When you think about it, shoes serve any, if not all, of these three purposes:
However, these three purposes often clash, especially in the summer. In warm weather, our feet may get hot and sweaty, so we seek relief from the heat with lightweight, but less protective and less supportive, footwear. Also during the warm summer weather, we tend to engage in more outdoor activities such as walking, running and hiking – we may be on vacation, but our feet may be hard at work! Certain styles of summer shoes, however, may put you at risk for aches, pains, and injuries that can limit your fun.
A little common sense can go a long way to help you enjoy outdoor activities in New England without limping around on the sidelines because you wore shoes that didn’t provide proper support and protection. Let’s look at a type of shoe that you may choose in the summer months (and perhaps other times as well) and when and where it is best to wear it.
Sandals come in more styles and colors than we can count, but are any open type of footwear that usually leave most of the upper part of the foot exposed, especially the toes.
Flip-flops are probably the most common form of sandals. Flip-flops usually have a hard plastic or rubber flat bottom and a “t-shaped” strap that fits between the first and second toes to hold the foot in place. Wearing flip-flops around the lake, beach, pool, and the locker room is excellent protection against injury to the bottom of the foot, and they help you avoid infectious diseases such as athlete’s foot and plantar warts. Flip-flops have become more socially acceptable as footwear for almost all occasions. They’re popular because they’re easy to carry, come in an assortment of colors and patterns and are usually inexpensive.
However, wearing flip-flops as all-around summer footwear should be done with caution for the following reasons:
If you decide to wear flip-flops for more than beach wear protection, you should choose a better-made, more expensive pair, with a well-constructed, padded sole, a better outer sole pattern, and a molded arch support.
A well-constructed sandal with built-in arch support, deep heel cup, slightly elevated heel or ankle straps to help support the foot in a stable position should be considered as a reasonable alternative.
Going barefoot in the summer is something many look forward to and may be a style statement, “look at me, I’m carefree and daring!” For most people, there are times when going without shoes seems perfectly normal, such as at the pool or beach. But in most instances, walking barefoot is not a good idea, even around the house but especially outside, because there is no protection or support for the foot. If you can’t resist the urge to remove your shoes and socks, here are some tips to kind in mind:
You can avoid these potential problems by wearing pool shoes while swimming or at the beach. These shoes tend to be soft and comfortable, but be careful that they fit properly to avoid blisters and toe irritations.
The most important thing to remember when choosing your shoes of summer is common sense. It’s up to you to know yourself and your body and which shoes are best for you. Everyone is different, and a shoe that is comfortable for one person may result in a ruined summer for another.