Summer feet tips

Use these 10 summer footcare tips from The Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists to get your feet in shape for summer.

1. Trim your toenails for summer

Use proper nail clippers and cut straight across, not too short, and not down at the corners as this can lead to ingrown nails. File them, if that’s easier.

2. Go barefoot

Go barefoot or wear open-toed sandals whenever you can in the hot weather (except when you’re in a communal shower or changing area) to help stop your feet getting sweaty and smelly.

3. Forget flip-flops

Don’t be tempted to wear flip-flops all through the summer. They don’t provide support for your feet and can give you arch and heel pain if you wear them for too long.

4. Change socks daily

If you have to wear socks in hot weather, change them once a day and choose ones that contain at least 70% cotton or wool to keep your feet dry and stop them smelling.

5. Remove hard skin

Hard, cracked skin around the heels is very common in summer, often caused by open-backed sandals and flip-flops rubbing around the edge of the heel. Use a foot file, emery board or pumice stone to gently rub away the hard skin, then apply a rich moisturising cream such as aqueous cream or E45 to soften the skin.

6. Banish blisters

Blisters strike more often in hot weather. They’re caused by rubbing, especially between the toes if you’re wearing flip-flops with "thongs".

Lorraine Jones, a podiatrist from The Society of Chiropodists & Podiatrists, says the key to preventing summer blisters is to keep your feet dry, wear shoes or sandals that fit well and aren’t too loose, and give your feet ample rest so they don’t get hot and sweaty.

If you do get a blister, don’t put a plaster over it. Leave it to dry out on its own.

7. Ring the changes

Wear a variety of different sandals and shoes during summer to help prevent cracked heels, hard skin and blisters.

Lorraine says: “We understand that when the summer arrives, people are naturally going to opt for lightweight footwear such as flip-flops and flimsy sandals. However, we’d recommend alternating your footwear so that you aren’t wearing this style of shoe day in and day out."

8. Watch out for foot infections

The floors of communal showers and changing rooms at open-air and hotel swimming pools are hot spots for infections such as athlete’s foot and verrucas. Don’t wander around public pools barefoot. Protect your feet by wearing flip-flops in the changing room and at the pool edge.

9. Tackle sweat

If you have sweaty feet in the summer, it’s even more important to wash your feet each morning and evening in warm, soapy water then dry them thoroughly. You can also use an antibacterial wash, which helps deal with foot odour. Then wipe them with cotton wool dipped in surgical spirit and dust them with talc.

Here's more advice on how to stop smelly feet.

10. Get help if you need it

Basic hygiene and nail cutting should be all you need to keep your feet healthy. But if you have any problems, such as hard skin that you can’t get rid of, it's best to seek professional help.

Your GP will be able to advise you on local foot services.

Registered podiatrists (also known as chiropodists) are trained in all aspects of care for the feet. The Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists can help you find a local podiatrist.

You may be able to get NHS treatment from a podiatrist or chiropodist. Ask your GP or local podiatrist or chiropodist to see if you qualify for free treatment.

Read about footcare for older people.

Page last reviewed: 11/12/2013

Next review due: 11/12/2015

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