3 Tips For Summertime Healthy Skin & Feet
Summer has FINALLY reached northern Minnesota and I just got a pedicure so I want to show off those bright blue tootsies! However, I am not able to run around barefoot in the sun all day like I used to without paying for it later, so here are my tips to keep your feet and skin happy and healthy all summer long.
Ditch Socks but Absorb Sweat
Choose your favorite cute little sneakers and pair with denim shorts and a loose T-shirt for an effortless summertime chic look! But if you’re like me, you don’t dare go without socks unless you never want to wear those shoes again because they smell so bad from sweaty feet. On the other hand, socks can interfere with the look and make your newly-freed toes feel locked away again.
What’s the solution?
A customer shared this with me the first time I heard about it: take out the shoe’s insole and wrap a no-show sock around it before putting it back in the shoe – BRILLIANT! This gives all the benefits of socks without having to wear them on your feet.
Beware though – not just any sock will do. Cotton socks can absorb moisture but then that moisture (and naturally-occurring bacteria) just hangs out in your shoe, cooking up a stinky concoction. Yuck. Merino wool (a much finer version of wool fibers – not scratchy!) and synthetic fibers like polyester and nylon wick the moisture away from your foot and are fast drying, and merino wool also has antimicrobial (hence anti odor) properties that keeps the smell at bay.
This tip works great in shoe brands like Hey Dude, Taos, Shu Shop or really any low shoe where the insole can be removed.
Arch Support Knows No Season
If you’ve ever shopped at Benders, you’ve probably heard us talk about the importance of arch support. Even if you have “flat” feet, there are still tendons and tissue in your foot that need help. Imagine your arch is Atlas holding up the rest of your body. Plantar Fasciitis is such a common issue because if Atlas the Plantar Fascia (band of tissue that connects your heel bone with your toe bones) is not well-supported it can tear or become inflamed, which causes foot pain toward your heel.
There is a simple solution to this as well – choose supportive footwear!
Avoid the “dollar bin” flip flops and choose sandals with support. Great brands to consider are Vionic, Birkenstock, Aetrex, Haflinger, and Mephisto to name a few.
Want low-maintenance lake-ready sandals? Look for EVA or other dense foam footwear with arch support like Oofos, Birkenstock EVA’s, Alegria, NuuSol (which are made in the USA!), or the Dansko Kandi sandals (one of my favorites 🙂).
If your cute sneakers don’t provide you with the necessary support, take that insole out and replace it with a Cadence (or similar) supportive insole for all-day comfort. Cadence insoles have a layer of durable, high-rebound foam to cushion your feet, and is topped with an antimicrobial top layer to help with moisture and odor control – so you wouldn’t even need the sock trick from Tip #1!
Key takeaway: your arches are like small local businesses – they need support to avoid crumpling under the pressure.
“Sunburn Red” Is Not Your Color
I used to tan effortlessly when I was 5. Not so much anymore. And while I don’t want to look as white as the snow that just melted off the ground, I also don’t want to put myself at higher risk of skin cancer, so I like to protect my biggest organ!
If I’m at the lake and out on the boat all day, I love the convenience of the UPF clothing that has the sun protection built right in! Brands like Huk, Columbia, and Lulu B (among others) have clothing specifically designed (and labeled) with sun protection. UPF clothing can actually provide better sun protection than sunscreen because it blocks both UVA and UVB rays, while sunscreen only blocks UVB.
Look first for a label or tag on the clothing that specifies its level of certified sun protection (UPF 50+ is best). You will also want to make sure that piece of clothing (whether they are pants, shirts, dresses, hats, etc.) doesn’t fit too snugly as that will stretch the fabric, allowing more UV rays to get through the fabric’s knit and hit your skin.
Also (and this should be obvious) if the clothing doesn’t cover your skin there won’t be protection, so choose options that provide full coverage. Don’t worry – they are designed to be worn in summer so they are typically very lightweight and breathable. Cover any other exposed skin with sunscreen (and reapply every couple hours).
Dark or bright colors that absorb UV rays before they can even penetrate the fabric are better choices than white or light colors.
Finally, read and follow the care labels carefully to get the most out of your UPF clothing. The UPF protection in clothing will eventually fade, so with regular use and laundering it’s best to replace UPF clothing each year.
Follow these three tips (and remember to hydrate!) for a carefree summer filled with lakes, sun, and trips. If you’re missing any of these key elements explained here, stop in your local Benders – our staff are ready to help with a full sit-and-fit experience to get you looking and feeling great.