Summer is prime time for trips to the beach, afternoons by the poolside and long walks in the park. Although these seasonal pastimes are relaxing and fun, they can take a toll on your feet. Read this practical advice on how to take care of your feet, whether you’re at the beach, the pool or anywhere else:
On the Beach
When dressing for the beach, you will probably grab a pair of flip flops. They’re breezy, quick to slip on and they’re easy to clean. And, if they break, you can always buy a new pair for under $10. The problem is that they’re terrible for your feet.
One of the many reasons why flip flops are bad for your feet is that the unsupported design forces you to strain your muscles to walk. You have to grip the material with your toes so the sole lifts with each step. Repeating this motion will hurt your feet and encourage hammer toe.
You should get some orthopedic sandals this summer to replace your cheap pairs of flip flops that are slowly hurting your toes, your feet, your hips and your lower back. The right sandals will be just as low-maintenance as flip flops, but they will have proper arch support, cushioning and grip. Feet First Clinic has an impressive collection of sandals from brands like Fitflop, Birkenstock and NAOT.
When you’re wearing sandals, remember to slather on some sunscreen on your feet. Reapply every two hours or directly after you go swimming, even if you’ve chosen a water-resistant formula.
Putting sunscreen on your feet will do more than save you from awkward sunburns. It will protect you from contracting foot melanoma — this is a rare but severe type of skin cancer, especially because it can spread unnoticed. If you have moles on your feet, keep an eye on them to see whether they change color, size, shape or appearance in any way.
At the Pool
If you’re going to go swimming at the community pool, you need to bring a pair of pool shoes or shower shoes. People will be walking barefoot on the ground, leaving sweat, dirt and germs behind. Bacteria thrive in moist areas, which means the poolside, the public showers and the locker room will be hot spots for infections like athlete’s foot or plantar warts.
If you think you’re suffering from an infection, you should contact a foot specialist today for professional diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan. People living with diabetes or weakened immune systems should make the appointment right away for the sake of their well-being.
Ballet flats, flat sneakers and unsupportive shoes are popular for this season. Choosing these shoes for everyday-wear will inevitably result in discomfort. If you’re tired of foot pain, treat your feet right this summer by getting custom orthotic inserts or by choosing stylish orthopaedic shoes to wear all day long.
A bad sunburn on your feet will force you to leave the beach early so that you can soothe them with Aloe Vera and cold packs. Athlete’s foot will make you regret your trip to the pool and prevent you from swimming until it’s gone. Foot strain will encourage you to cut your walk short. Taking better care of your feet will make sure your summer plans don’t get sidetracked.