What’s your idea of the perfect Las Vegas summer day?

Going for a long bike ride around Lake Mead or through Red Rock Canyon?

Making the climb up Mount Charleston to beat the heat while still enjoying the great outdoors?

Hitting up the Strip and taking in a show?

Shooting hoops, playing tennis, going for a morning run?

Just chilling by the pool?

Whatever you like to do, don’t forget to take care of your feet! Painful aches and heels can make any sustained activity more trouble than it’s worth.

Even if you’re just planning to relax poolside, improper foot protection can mean contracting an unsightly, embarrassing fungal condition like athlete’s foot or fungal nails—or dealing with some scalding hot sunburn.

Trust us: if you want to enjoy a pain-free, stress-free summer of fun here in Vegas, smart daily foot care makes a huge difference.

Here are a few important things to consider:

Don’t forget your sunscreen.

If you want to keep your healthy, youthful skin as long as possible—and minimize your risk of skin cancer—you really only have one option:

Lather up.

(Okay, we suppose you could technically just stay out of the sun entirely. While living in the desert. Good luck with that.)

We really can’t stress this enough. And we also urge you remember to cover all body parts exposed to the sun, including the tops of your feet.

The skin there is just as delicate and just as prone to burning as your cheeks, ears, shoulders and arms. And because most people don’t really inspect their feet as carefully as they do other parts of their body, it’s much easier to miss the early warning signs of a deadly cancer like melanoma.

Remember to follow the directions on the bottle or spray. That usually means apply at least half an hour before you venture out into the blazing sun, and reapplying every couple of hours.

Shod your feet appropriately.

The right pair of shoes or sandals can make a huge difference, particularly in summer. The key thing to keep in mind is that you’re choosing footwear that’s appropriate for your activities.

  • Shoes and socks. If you’re going to be doing a lot of walking and spending time outdoors, you’re definitely going to want to go with shoes that are comfortable, supportive, and breathable to keep your feet as cool and dry as possible.
  • Athletic shoes. A nice, comfy pair of walking shoes is great for everyday activities of all types. But if you’re going to be going for a run or playing a specific sport, it pays to buy footwear specially designed for said activities. You’ll play better and cut down on your injury risk.
  • Sandals. For casual and informal circumstances—and even some swankier locales—sandals are understandably very popular. Our strong recommendation is that you get a pair that’s sturdy, comfortable, and offers good arch support, traction, and an ankle strap. And don’t forget the sunscreen!
  • Flip flops. AVOID walking around in these all day, especially cheap ones. They will wreck your feet. Flip flops should really only be used for lounging at the pool, the beach, or in spa/locker room type facilities. They do offer some protection from cuts, scrapes, and fungal or bacterial infections. But because they offer no support and force you to alter your gait patterns, they often lead to pain throughout the feet, legs, and back.
  • High heels? Generally a bad idea. Wear if you must for special occasions, but limit use as much as possible. They can and do cause significant foot pain and can trigger the development (or worsening) of bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, etc. Heels that are shorter (under 2”) and chunkier aren’t as bad as sky high stilettos, so keep that in mind.

In all situations, sizing and fit are important. Shoes that are too small pinch and pressure your feet. Shoes that are too large slide around, which creates painful friction and may cause your toes to slam against the front of your shoes repeatedly. Either way, the result may be blisters, corns, ingrown toenails, or an increased risk of developing deformities like bunions and hammertoes.

Keep your feet as clean and dry as possible.

There’s a reason we recommended comfy sandals or breathable shoes and socks. In the summer heat, feet can get very damp and sweaty—especially when they’re trapped inside shoes or boots.

The bottoms of feet don’t have oil glands, after all, so they need to sweat a lot just to stay properly lubricated.

If you do like to wear closed-toed shoes, don’t allow your feet to remain in a damp, stagnant environment all day long. Change your socks as often as you need to keep them dry—more than once per day if necessary.

As for your shoes, don’t wear the same pair two days in a row. Get a little rotation going so that each pair gets at least a day to dry out—completely—before going back into the line of duty.

Wash your feet every day with mild soap and water, then dry and moisturize. It’s also not a bad idea to put some anti-fungal powder or spray in your shoes overnight, especially if you have a history of athlete’s foot or fungal nails. This will help prevent infecting agents from making a foothold (pun intended) in your shoes.

Stay hydrated.

Drinking lots of water is, of course, an essential when you’re out and about in 100-degree summer heat. Headaches, dizziness, and heatstroke aren’t much fun.

What you may not know is that your feet will also benefit from regular hydration, especially in the hot summer sun. Without enough water, feet tend to swell up, and skin dries out. This can lead to all kinds of problems. Painful heel fissures. Blisters from friction. Aches and pains.

If you’re going to be out for a while, always take more water than you think you’re going to need. Worst case scenario, you’ll be carrying a small amount of extra weight. But if you begin to notice the signs of dehydration or heat stroke, you’re going to be glad you came extra prepared.

Don’t go barefoot.

We probably don’t need to tell you to wear shoes when, say, you’re out on super-duper-hot pavement or a rocky trail. But pool decks, locker rooms, and other public facilities are also bad places to go without some kind of foot protection—even if it’s just a pair of flip flops or shower shoes.

Those damp surfaces can harbor fungi and bacteria, which can spread through indirect contact and leave you with a nasty case of athlete’s foot—or even fungal nails.

Have fun!

The Las Vegas summer may be hot, but there’s a lot of fun to be had—as long as you’re taking care of your feet!

If, however, a painful heel, embarrassing fungal nail, or other foot or ankle problem starts taking the joy out of the season, make sure you stop by Absolute Foot Care Specialists. We’ll get you back to where you need to be as fast as possible. Call (702) 839-2010 to schedule.

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