Suddenly the switch of summer has been turned on, and it’s well and truly scorching.
Your feet may face any number of hazards, as they innocently wander around, carrying you hither and thither.
Here’s how to help your feet cope with the perils of summer:
Walking barefoot on hot or rough surfaces
I wouldn’t normally ruin your fun, but don’t get carried away and act all carefree hippy chick this summer. If your feet aren’t used to walking barefoot, you could cause some damage. Cuts, scrapes and burns on the soles of your feet, will make walking excruciating for some time to come.
Save yourself the pain by slipping on a pair of seagrass flip-flops. This natural material doesn’t heat up in the sun like rubber and synthetic rubber do.
Letting your feet get singed by the sun is, as we all know, dangerous. Preventing skin cancer is worth a few seconds of faff putting cream on. Short-term discomfort caused by burnt feet can also prevent you from wearing your favourite shoes. Why restrict your wardrobe choices?
Unless your feet were bare when they got burnt (in which case all shoes will rub), you are likely to be left with unattractive tan lines.
Wearing sandals on escalators
Be very careful getting on and off. Watch out for the serrated edge at the top.
After a number of incidents, Crocs started putting hang tags on their products. These advised customers to stand in the centre of the escalator step. I’d recommend watching your step, rather than standing in the middle. This is especially true when travelling on the London Underground, as commuters get very agitated when people don’t stand on the right. In the hot, sweaty summer, tempers can be quick to flare.
Wearing sandals in crowds
Have you ever experienced the pain when someone treads on the back of your flip-flop while you’re walking? That horrible sensation you feel between your toes is worth trying to avoid.
Sandals which are secured to your feet rather than being slip-on, and those without a toe-post, are best for wearing in crowded places this summer.
Shoes which are usually comfortable, may chafe when your feet are swollen. The change in fit can cause friction and blisters.
Soak your feet in cool water. If you don’t own a foot spa (or can’t be bothered to get it down from the loft), grab a glass of something iced to drink, and pop your feet in a washing-up bowl of cold water.
If you’re lucky enough to be by the sea or a pool this summer, your feet will love a dip. Alternatively, get the kids to share their paddling pool.
Elevating them will also help your swollen feet. Grab a foot stool, sun lounger, the dog, or your child, and raise them up.
Perspiration causes friction
When your feet are moist, shoes or sandals are more likely to rub against your feet. You might think that wet = slippery, but this isn’t the case. Read about the physics in more depth to find out why.
Wearing footsies or socks rather than bare feet can work well to prevent abrasion. Anti-friction balm is useful for wearing sandals, or other styles which look best with bare feet.
Being on show
During Spring, Autumn and Winter, our toes are usually hidden away. Come the summer, they finally get their chance to shine.
If you have time, take your feet for a full pedicure including dry skin removal. If you’re in a hurry, bright coloured polish on your toe nails can distract onlookers from any unsightly foot issues.
Your essential foot kit:
Blister balm = reduced friction on sweaty feet
Fabric plasters (they stay on best) = protection for scrapes
Antiseptic cream = keep the bugs out
Sun cream = prevent burning and tan lines
Pumice stone = spruce up hard skin
Footsies = absorb moisture + reduce fiction
Washing up bowl = easy cooling
Foot spa = luxury cooling
Bright polish = happy toes
and don’t forget…
Base coat = unstained nails