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5 Nice Things to Do for Your Feet

From Blisters to Inflamed Tendons, Summer Can Be Tough on Toes

3. Wear Sensible Shoes continued...

High heels, Reid says, don't just put temporary pressure on the ball of the foot -- they change the makeup of your foot. "A 3-inch heel causes pressure seven times your body weight," she explains. "This changes the pattern of (cushioning) fat on the bottom of your foot. This can happen to women in their 20s."

Fortunately, the sandals and platforms worn in summer tend to have a lower toe to heel height ratio. "A platform raises the heel as well as the toe," Reid explains.

"Summer is a wonderful time for businesswomen," says Brodsky. "They can wear open-toed shoes and give those piggies a breather. We see fewer complaints of painful hammertoes and bunions with women wearing dressy sling backs and sandals."

In the August issue of Shop Etc. magazine, beauty mavens exult over comfy new dress shoe styles that underpin heels; platforms; and other sexy styling with thick padding and shock absorbers. This takes that seven-times-your-body weight pressure and distributes it, making the shoe, not your tissues, take the weight.

One piece of advice when shopping for shoes is to press your finger inside the shoe -- ball of the foot and arch. See if it springs back. Check out the materials too. The comfiest shoes, especially in summer, are not plastic or man-made materials, but leather. And thicker heels distribute weight better.

But look out for those pointy toes. There are lots of cute ballerina flats with round toes out there.

"In summer," Brodsky offers, "shoes tend to be less dressy."

4. Protect Feet From Contaminated Water

At the pool, in the gym, in the locker room, wear clogs or flip-flops -- preferably your own, Brodsky advises.

"We notice more athlete's foot (fungus) in kids in summer," Reid says. "It's not a new risk. Keep feet dry. Rinse them during the day, change socks twice a day. And don't wear the same sweaty old shoes every day."

Reid also recommends using an antiperspirant on feet. "It robs fungus of the moisture it likes," she says (and helps with foot and shoe odor).

Another source of contaminated water is nail salons. Some California pedicure salons were found to have drains full of organisms.

If you go get a pedicurist, Reid recommends getting one of the first appointments in the morning.

Always be sure you are getting sterilized instruments -- even a file used on your own hands should not be used on your feet.

"Pedicurists," Reid adds," are not supposed to use a blade to peel off calluses." Diabetics should not get pedicures -- your doctor will take care of your feet.

Never shave your legs before a pedicure, either, Reid says. "If there is bacteria around, you don't want it in small cuts on your legs."

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