Summer and it’s sweltering heat is finally upon us. With summertime comes a bevy of different shoe choices and from podiatrists point of view these selections are very important for foot health. Summer fun calls for all sorts of different shoe gear so we’ve put together a list of our preferred shoes with the ones that they replace.
Sandals, Not Flip Flops – Summer’s iconic shoe has to be the flip flop. Now we’re not saying the flip flop doesn’t have its place, but that place is strictly poolside. Flip flops are not designed with walking in mind. They provide no arch support whatsoever and can cause calluses in between toes. On top of that flip flops are just hard to keep on your feet. As a result we often see the toes clawing down with every step in an effort to keep flip flops in place, which adds extra strain on the foot. Instead of flip flops opt for the more supportive and stable sandal. Make sure the sandal has good arch support and straps not just on the top of the sandal, but along the back to better hold your foot in place.
Boots, Not Sneakers – For every activity there is a shoe designed for it. Make sure throughout the summer that you are choosing the appropriate shoe gear for your activity, in other words, no running shoes when you go hiking. Don’t think just because your running sneakers give you great support on your runs that it will hold a candle to the kind of ankle support you’ll get from hiking boots. While both are great outdoor activities to get exercise they present very different needs for your feet and ankles. Also, when you get a new pair of hiking boots make sure to break them in around the house. It may sound silly but your feet will thank you at the end of a long hike where they arrive blister free.
Water Shoes, Not Barefoot – Summer is full of fun by the pool or at the water park. These are both very slippery areas where having more traction under foot can save you from a nasty fall. Besides providing superior traction, water shoes can be helpful in group showers as well. Water shoes can help prevent the spread of athlete’s foot and toenail fungus, commonly contracted from gym locker rooms and pool areas, especially in the summer.
The summer is full of outdoor activities and with the right shoes you’ll be having fun all summer long. But if you or a loved one suffer a foot or ankle injury make sure to make an appointment with your nearest Ankle & Foot Associates, LLC office. Our experienced podiatrists and staff will be happy to help you get back on your feet again and enjoying the summer!