Summertime Tips for Healthy Feet

Summertime is the season for sandals and bare feet, and that means you want your feet to look — and feel — their best. Sun, heat, water exposure, and dry air can take their toll on your feet, but with these simple tips, you can make sure your tootsies are well protected all season long.

Keep barefooting to a minimum

Sure, it might feel great to shed those heavy shoes and socks you’ve been wearing all winter long. But as liberating as it may feel to walk around barefoot, leaving your shoes behind also means your feet are more exposed to medical problems, like athlete’s foot, plantar warts, blisters, and even dangerous infections. Instead of going completely bare, opt for flip-flops or skimpy sandals to enjoy your freedom without putting your feet at risk.

Choose the right flip-flops

Flip-flops are almost a summertime staple, but the flat, thin soles can wind up causing lots of foot and ankle problems, especially if you wear them a lot. The key to preventing problems is to select flip-flops with thicker soles and arch supports — or better yet, look for a more supportive style of sandal that protects your feet and stabilizes your ankle when you walk.

Use sunscreen every day

Your feet can get sunburned just like the rest of you, and that means they need protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Slather on plenty of sunscreen to the tops of your feet, your toes, and all around your ankles. And don’t forget to reapply after you’ve been swimming.

Wear swim shoes in oceans, lakes, and rivers

Unless you’re vacationing where the waters are crystal clear, it’s pretty much impossible to see where you’re stepping when you take a dip in a natural body of water. Swim shoes may not be as sexy as bare feet, but they can protect the soles of your feet from coming in contact with sharp objects you might not be able to see — and that makes them a smart choice for water activities.

Keep your feet hydrated

Exposure to the sun and hot air can dry out your feet pretty quickly, and that means they’re more likely to develop cracks and sore spots. Use a good moisturizer after your shower or bath and after swimming. Consider slathering it on before bed, too, followed by a pair of lightweight socks for in-depth moisturizing. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will keep your skin hydrated, and it can also help prevent your feet from swelling due to the heat.

Air out your shoes

Feet sweat — sometimes, a lot. Damp, sweaty shoes provide the ideal environment for fungi to grow, which means the next time you put your shoes on, you could be infecting yourself with athlete’s foot. Air your shoes when you’re not wearing them and keep an extra pair of socks on hand so you can change them during the day if your feet start to sweat.

Wash your feet frequently

Let’s face it: The ground, pool decks, and even indoor floors are full of germs. Even closed shoes can contain fungi and other germs that can wreak havoc on sensitive foot skin. Wash your feet thoroughly at least once each day — ideally, before bed — to keep germs at bay. 

Keep an eye out for blisters and cuts

Wearing sandals and open-toed shoes exposes your toes and feet to injuries. Blisters, cuts, and scrapes can all provide entry points for germs that can wind up causing dangerous infections. Keep some adhesive bandages, antibacterial cream, and moleskin on hand, and treat cuts and blisters as soon as you notice them.

Keeping your feet healthy means you can focus on enjoying summer — and all the fun the season brings. If you do wind up with a foot problem, don't put off getting medical treatment. Delaying care can wind up turning a minor issue into a major problem faster than you realize. At Animas Foot and Ankle, we provide specialized, state-of-the-art foot care using the most advanced techniques, so you can get the treatment you need as quickly as possible. If you’ve got a foot problem, we can help. Book an appointment online today.

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