the sexiest), this foot cream is designed for dry, dehydrated skin. In a pump bottle, it’s incredibly hygienic – we much preferred this to the open-top pots, which seemed to attract every little bit of dust and fluff.

Being incredibly thick, a little goes a long way, and the socks help to seal in the moisture for an even deeper-working treatment, sloughing off dead, dry skin and combatting cracked heels. Papaya and pineapple extracts exfoliate, glycerine hydrates and aloe vera soothes while olive and grape seed oil flood the feet with much-needed nourishment. To get it to really work its magic, apply a thick layer overnight, then pull on the socks to seal the deal.

Back to top

The Body Shop peppermint intensive cooling foot rescue

best foot cream hard cracked heels
  • Best: Budget foot cream
  • Size: 100ml
  • Scent: Peppermint
  • Key ingredients: Peppermint essential oil, cocoa butter and soybean oil
  • Suitable for: All skin, including hard and dry

For sore, tired feet, this peppermint oil foot cream is sure to come in handy. Combining cocoa and soybean oil, it’s incredibly rich and coats the feet in immediate moisture.

Easy to apply – although best at night, lest you be left slipping and sliding over the bathroom floor – it slightly cools sore feet with its subtle minty fresh feeling, while slightly relieving aches and pains. We loved the scent and feel of this foot cream, and we’re sure to be using it on repeat once those sweaty summer nights hit.

Coming in at £11, it’s also a bargain buy. Remember, as The Body Shop is a B corp, you can count on these products to be made to a great standard too, considering both the people and the planet.

Back to top

Burt’s Bees foot cream for cracked heels and dry skin

best foot cream hard cracked heels
  • Best: Natural foot cream
  • Size: 120g
  • Scent: Honey and coconut
  • Key ingredients: Glycerin, olive oil and oat-kernel extract
  • Suitable for: All skin, including hard and dry

Made from 99.4 per cent natural ingredients, with glycerin, olive oil and oat-kernel flour as the three core components, this Burt’s Bees foot cream is for those who like to keep things nice and simple. With a sweet honey and coconut scent, it was one of our favourite, and it felt just as good as it smelt.

What comes out of the tube may surprise you, as, compared with the thick, white creams you might associate with this type of product, this Burt’s Bees pick is yellow with a gel-like consistency. This did make it a little greasy, so it’s best to use it at night, but it truly felt like we were giving our feet a good drink after applying this product and donning fluffy socks.

The glycerin, coconut oil and rosemary extracts deeply hydrate even the roughest of skin, while peppermint neutralises odour, and the oat-kernel extract smooths the skin surface for softer, suppler feet. So, it’s safe to say we’re pretty impressed, especially when looking at the ingredients list.

  1. £13 from
Prices may vary
Back to top

Puressentiel muscles and joints cryo pure spray

best foot cream hard cracked heels
  • Best: Foot cream for sore feet
  • Size: 150ml
  • Scent: Strong mint
  • Key ingredients: 14 essential oils and menthol
  • Suitable for: All skin, including sensitive skin

This foot spray won’t combat cracked heels, slough away dead skin cells or hydrate your feet. However, for those with sore, tired feet, it gets a gold star (4.5 stars, to be exact) for soothing them.

Coming in a spray bottle, it’s incredibly easy to use – making it a great pick for those who struggle to bend down – and works with the cryo method to deeply cool each area. A combination of 14 essential oils, including spearmint, rosemary and lavender, make up the all-natural formula, alongside menthol and water, so it’s suitable for vegans and those who like plant-based ingredient lists too.

The cooling effect lasts between 30 and 60 minutes, instantly relieving aches and pains. However, it can be quite greasy, so don’t expect to walk around straight after applying it, or you may end up with more pains than you started with. It can also be used all over the body, so spritz away at your shoulders, knees, neck and back to truly feel fighting fit.

