Summer is in full swing, and while the warm weather can allow us to partake in some fun seasonal activities, summer can also be hard on your feet if you’re not careful. We want you to be active this summer to help keep your feet and your whole body strong, but you also need to be cognizant of some of the ways that the hot summer season can be hard on your feet. In today’s blog, we share some tips for preventing foot and ankle injuries during the summer months.
Preventing Summer Foot Injuries
Protecting your feet during the summer oftentimes comes down to planning ahead and making some smart decisions. Here are some ways to reduce your risk of a foot injury during the hot summer months.
- Wear The Right Shoe – No matter what season it is, you should always wear the right shoe for the task. This can be a little harder to do during the summer because many of us want to wear sandals or a more breathable shoe. Sandals and other open-concept shoes are great for taking your kids to the park or when you’re hanging out on the beach, but you don’t want to wear sandals if you’ll be walking long distances or if you’re doing an activity where a closed shoe would offer more protection, like hiking or mowing the lawn. Sandals aren’t typically as supportive as an athletic shoe and don’t offer as much protection from the elements, so wear the right shoes based on the activities you’ll be performing.
- Don’t Skimp On The Sunscreen – We’re usually pretty good about getting our face, shoulders and neck with sunscreen if we’ll be outside for an extended period, but we’re not always so good about making sure we apply sunscreen to our feet. Skin cancer can develop just as easily on your feet, and sunburn on the tops of your feet can make wearing socks and shoes a pain, so be sure to protect your feet with sunscreen this summer.
- Go Barefoot Only When Safe – Summer can be a popular time to liberate our feet from the confines of a shoe when we’re outside, but similar to the first point, you only want to do it when appropriate. If you’re unfamiliar with the area you’ll be walking on, or you’ll be in an area with stones, prickly weeds or other impediments on the ground, leave your shoes on. Cuts and puncture wounds are common sources of summer foot injuries.
- Let Your Shoes Breathe – Our feet tend to sweat more during the summer months, and that can lead to damp socks and shoes. Wetness in our shoes can put us at a higher risk for shearing and blistering, which is especially problematic if you’re a diabetic. Pack an extra pair of socks if your feet are prone to sweating and store your shoes in a cool place so that any moisture can dry out when you’re not wearing them.
- Avoid Bacteria Hotspots – If you’re going to the gym or the public pool, be mindful of wearing flip flops or some type of footwear to avoid going barefoot in areas where there may be more types of bacteria lurking. These bacteria hotspots can increase your risk of a fungal infection or Athlete’s foot, so try to avoid going barefoot in heavily barefoot-trafficked zones.
If you can keep these tips in mind, and you reach out to a foot and ankle specialist in the event that you suffer a foot injury this summer, we’re confident that you’ll be able to have a healthy summer on your feet. For more information, or to talk to a foot specialist about a foot issue you’re dealing with, reach out to Dr. McDonald and his team today at (860) 244-8889.