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How To Protect Your Feet in Summer

Summertime fun means spending more time outdoors. Sometimes we overdo it – especially our feet.

Think about all the abuse that our feet take in the summer. Going barefoot. Wearing sandals with little support. Extra outdoor activities like hiking and climbing. Wearing damp and sweaty shoes day after day.

These unaccustomed combinations can lead to foot injuries. If your feet hurt, remember – it’s not normal to have foot pain!

Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM cautions against these summer foot mistakes:

Wearing the Wrong Shoes for Your Activities

Wearing improper shoes, whether unsupportive, worn out, or not appropriate for your activity, can cause foot problems and injury including plantar fasciitis, blisters, corns and calluses.

  • Choose well-fitting shoes with good arch support when shoe shopping.
  • Look for natural materials that “breathe” – leather is a good choice.
  • Wear different shoes specifically designed for each activity. Tennis shoes have extra lateral support for side-to-side movement, pivoting and quick starts and stops. But running shoes need good shock absorbency, a firm heel, high and rounded toe boxes and heel padding.
  • Toss out your old, worn athletic socks and invest in synthetic or wool blends that wick moisture away from the feet.Change out of damp or sweaty socks and shoes as soon as possible to avoid fungal infections that cause toenail fungus and athlete’s foot.

Don’t Overdo It

Whether you choose running, tennis, golf or bicycling, don’t do too much too soon.

Without a gradual progression of frequency, duration and intensity, you may suffer painful foot injuries including tendonitis, bursitis, stress fractures, sprained ankles and heel pain from plantar fasciitis.Start a new sport or workout slowly. Try walking for 15 minutes a day and increase your time by 5 minutes each week. Begin with a slow pace and gradually speed up.

Wearing Damp and Dirty ShoesIf you keep your gardening or yard work shoes in the basement or garage, you are inviting fungus growth that can result in a toenail or foot fungus. You are also providing a habitat for insects that can produce a nasty bite.

  • Prevent fungal infections by always wearing protective socks.
  • Shake out your shoes before putting them on – even inside.
  • Give your yard shoes a thorough and regular cleaning by wiping on antibacterial soap or toss them in the washing machine. Let them dry thoroughly in the sun.
  • Spray work shoes with an anti-fungal spray between washings.

Let Us Help with Summer Foot Problems and Injuries

Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist, has extensive experience with fungal infections and foot injuries including heel pain, stress fractures and sprained ankles. Many treatments and surgeries can be addressed right here in our office. Please call our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website.