Five steps to fabulous summer feet
There’s nothing quite like finally feeling the warm sun on your skin after a long, dark winter. Whilst we all look forward to those glorious summer days, our feet might not be so keen.
Summer can be a gruelling time of year for our feet, so you won’t be alone in feeling less than enthusiastic about stepping out in your sandals. Don’t despair just yet; we’re here with five helpful tips so you can start summer on the right foot this year!
Choose the right shoes
Shoe shopping this summer doesn’t have to be sole-destroying! Knowing which style of shoes are right for you during summer will make finding the perfect pair a breeze.
Firstly, think about what you’re planning to do each day before choosing your footwear. If you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, don’t wear something like a flat sandal with no support.
In fact, it might be best to find a pair of sandals with supportive cushioning in the sole that you can wear throughout the summer. A pair of sandals like this will be versatile and comfortable, and there’s plenty of styles to choose from.
If you prefer to wear closed-toe shoes or trainers, insoles can be a great way to add supportive cushioning.
So, what shoes should you try to avoid? Steer clear of wearing flip flops for long periods of time, as they can quickly result in sore feet and ankles due to the lack of support.
You should also reconsider any plans to go barefoot this summer - going outdoors without shoes can increase the risk of injury, verrucas and fungal infections.
Give your feet some air
Keeping your feet dry and sweat-free will keep you feeling comfortable all day long. Let the fresh air get between your toes by avoiding closed-toe footwear - another great reason to choose a comfortable sandal as your go-to summer shoe!
It might also be a good idea to take off your shoes a few times each day so your feet can air out, especially if it’s a very hot day. Letting your feet breathe will prevent excess sweating, odour and fungal infections like athlete’s foot.
Say no to blisters
While you may have found the perfect comfortable summer sandal, it’s possible they could cause a painful blister. Blisters occur when the skin on your feet rubs against your shoes, and you’re more likely to get them when you’re not wearing socks.
Whilst wearing socks is always a good way to prevent blisters, socks and sandals aren’t to everyone’s tastes. If you know you’re prone to blisters, you could consider covering the areas most likely to be affected with blister plasters or preventative treatments.
Make sure to bring plasters with you while you’re out and about in your sandals, as you never know when a blister could pop up seemingly out of nowhere.
Take care of your heels
Open-back footwear like sandals can be an ideal choice during the warm summer months, but they can leave your heels exposed to potential cracks. Dry, cracked heels can be uncomfortable and unpleasant, and they even leave you at risk of infection.
Anyone can develop cracked heels, especially if you’re active or you’re standing for long periods. When we put extra pressure on the fatty pads of our heels, it can cause the hard skin to crack, otherwise known as a heel fissure.
Of course, cracked heels can be caused by other things, such as:
- Wearing open-heeled footwear
- Harsh soaps
- Cold or dry weather
- Hot baths or showers
Sometimes, cracked heels can be caused by a medical condition, like obesity, diabetes or eczema. Those with foot-related conditions are more likely to experience cracked heels, too, as is the case with flat feet, athlete’s foot and heel spurs.
Keeping yourself hydrated is one of the first steps towards avoiding cracked heels - make sure you’re drinking lots of water throughout the day to prevent your skin from becoming dehydrated. Moisturising is also a must; our feet dry out a lot more during the summer whilst we’re not wearing our socks as much.
Although it’s tempting to stick to open-heeled shoes during summertime, too much wear can cause the heels on your feet to dry out, causing them to crack due to the lack of moisture. It’s a good idea to alternate your footwear to prevent this.
Putting your feet through too much stress, for example walking barefoot, using harsh soaps or submerging your feet in very hot water can cause dry, cracked heels. Take it easy on your feet!
There are a range of foot creams, exfoliating socks and hard skin removers to choose from that’ll have you completely head over heels for your silky smooth soles.
Don’t forget your sunscreen
We all know how important it is to protect our skin from the sun, especially when the UV rays are high during the summer, but are you extending the protection all the way to your feet?
Whilst we’re often used to focusing on other parts of the body when slathering on the sunscreen, it’s just as important not to forget the parts of your feet that are exposed, too. Using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 will protect the skin on your feet from sunburn, premature ageing and skin cancer.
Make sure to keep reapplying the sunscreen after you’ve been swimming or sweating, too, even if it says it’s waterproof.
We hope this guide has helped you to feel more confident in stepping out into the sunshine. Enjoying the summertime with sore feet would be difficult for anyone, after all.
Armed with the vital know-how on preventing fungal infections, blisters, cracked heels and more, from now on, you simply won’t put a foot wrong!