In Texas, we’re lucky because we get a longer summer than the northern states. They really only get summer from about mid-May until mid-September, and possibly shorter.
And during summer, you think of all the ways you can relax and enjoy the outdoors. Visions of stretching out in the golden sun with no shoes pop into your head.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the outdoors when the weather’s nice. And along with that, you want to make sure you care for your feet properly so you don’t end up with sore feet, aches, pains, blisters, callouses, or anything else that makes walking, running, biking, or doing whatever it is you love unpleasant.
So here’s the top steps to take to keep your feet in great shape all summer long:
1. Generally, Don’t Walk Barefoot
You should certainly avoid walking barefoot in public places. People throw their garbage around, lose stuff, and unwittingly spread disease.
Protect yourself by wearing at least some kind of footwear to avoid ringworm, plantar warts, and cuts.
You may be able to go barefoot on private, and your own, property. But even then, you’re taking a slight (and unnecessary) risk.
2. Keep Fungal Infections Away with the Right Socks
The right socks (made from synthetic acrylic) wick moisture away from your feet, which prevents fungal infections.
To up your odds of avoiding fungal infections further, wear any footwear that exposes your foot to the air. A damp, moist environment with no exposure to the air is the best situation for fungal infections.
3. Always Wear the Appropriate Footwear for the Situation
This one requires some judgment. If you’re going to the beach or swimming pool, you can get away with sandals because you don’t need to walk much.
But if you have to walk extensively, you’ll want some sort of closed-toe shoes because they’ll help you avoid blisters and painful ankle sprains.
And since they trap more heat and require socks, they also increase your risk of fungal infection. However, you can counter that by taking off your shoes immediately after use and allowing your feet to air out.
When you choose sandals for walking short-distances, you’ll also want to make sure they don’t rub on a certain part of your foot consistently, which causes blisters. If you do have a pair you like to use, simply use moleskin or a liquid bandage to protect your feet.
5. Don’t Forget Sunscreen!
Yes, your feet need sunscreen too. Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher. It helps you prevent skin cancer and premature aging of your skin.
Re-apply the sunscreen if your feet get wet due to swimming or perspiration – even if the sunscreen claims it’s waterproof.
If you follow those 5 steps, you greatly reduce your exposure to many common foot injuries.
And you help yourself have a healthy and fun summer!