Summertime Tips for Healthy Feet

Summer means more time outdoors hiking, biking, playing sports, or spending a lot of time at the pool or beach, which can take a toll on your feet. If you develop a problem with your feet, Kerry E. Berg, DPM and our friendly team at Intermountain Foot & Ankle Associates in Colorado Springs, Colorado, can help. In the meantime, here are some summertime tips for healthy feet.

Choose the right shoes

Choosing the right shoes for what you’re doing is important. For example, If you’re going hiking for the day, you should wear proper hiking shoes that stabilize and support your feet and ankles. Or, if you’re training for a marathon or just jogging for fun, always wear properly sized running shoes that allow your feet room to expand. It’s a good idea to wear moisture-wicking socks to help keep moisture away from your feet, too.

Going barefoot

We know you’re tempted to go barefoot, but it’s really a bad idea. You can come into contact with all sorts of debris, you could get cut on glass or other sharp objects, or you could get a virus like warts, a fungus that leads to athlete’s foot, or even bacteria that cause infection. You also need support, especially if you have a foot problem like plantar fasciitis.

Wearing flip-flops

Wearing flip-flops is a summer staple, but choose wisely. Invest in a pair of sturdy flip flops that provide arch support. They usually cost more but are worth it. If you wear flimsy, cheap flip-flops, you’re setting yourself up for injuries from falls and aching feet, or even stress fractures. Always wear flip-flops in public pool areas, showers, and locker rooms to prevent infections.

Foot odor

When you wear sneakers or any kind of closed-toe shoes, your feet will sweat. Remove your shoes a few times a day to allow them to air out. It’s a good idea to rotate pairs of shoes you wear so they have time to dry. Wet or damp shoes are a breeding ground for bacteria. When bacteria mix with sweat, your feet or shoes will smell. Wash your feet with warm soap and water every day to keep them clean.

Other considerations

In addition to shoe choice and hygiene, here are some other ways to keep your feet in tip-top shape for summer.

Black toenails

Runners may get black toenails from shoes that are too tight because the friction of your toes rubbing against your shoes may cause a blood blister to form. It’s best to leave it alone, because a new nail usually grows underneath that will eventually cause the blackened nail to fall off on its own.

Blisters

Prevent blisters by buying shoes that fit properly. If you do get a blister, cover it with a bandage, blister pad, or moleskin to reduce discomfort.

Dry, cracked heels

Treat dry skin with a heavy-duty cream or petroleum jelly, wrap your feet in plastic wrap, and wear socks over it so your feet can soak in the moisture.

Sunburn

You may not even realize it, but your feet can get sunburned too; so, when applying sunscreen on the rest of your body, remember your feet and ankles.

Pedicures

Pedicures are a great way to keep your feet looking their best because the technician removes dead skin and shapes your nails so they look good in sandals. You even get a foot massage! 

Be sure to go to a salon that sterilizes their equipment and foot baths, otherwise you may end up with a fungal or viral infection; if you’re not sure just ask. You can also bring your own pedicure tools, that way you’re guaranteed safety. If you want to bring your own tools, call ahead to make sure it’s okay, and bring a cuticle pusher, nail file, and buffer at the very least.

Tired, achy feet

Massage tired and achy feet, soak them in a warm bath with Epsom salts and then moisturize. Try a revitalizing foot lotion with peppermint (it feels great!).

Your feet do a lot of heavy lifting, and the more active you are in summer, the more you’re at risk for an injury or infection. Dr. Berg treats all kinds of acute and chronic foot problems at Intermountain Foot & Ankle in Colorado Springs, so give us a call to make an appointment at 719-873-8973 or use our online booking tool.

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