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Choose the right footwear for safe summer activities

Summer is a time to be active - hiking trips, swimming at the beach, or trying your hand at tennis or golf. Being active can provide many benefits to your health - but it can also put your feet at risk for injury.

The current fashion of wearing athletic shoes practically anywhere from sports events to work, school, or at night on the town makes it easy for your feet to be comfortable, fashionable, and protected all at the same time.

The best shoes for your feet are cushioned and provide support, such as walking or athletic shoes, with soft breathable uppers, shock-absorbing soles, and support around the heel. A cushioned running or walking shoe puts a lot less pressure on your feet than walking barefoot. Athletic shoes with air or silica gel pockets absorb shock the best.

Here are some tips to help protect your feet from injury:

  • Don't go barefoot.

  • Avoid thong sandals, clogs, or flip-flops.

  • Wear protective footwear on hot, sandy beaches to prevent burns.

  • Wear water shoes with rubber-soled slip-ons, on cement areas around swimming pools and in swimming pools with cement bottoms.

  • Wear shoes with a built-up heel to absorb shock.

  • Choose shoes with a firm, but not rigid arch support.

  • Choose socks with a cotton/polyester blend that will "wick" the moisture away from your feet to keep your feet dry.

  • Consider sport socks that have an extra layer of cushioning in the sole and heel to protect your feet while walking on hard surfaces.

  • Wear socks that have a constructed toe and heel design instead of tube-type socks.

  • Avoid socks that are too tight, or that have holes or thick seams.

    Have fun and stay active this summer, but keep your feet healthy by wearing the right footwear and inspecting your feet regularly. And most of all, keep up your physical activity after the summer's gone.

    Web posted on Thursday, June 15, 2006

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