It's that time of year in the UK we tentatively call 'summer'.
And while you might be wearing a lovely, airy pair of flip-flops (or, dare I say it, crocs) when you're having your BBQ this weekend, you'll be facing a tougher challenge at work.
Because after being snuggled up in hefty winter work boots for months, your feet need to be prepared for the heat. Especially since the average industrial worker walks more than 12,000 steps a day!
So, read on to discover all our tops tips for keeping your feet healthy in hot weather.
1. A Foot Wash A Day Keeps The Bacteria Away.
Look, we know personal hygiene is a bit of a sensitive topic. But we're here to break down that barrier because nobody wants fungi growing on their feet. And, we're sorry to say, that will totally happen if you let your feet stay hot and sweaty in the summer months.
So, in the name of fresh feet everywhere, we present the NHS top tips for keeping feet clean:
- Wash your feet every day. Even twice if it's been particularly hot (a rare occasion in the UK!)
- Dry your feet properly. Yes, that means in between your toes. In fact, especially in between your toes, since that's where fungal infections develop.
- Change your socks daily. This also provides the opportunity to wear a different, jazzy pair of socks each day. Everyone loves jazzy socks.
- Try to let air get to your feet as much as possible. This might seem impossible with safety boots on, but new technologies are helping footwear become more breathable than ever.
2. Plasters Are Your Friend. And So Are Comfortable Safety Boots.
In fact, comfortable work boots will mean you never need to reach for a plaster in the first place as you're at a lower risk of developing blisters, corns and calluses!
So, how do you go about getting the right fit for footwear?
We recommend standing up to see if the boots initially feel comfortable. If your toes touch the end of the footwear then it's an automatic no-no; you'll need to go up a size instead.
Taking a quick walk will also help you get a feel for the boots and whether it has any uncomfortable pressure points. You should also wear the type of socks you'll be wearing during you work hours (we sincerely hope these include jazzy socks and are made from breathable material for the hot weather).
If all else fails and you find yourself battling against a blister, then it's time to reach for a padded plaster or bandage (depending on the size). Don't ignore the blister and keep wearing the rubbing footwear as this can cause an infection which will be a much bigger issue!
3. Keep Your Towels To Yourselves.
You know how we mentioned fungi earlier? Well, we're really sorry, but we're going to have to mention it again.
And that's because fungal infections, such as athlete's foot, are one of the most common problems among UK workers. Such infections can lead to itching, peeling or cracked areas of skin.
As well as being painful, fungal infections are very contagious. So, if you're suffering from one, we recommend changing and cleaning your socks and towels regularly, especially in warm weather.
We're also aware of the phrase 'sharing is caring', but in this instance it's not. Keep socks and towels to yourself until the infection clears up!
4. Embrace Technology.
While things might not have reached Blade Runner levels of futurism yet, technology has certainly moved forwards.
And that means there's no excuse for corns and calluses, which are a result of too much pressure on the foot, anymore!
How come? Because...
- New foot scanning services mean you can be individually tested for insoles which help prevent Musculoskeletal Disorders
- Traditional steel toecaps can be replaced with composite toecaps in many instances
- Safety boots can now be made with lighter material
So, wave goodbye to clunky work boots (whatever the weather) and hello to lighter, more comfortable footwear!
Leave Summer Foot Problems In The Dark Ages Where They Belong
The main takeaway from this article is to:
- Keep your feet clean and dry!
- Make sure your footwear fits correctly and doesn't rub, as blisters can develop quickly in warm weather.
- Get any fungal infections treated quickly and change your socks and towels regularly - just don't share!
- Use new technologies such as foot scanning to ensure your feet are ready to work as hard as you are this summer.
Need any further info on making the most of your safety footwear?
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