Footcare special: treat your feet this summer
If you already follow our twitter feed, you'll no doubt be up on the state of Ms. Shoewawa's feet. Only a few weeks into proper summer, and they've already taken quite a battering, with multiple blisters from her many pairs of sandals and thongs. How people get away with wearing these punishing shoes without scars to show for it is quite beyond us.
Thankfully, there are some good products on the market to make summer a bit less sore. Here are a few that we've found to work for particularly nasty seasonal foot problems, so you can look great in sandals all summer!
Summer foot problems and what to do about them
Cracked heels are a really unsightly issue that tend to crop up around this time of year. If you're prone to dry skin, your heels are more likely to crack, and they're also caused by thick skin which tends to develop as a reaction to the harsher, sockless styles we wear in summer. If left untreated, they can become infected.
The CCS professional foot-care system has a cracked heel balm that works like a dream to smooth out cracked heels, and it'll make you feel far more confident in your flip flops and wedges. Pick up a tube for £5.99 at Boots.
Blisters are probably the biggest gripe we have about our feet in summer, and unfortunately the only real solution to the little blighters is prevention! Sandals need to be chosen with particular care, as even if you do eventually 'wear them in', a tight pair will be rubbing directly against your skin. One thing to bear in mind is that blisters form more easily on damp skin, so if you're walking on the beach or get rained on in your sandals, try to dry your feet off as quickly as possible.
If you're already suffering with blisters (and despite my own advice, I've yet to find a summer sandal that didn't rub at least for the first week I wore it), there are few quick-fix solutions other than a well-placed plaster.
To reduce discomfort, giving the feet a good soak in either ordinary sea salt or a pampering foot soak like this one from Boots Botanics, follow with a vigorous scrub using an exfoliant like The Sanctuary Pumice Scrub (£3.99) and moisturise with some rich cream like Barielle Total Foot Cream (£14.94) will make your feet feel loads better. For a real decadent treat for tired feet, try Cowshed's Sandalwood intensive footcare spa treatment (£35). It's heaven in a tub.
Finally, if you're a sufferer of stinky feet in the summer, and dread getting your toes out in the open, all of the above footcare measures will benefit you enormously, but you might want to try a weird and wonderful remedy that many people swear by. Instead of using salt in your bath or tub, brew two teabags in boiling water, then allow the water to cool down enough for you to comfortably submerge your feet. Soak for ten minutes, and repeat as often as you need to. You may also try adding vinegar to a foot bath: sweat is alkili, so an acid can help to cancel out its action.
Afterwards, you might want to follow up the anti-odour soak with a peppermint cream to mask any last remaining pong (or to avoid a chip-shop scent if you've gone for the vinegar method!) there are loads on the market, but having sampled a few, my all-time favourite is Burt's Bees peppermint foot lotion, which is so full of essential oils it makes your feet tingle. The scent is incredibly strong, too.