set (one) back on (one's) feet(redirected from set them back on their heels)
set (one) back on (one's) feet
1. Literally, to help one to stand upright after being on the ground. We rushed over to Tom and set him back on his feet before the bouncer noticed that he was too drunk to stand upright.
2. To restore one to a stable position after a downturn or misfortune. The program aims to set convicts back on their feet after they are released from prison. The investment from Charles' father helped set us back on our feet after losing so much of our business during the recession.
set one back on one's feet
Help restore one's position, reestablish one, as in The outplacement office promised to help set the displaced workers back on their feet. This idiom uses an upright position as a metaphor for being active and productive.