Summer months come with warmer weather and more freedom. Whether you have plans to hit the beach or hike the mountains this summer, there are tips and tricks you can do to keep your feet happy and healthy.
The heat of the summer means it is officially hiking season in some places. If not done properly, hiking can take quite a toll on your feet. Follow these tips to prevent injury to your feet or ankles while taking in the scenic views.
Choosing the Right Shoes
Having the proper foot support is one of the most important components of hiking. Hiking boots are the best option for this summer activity because they provide the utmost foot and ankle care. Hiking boots come in various shapes and sizes, which may make it difficult to decide which ones are best for you.
Some hiking boots are mid-to-high cut for extra ankle support and protection. Oftentimes, the terrain is not smooth on hikes which makes it easier to roll your ankles and cause injury. The midsoles of the boot are also vital when choosing your shoe because they provide additional cushioning and determine a boot’s stiffness. While stiff boots might not sound comfortable, they offer greater stability for the longer, rockier hikes you may embark on.
Most importantly, avoid wearing regular sneakers or flip-flops on the trails this summer.
Wearing the Right Socks
Now that you have the appropriate footwear for your hiking adventures investing in the proper socks is also essential. When purchasing socks to go with your hiking boots, there are four important qualities to consider: height, cushioning, fabric, and fit.
Hiking socks come in a variety of heights, but when choosing the ones best for you, it is recommended to take a look at the boots you bought. The higher the cuffs on your shoes, the higher you want your socks to protect your skin against abrasion from your shoes. Selecting cushioned socks made from a blend of materials such as wool and polyester are the most effective in keeping moisture away from your feet.
For those who aren’t hitting the trails this summer, you may be considering soaking up the sun on your favorite beach. Here are a few things to keep in mind before packing your beach bag.
Are Flip-Flops a Flop?
Thong flip-flops are the most popular shoe to wear to the beach. But if you wear them for long periods of time, they can wreak havoc on your feet. If wearing your flip-flops is causing your feet to ache, it could be because they do not offer enough arch or heel support. A lack of support can ultimately lead to plantar fasciitis, fallen arches, or even knee and back pain. There are supportive flip-flops on the market, so make sure you choose the ones best for you.
The combination of constant motion and sweaty feet can also cause flip-flops to cause painful blisters between your toes or calluses on your footpad. To keep a flip-flop on your foot, your toes are constantly gripping the shoe. This can cause tendonitis in your toes or the development of bunions and hammertoes.
Don’t Go Barefoot
The warm weather tends to make people feel inclined to walk around barefoot to air their tootsies. Aside from the possibility of stepping on glass or a sharp nail, there is more to worry about by walking around with nothing protecting your feet.
Similar to flip-flops, walking around barefoot can affect your gait and cause aches and pains. But not only are you increasing your risk of injury by going barefoot, you are also increasing your risk of infection. Walking around without shoes can also expose your feet to organisms and bacterias that lead to warts or other fungal infections.
Other General Tips
Even if you plan to kick back and enjoy the sunshine from your backyard this summer, there are still things you can do to maintain healthy feet and toes:
- Stay hydrated to reduce swelling in your feet due to the heat.
- Apply sunblock frequently to prevent skin cancer or aging of the skin on the tops of your feet.
- Moisturize in the mornings and evenings to keep your feet baby-soft! People wear socks less during the summer months, which can cause their feet to dry out.
Consult a Warminster & Newtown Podiatrist
If you experience foot pain this summer, don’t ignore it! The team at Bux-Mont Foot & Ankle Care Centers treats several conditions to get you back on your feet quickly and pain-free. We are focused on providing you with the best care.
Contact us today at (215) 392-4009 to schedule an appointment!