Protecting your feet is important year-round. We should, however, pay closer attention to our feet in the summer. This is because our feet are more vulnerable and have increased chances of infections and injuries during the warm summer months.
We are more likely to participate in outdoor activities like swimming, rock climbing, going to the beach and hiking during the summer. Our feet also receive a lot of exposure during this season.
Giving your feet the care they need can help you prevent painful blisters, infections, and even injuries. The following tips will help you keep your feet healthy and looking great all summer:
1. Invest in your footwear
Choose good quality summer shoes. Your feet will swell slightly in the summer heat. Consider shoes that are slightly bigger to allow your feet to swell and avoid pinching.
Sandals and flip-flops are light and comfortable summer shoes. Nonetheless, most podiatrists advice sandals and flip-flops are not meant to be worn all day. This is due to their thin soles and minimum foot support.
Wearing flip-flops for long periods can cause foot injuries like heel pain and Achilles Tendon. In addition, sandals with thin straps cause gripping with your toes which can cause foot and ankle muscle strain.
Choose sandals and flip-flops with a thick sole, arch support, thick straps, and metatarsal pad. You can also buy cushioned inserts to provide the support.
2. Avoid walking barefoot
Going barefoot is one of the pleasures we let ourselves enjoy during the summer. Walking barefoot outside can however, leave your feet vulnerable to contract infections.
Bacteria and viruses thrive in the summer due to the hot moist conditions and walking barefoot increases the chances of your feet contracting ringworm, fungus, warts, athletes foot, and other infections.
Going barefoot in public can also expose your feet to thorns, glass, nails and other sharp objects leading to painful injuries.
3. Choose appropriate footwear for your summer activities
Filling our days with fun outdoor activities is one of the biggest joys of summer. Before embarking on any activity, it is wise to plan ahead and ensure you have the appropriate footwear. For instance, wearing water shoes instead of flip-flops to the beach can protect you from hidden sharp objects and a good pair of hiking boots prevents strain and injury on your ankles.
4. Use sunscreen
Apply sunscreen to exposed parts of your feet to protect them from sunburn. The top of your foot is especially vulnerable to sun damage so be diligent with a sunscreen routine, preferably every two hours of exposure.
5. Use moisturizer
Your feet lose a lot of moisture during hot summers. Keep your feet hydrated by moisturizing them once in the morning to lock in moisture throughout the day and once at night before going to bed.
Exfoliating your feet at least once a week will help you get rid of dead skin cells from your feet. It is important to exfoliate during the summer as the hot environment sheds the skin cells at a very fast rate. If you have the common dry summer heels, try exfoliating every day with a pumice stone. Remember to apply moisturizer after exfoliation to seal in moisture.
7. Keep your feet dry
The summer’s heat can cause a lot of sweating especially between your toes. The moisture creates an environment for bacteria and fungi to thrive in – use quality deodorants for your feet.
Make sure your feet are dried and change out of damp socks as much as possible. You can also sprinkle some baby powder to remove all the dampness.
Finally, drink plenty of water. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), drinking water reduces feet swelling during the hot summers, and here’s how to take care of your feet during summer.