As the summer starts to heat up, most of us will be finally be reaching for our cool summer sandals, flip flops, deck shoes and jelly shoes!
It’s tempting to think our feet will pretty much take care of themselves, but they do need some TLC during the warmer months too.
Here are our top 10 tips for healthy feet all summer long:
1. Keep hydrated
Your feet have more sweat glands per square inch of skin than anywhere else on your body, and you can sweat half a pint of water from your feet every day. So, drink an extra glass of water each day, and your feet will thank you for it!
2. Put your feet up
Not than any of us really need encouraging to do this, but simply sitting with your feet up for 10 minutes at the end of a busy day helps your circulation and reduces swelling in your feet and ankles.
3. Slap on that sunscreen
Your feet spend much of their working lives in the dark, so when they finally do see the sun, they are very prone to sunburn. Be extra careful to apply high factor sun cream to all parts of your feet when slipping into sandals and before stepping out into the summer sun. And if you’re sunbathing lying on your front, always cover the soles of your feet, as you will sweat off any cream applied. Remember to top up the sun cream after paddling or swimming, or just walking on wet surfaces such as boat decks.
4. Stop cracked heels from forming
If you love open-backed sandals or flip-flops, your heels will be more vulnerable to exposure and irritation, which may cause the skin to crack. By applying deep moisturising cream to your heels twice a day, you’ll keep your heels looking great and feeling smooth to the touch. Any rough skin can be gently removed using a natural pumice stone or a natural scrub such as a mixture of seasalt and oatmeal.
5. Always dry your feet
It might be tempting after swimming, paddling or messing about on the water just to leave your wet feet to dry naturally. Don’t! Drying your feet with a clean towel removes excess moisture between your toes and helps prevent athlete’s foot and other fungal infections. You’ll also be removing any sand or dirt that could cause irritation, and helping to keep the insides of your sandals cleaner too.
6. Mix and match your footwear
Flat sandals and flip-flops are great for the beach or beside the pool, but don’t make them your everyday footwear all summer long. They offer no support to your foot, and this can often lead to foot and heel pain. Make sure you have a pair of casual summer shoes with proper support levels and wear them whenever possible.
7. Don’t ditch your orthotics
If you wear orthotic insoles in your winter shoes, make sure you keep wearing them during the summer months too! Ask us about slim fit orthotics, which offer the right level support but are much thinner than normal orthotics, so you can wear them in summer shoes and high heels.
8. Change your socks
Sometimes, you just have to wear socks even in the hottest weather, so make sure they are clean, dry and with a high cotton content that allows your feet to breathe.
9. Look out for foot injuries or infections
Open shoes are great, but they do leave your feet more vulnerable to injury. So, watch where you are stepping and wear jelly shoes or similar water-friendly shoes when walking in lakes or streams – you never know what lies under the water.
10. Wear your feet with pride!
Be proud of your feet and pamper them with a pedicure. (Yes gents, that includes you). Keep toenails trimmed (cut across, never round), heels smoothed, and any toe hairs trimmed (nobody loves a hobbit in real life). Always paint your toenails with the best quality polish you can afford and cover with a protective coat to prevent the polish chipping or wearing off too quickly.
And above all enjoy the summer weather – we’ll see you at the beach!
To book an orthotic fitting or to discuss any foot-related problems, do call us at one of our three local orthotics and feet clinics:
- London Foot Specialists (519) 432 3636
- Ingersoll Foot & Ankle Clinic (519) 485-1750
- Stratford Foot & Ankle Clinic (519) 271-8834
Feet photo by Jadis La Lune at flickr.com