Summertime means sandal time, but what if the appearance of your feet is a cause for embarrassment? After a winter of being hidden in heavy socks and boots (and perhaps neglecting your pedicure) your feet may not be ready for summer fun. Luckily, sandal preparedness isn’t too difficult.

In this article will share ten of the smartest tips to help you get your feet summer ready. Read on to learn more.

1. Give Yourself a Home Pedicure

WHAT IS A PEDICUREIt doesn’t take a fortune or a lot of special equipment to give yourself a good pedicure. All you need is a tub of warm water and a manicure kit. Give your feet a good soak and scrub your toenails to make sure they’re nice and clean.

While your nails are still soft from soaking, clip them straight across with a pair of sharp toenail clippers. Be careful not to cut your nails too short, and don’t taper the corners of the nail in. This causes ingrown toenails.

Also remember that a pedicure is not like a manicure: don’t trim your cuticles! Toenail cuticles are very important because they help protect your skin and nails from germs.

2. Use Eye-Catching Polish!

With your nails nicely groomed, you can apply a coat of polish. Remember to start with a good base coat for a longer lasting pedicure that stays true to color. When it comes to choosing a color, why not be bold? In addition to traditional colours such as pink and red, these days you can paint your nails to match any outfit. Purples, greens, turquoise and coral are all wonderful colours for poolside and at the beach.

3. Protect Your Pedicure from Sand & Surf

Once your pretty polish has dried thoroughly, remember to add a protective topcoat. A coat of clear polish helps keep your pedicure from chipping and fading. If your polish loses its shine after a day at the beach, you can perk it back up again with a coat of clear polish.

4. Have a Ball!

Winter shoes with socks are typically comfy and cosy because they have a lot of padding. Wearing sandals all day can be tiring to your feet. Give yourself and easy massage by dropping a pair of tennis balls on the floor in front of your chair. Roll the soles of your feet back and forth over the tennis balls to massage away stress and improve circulation.

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5. Beat the Heat!

Naturally, in the summer time the ground and sidewalks can be punishingly hot. Excessive heat and lots of activity can cause your feet and ankles to swell. That’s why soaking your feet in ice water at the end of a long day is such a good idea. A 15 minutes soak followed by 15 minutes of elevation will help reduce swelling and leave you feeling refreshed for an evening of fun.

6. Vary The Height Of Your Heels

Over pronationIt’s fun to wear high heels, but doing so all the time can be very hard on your feet and tendons. That’s why it’s very important to reserve your high heels for special occasions when you won’t be doing a lot of walking.

Excessive exertion and high heels can lead to hammer toes and bunions later in life. Additionally, if you wear high heels a great deal of the time, the tendons in your feet and ankles can become so stretched that wearing flats is painful.

It’s always a good idea to vary the height of heel you wear throughout the day. Change your shoes at least twice a day so that you can spend some time in flat or medium heels and a very limited (if any) time in high heels.

7. Always Wear Some Kind Of Shoes

barefoot-15677_640Some people hate going barefoot, but some people love it. If you happen to be one of the latter, understand that walking around barefoot is a good way to hurt your feet.

You can pick up splinters, shards of broken glass and stickers. It’s easier to stub your toes when they are bare, and it’s a lot easier to pick up germs, fungus and even parasites you walk barefooted.

Always at least wear a pair of flip-flops. This is especially true around public pools and in public showers where it’s extremely easy to catch athlete’s foot.

8. Keep Your Feet Smooth

If you have calluses and dry patches on your feet, take a few moments every day or so to keep them under control. Here’s how:

  • Begin with a foot soak in warm water.
  • Scrub your feet with a loofah to help exfoliate the skin.
  • Towel your feet dry and use a foot file or pumice stone to focus on dry patches and calluses.
  • Follow-up with a nourishing moisturising cream or body butter.
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If you do this at bedtime, put on a pair of cotton socks to help the moisturiser soak in.

9. Wear Well-Fitted Summer Shoes

Because most summer shoes are made to be worn without socks or stockings, good fit and good quality are extremely important. Poorly fitted, low quality shoes can cause painful gouging and rubbing, and can potentially lead to fungal nail infection.

Keep a few Band-Aids in your purse or pocket to put on right away if you feel a blister beginning to develop. You can avoid getting blisters on your feet by covering sensitive areas with blister pads or moleskin. Use of an anti-blister, anti-chafing stick can also be helpful. If you do get a blister, simply wipe it clean and cover it with a Band-Aid to allow it to heal. Don’t pop it because doing so may encourage infection.

If you feel your feet are itchy, one of the reasons may be toenail fungus, which is quite common condition. You should see your doctor who can suggest some effective fungal nail treatment.

10. Remove Splinters Right Away

Splinters are usually pretty painful, so most people don’t need to be told twice to remove them immediately. It is important that you remove splinters correctly. Failure to do so can result in infection. To remove a splinter, follow these steps:

  • Wash the area with warm water and soap.
  • Pat the area dry with clean towelling.
  • Locate the splinter precisely using a magnifying glass.
  • Remove the splinter carefully using sterilised tools (e.g. nail clippers, tweezers or a needle).
  • Cover the area with a Band-Aid to encourage healing.

Getting your feet summer-ready takes a bit of effort, but it’s an enjoyable pursuit. Follow the advice presented here to show your summer footwear off to its best advantage.