Summer is the season for sunshine, vacations, and outdoor fun. As you plan your summer activities, don’t forget to take special care of your feet. Here at Idaho Foot & Ankle Center, we know how crucial it is to keep your feet healthy and happy. Here are some essential tips to ensure your feet stay safe this summer.

1. Choose the Right Footwear

Summer often means spending a lot of time in sandals, flip-flops, and other open-toed shoes. While these can be stylish and comfortable, they might not always provide the support and protection your feet need. Here’s what to consider when choosing summer footwear:

  • Support: Opt for sandals with arch support and cushioned soles. This can prevent foot pain and conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
  • Fit: Make sure your shoes fit properly. Shoes that are too tight or too loose can cause blisters, calluses, and other foot problems.
  • Protection: If you’re going to be in environments where your feet could get injured (like hiking trails or rocky beaches), choose closed-toe shoes for better protection.

2. Keep Your Feet Clean and Dry

With the increase in outdoor activities and warmer weather, your feet are likely to sweat more, making them susceptible to fungal infections like athlete’s foot. Here are some hygiene tips:

  • Wash Regularly: Wash your feet daily with soap and water, and make sure to dry them thoroughly, especially between the toes.
  • Breathable Socks: Wear moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet dry. Cotton socks can retain moisture, so consider synthetic materials designed for moisture control.
  • Foot Powder: Use foot powder to keep your feet dry and reduce the risk of fungal infections.

3. Protect Your Feet from the Sun

Just like the rest of your body, your feet can get sunburned. Sunburn on your feet can be particularly painful and can lead to more serious skin issues. Here’s how to protect your feet from the sun:

  • Sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to all exposed areas of your feet, including the tops and between the toes.
  • Shade: When spending long periods outside, take breaks in the shade to give your feet some relief from the sun.

4. Avoid Walking Barefoot

While it might be tempting to go barefoot on the beach or in your backyard, doing so can expose your feet to various dangers, such as cuts, burns, and infections. Here are some guidelines:

  • Public Areas: Always wear sandals or water shoes in public areas like pools, locker rooms, and beaches to protect your feet from hot surfaces, plantar warts, and sharp objects.
  • At Home: Even at home, be cautious about going barefoot. Small objects or uneven surfaces can cause injury.

5. Stay Hydrated and Moisturized

Hydration is key for overall health, including the health of your feet. Dehydration can lead to dry, cracked skin, particularly on the heels. Here’s how to keep your feet hydrated:

  • Drink Water: Ensure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day to keep your skin hydrated.
  • Moisturize: Apply a good quality foot cream or moisturizer daily to keep the skin on your feet soft and supple. Pay special attention to your heels and any other dry areas.

6. Treat Injuries Promptly

Summer activities can sometimes lead to foot injuries. It’s important to address injuries promptly to avoid complications. Here’s what to do:

  • Blisters and Cuts: Clean and cover blisters and cuts to prevent infection. Avoid popping blisters, as this can increase the risk of infection.
  • Use the RICE treatment method— Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation if you experience pain, soreness, swelling, and difficulty walking.
  • Allow the injury time to heal. If the injury is not adequately healed and rehabilitated, it can reoccur and cause long term problems like chronic ankle instability.
  • Seek Professional Help: If you experience persistent foot pain, swelling, or any signs of infection, seek medical attention from Dr. Kylin Kovac or Dr. Jed Erickson at Idaho Foot & Ankle Center.

7. Regular Foot Inspections

Regularly inspect your feet for any signs of trouble. Look for cuts, blisters, swelling, or changes in skin color. Early detection of foot problems can prevent more serious issues.

Taking care of your feet is essential for enjoying a fun and active summer. By following these tips from Idaho Foot & Ankle Center, you can ensure your feet stay healthy and safe throughout the season. If you have any concerns about your foot health, don’t hesitate to contact us. Our team is here to help you put your best foot forward!