Back to top

Dermatology M hand and foot cream

best foot cream hard cracked heels
  • Best: Luxury foot cream
  • Size: 50ml
  • Scent: Botanical
  • Key ingredients: Alpha hydroxy acids, liquorice-root extract and vitamin A
  • Suitable for: All skin, including hard and dry skin

A price of £42 for just 50ml is expensive for a foot cream, but for those who like the little luxuries in life, you’ll want to pay close attention to this one. Formulated with 98 per cent natural ingredients and made in the UK, this small pot is pretty potent. Naturally derived alpha hydroxy acids gently exfoliate; liquorice-root extract and urea soften; and vitamin A and bisabolol soothe skin in a rich and creamy formula.

Suitable for hands and feet, applying this provides a luxurious way to end the day, and we fell in love with the clean, botanical scent. The instructions say to apply between three and five times a day, which seems a bit excessive. We stuck to just one and still noticed a big difference in both the look and feel of our feet, with softer skin achieved almost immediately.

Back to top

Ókiki moringa and chamomile with arnica hand and foot balm

best foot cream hard cracked heels
  • Best: Foot cream for sensitive skin
  • Size: 60g
  • Scent: Chamomile and arnica
  • Key ingredients: Shea butter, chamomile extract and sweet almond oil
  • Suitable for: All skin, including sensitive skin

With reviews claiming it eases eczema, reduces redness and works wonders on nappy rash, this small-batch brand is certainly impressing a lot of people.

Handmade in Kent, and specifically designed for sensitive skin, the balm instantly melts when in contact with the skin, sending out a soothing chamomile and arnica scent. Key ingredients include shea butter to soften skin, chamomile to soothe, moringa to repair damaged cells, and arnica to help relieve pain and prevent irritation.

We loved the scent, the ingredients list and how easy it was to use. A little goes a long way, too, meaning you can use it almost anywhere on the body (including the face) to tackle dryness and red patches.

Back to top

E45 rich 24h pump moisturiser lotion for dry skin

best foot cream hard cracked heels
  • Best: Multi-use foot cream
  • Size: 400ml
  • Scent: No strong scent
  • Key ingredients: Evening primrose oil and glycerin
  • Suitable for: All skin, including sensitive skin

E45 needs no introduction. One of the nation’s favourite solutions for soothing sore or sensitive skin, it can be counted on for any occasion, including soothing dry, dehydrated feet.

Of course, as it’s not a designated foot cream, it’s not quite as heavy as most of the other options we tested. It absorbs almost instantly, meaning you can apply it whenever, wherever. Although it won’t slough away dead skin cells or combat odour-causing bacteria, it will instantly hydrate the skin and, over time, create softer, suppler feet. So, while you will have to manually remove hard skin with a foot file or pumice stone, for a simple, multi-use cream, E45 is hard to beat.

  1. £7 from
Prices may vary
Back to top

The verdict: Foot creams

For a fuss-free, simple product that just gets the job done, budget beauty brand CeraVe has truly caught our eye, sloughing away dead skin cells while flooding feet with moisture. For those who like the little luxuries in life, Dermatology M’s pricey product is sure to be a good pick, with an impressive ingredients list and pretty packaging to match. For really sore feet and joints, Puressentiel’s cryo cop certainly cooled things down.

E45 is always an essential find for any skin woes, be it dry feet or nappy rash. While, for sensitive folk, independent brand Ókiki is our recommended go-to. Just be sure to use whichever one you pick pretty regularly, for at-home pedicures that couldn’t be simpler.

For more footcare, read our review of the best foot peels to soften and smooth rough, hardened skin

Voucher Codes

TUI Discount Code
£100 off all bookings over £1000 - TUI discount code
ASOS Discount Code
Up to 30% off new in items at ASOS
Travelodge Discount Code
5% off all bookings with this Travelodge discount code
The Body Shop Discount Code
20% off everything with The Body Shop discount code
The Perfume Shop Discount Code
15% of all orders with The Perfume Shop birthday discount
Domino's Voucher Code
Get 40% off mains, sides, and desserts - Domino's voucher code

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in