As the weather gets warmer and we spend more time outside, it can be tempting to ditch our shoes and go barefoot. However, as a podiatrist, I want to stress the importance of wearing proper footwear during the summer months.
First and foremost, wearing shoes can help protect our feet from injury. When we walk or run outside, there are many potential hazards that can cause harm to our feet, such as rocks, glass, and hot pavement. Shoes provide a barrier between our feet and these hazards, reducing the risk of cuts, bruises, and burns.
Furthermore, wearing shoes with proper support can help prevent foot pain and discomfort. As we spend more time on our feet during the summer, whether it's walking around town or participating in outdoor activities, it's important to have shoes that provide adequate cushioning and arch support. Without proper support, we can experience foot fatigue, heel pain, and other foot conditions that can make it difficult to enjoy our summer activities.
In addition, wearing shoes can help prevent the spread of foot infections. Fungal infections such as athlete's foot and toenail fungus thrive in warm, moist environments, making our feet more susceptible to these conditions during the summer months. Wearing shoes and socks can help keep our feet dry and prevent the spread of infection.
When choosing summer shoes, look for options that provide good support, cushioning, and breathability. Sandals, athletic shoes, flip flops, canvas sneakers, and water shoes are all great options to consider. A few of my favorites include:
- Sandals: Sandals are a great choice for summer as they allow your feet to breathe and can be a stylish addition to any outfit. Look for sandals with good arch support, a cushioned footbed, and straps that can be adjusted to fit your foot securely. One great option is the Vionic Tide II sandal, which is available at HealthyFeetStore.com. This sandal has a podiatrist-designed footbed with arch support and a deep heel cup to provide stability and support.
- Athletic Shoes: If you plan on being active during the summer, such as hiking or playing sports, a good pair of athletic shoes is a must. Look for shoes that have good traction, support, and cushioning. The Brooks Addiction GTS 15 is a great choice for both running and walking, with a soft cushioned sole and a GuideRails support system to keep your feet stable and aligned.
- Flip Flops: While not the best choice for all-day wear, flip flops can be a great option for the beach or pool. Look for flip flops that have a cushioned footbed and arch support. The Vionic Wave flip flop is a great option as it has a podiatrist-designed footbed with arch support and a deep heel cup for stability.
In conclusion, wearing proper footwear is essential for maintaining foot health and preventing injury during the summer months. So before you hit the beach or go for a walk, be sure to put on a pair of comfortable and supportive shoes to keep your feet happy and healthy.
Dr. Jeffrey S. Hurless
DPM, FACFAS Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon/Podiatrist
Medical Director, HealthyFeetStore.com