Trotting barefoot across the sand and to the pool can be rough on those pads. Be kind to your feet with these tips for protecting them from the summer elements:

  • Slip on sandals. Wear shoes to avoid getting cuts, warts, and calluses. But avoid flip–flops, which offer little sole support and can rub your tootsies the wrong way, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association. Go with terry–cloth, soft leather, or mesh fabrics that allow your feet to breathe. When wading into lakes, rivers, or oceans, consider water socks or shoes to reduce your risk of being bruised and cut or nipped by an aquatic creature.
  • Shun the sun. Your feet remain cloistered under closed–toe shoes much of the year. As you undress them under the sunny sky, don’t let them become burn victims. Apply sunscreen to your toes, tops of your feet, backs of your heels, and ankles.
  • Scrub and rub. Rinse off your feet, including between the toes, after splashing around in natural bodies of water. Microbial hitchhikers from stagnant water can cause infections. And if your socks or shoes get wet, air them out before putting them back on to fend off fungus.

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