From Boston’s sweltering sidewalks to Florida’s sandy beaches, there’s no sandal that signals summer quite like the flip-flop. But, there are some 'steps' to take in order to put your best foot forward.
Give New Shoes Some Time: It is true that new sandals, just like any shoes, can cause blisters. “The best way to prevent blisters from forming is to make sure that the sandals properly fit,” says Dr. Andrew Schneider, a podiatrist and foot surgeon, “As you walk, there should not be too much movement of the foot within the sandal.” That friction is what causes the blisters. If you do start noticing hot spots, Dr. Schneider recommends protecting those areas by using a band-aid or thin felt called moleskin over the area being rubbed.
If a blister can be kept intact, Dr. Schneider says it will resolve on its own once the pressure is removed. If you can't wait for a blister to resolve on its own, you can carefully treat it. “First use alcohol to wipe the area and using a sterilized needle, pierce the roof of the blister. Once it is drained, use antibiotic cream or ointment and cover it with a bandage. The inside of the blister is sterile, so it is important not to peel the top of the blister off. It will dry up and flake away on its own,” says Dr. Schneider.
Wear Sunscreen On Your Feet: While outside it is imperative to use sunscreen at all times, the most affected area on the feet are on the top of the foot. “Skin cancer can occur on the feet at a high degree and mortality as other areas on the body,” says Dr. Berkowitz.
Wear The Right Shoes: Flip-flops have become a summer staple and a fashion statement. They were created for limited wear, but have evolved into an all-day, everyday footwear choice for many people. Podiatrists warn that is not a good thing. "Just due to that small piece of rubber trying to support your foot. Not getting much arch support. So you get that wear and tear on your main tendons, your main ligaments. And that's where the pain begins to happen, things like Achilles tendonitis, some flat-foot problems, some plantar fasciitis,” says Dr. Berkowitz.
Dr. Berkowitz is one of the many podiatrists who see injuries every year from flip-flop overuse and misuse. Dr. Berkowitz suggests wearing sandals that incorporate more support like: Birkenstock, Mephisto, Naot, and others that include good arch support. It’s essential to choose your shoes based on your activity. “Choosing flip flops for a day in and around the pool or beach won’t be a problem. For walking all day in a theme park, it would be best to choose shoes with more support,” says Dr. Berkowitz.
Have a happy feet day!