Protecting Your Feet During the Summer
Posted by Jenn F. on Monday, June 11th, 2012
It may not feel like summer yet where you are, but there’s no doubt it’s on the way. Here, then, are some steps you can take to make sure your feet stay healthy during the lazy, hazy days of summer:
- Keep your feet dry. While it would be nice if every workplace gave you the option of kicking back in your favorite sandals, no socks required, many consider that a dress code no-no. That means that in hot weather, your poor feet, covered in shoes and socks are at risk of sweating. Yes, even if you live an “I go from my air-conditioned house to my air-conditioned job” lifestyle, there’s still plenty of time for your feet to perspire on walks from one location to another. Mix wet socks with warm, enclosed shoes and you have a recipe for painful, itchy, yucky athlete’s foot.The solution is simple: keep your feet dry. If you know your feet tend to sweat or you work in an environment where the summer heat will get to them, try dusting your feet with talcum powder before you put on your socks. Bring an extra pair of socks with you and put them on if you feel your other ones have gotten damp. Look for shoes that are made of breathable material, or summer shoes that look like dress/office shoes but still let some air in. Don’t get stuck in the same old dark, leather winter shoes, men–see what the fashionable types are wearing for summer.
- Add padding. It’s the time of year when women throw off their boots and stockings and go bare-legged in summer sandals. It’s all bright and breezy until you realize about an hour into that summer party that your feet are being scraped raw by the straps on your new sandals, or that the back of your ballet flats are rubbing your heel into a blister. Maybe you’ve suddenly realized that your heels are just too high and the balls of your feet are killing you.The best thing to do, of course, is make sure your shoes are comfortable to begin with, and that you’ve broken them in before you wear them for a long period of time.You can hedge your bet, though, by using moleskin strips or foam or gel padding that you can find in any drug store. Put padding on the forefoot of your high heels and moleskin strips in areas where you know you’re prone to blistering. Don’t have corns or calluses? Keep them from developing by using corn or callus pads on your toes.
- Sunscreen! I don’t know about you, but I’ve made the mistake of going to the beach, slathering most of myself with sunscreen, and then find out the hard way that feet get sunburned, too (I’m not the only one, right?). If you know you’re going to be sitting in the sun for a while, put sunscreen on your feet, or drape a towel over them. Because you don’t want sunburnt feet. Trust me on this one.
- Beware of going bare. During the summer many people are going to take the opportunity to go barefoot whenever they can. However, there are places where you really need to be careful about going barefoot–like your town swimming pool or the locker room of any gym or pool. The aforementioned athlete’s foot loves nothing more than damp public showers or wet locker room floors.Prevent it by making sure you always have some flip flops with you for the shower and walking around any wet damp areas. If you’re changing into shoes and socks afterwards, make sure you dry your feet thoroughly. If you swim with flippers, dry them out, too. And don’t throw wet towels into your gym bag on top of your flip flops and then leave them to molder there for days. All the fungi will love that.
- Be careful of sharp objects. There are other things to worry about besides athlete’s foot, though, when it comes to going barefoot or thin-soled. The ground is littered with potentially sharp debris that can cut or puncture your feet. While it may seem really cool to walk from the beach to your rental house just one block down the street, you’re also setting yourself up for an unfortunate encounter with shards of glass from the beer bottle someone tossed out the window of a car last night (ahh, the shore…). And you never know what’s lurking underneath the grass in that park or your friend’s backyard. Sad as it seems, the only places where you can really feel safe about going barefoot are the great indoors, in the pool, or on a beach that is clean and sandy.But that’s still pretty good, isn’t it?
If your feet do run into trouble this summer, whether at a backyard barbeque or while you’re out for a summer morning run, never fear! Contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, and Dr. Ryan Minara have helped thousands of people get back on their feet.
If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. Dr. Josef J. Geldwert, Dr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.