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Put Your Best Foot Forward; Planning to Bare Your Soles in Sandals This Summer? then It's Time to He

Byline: Caroline Jones SUMMER may mean the freedom of open-toed shoes but it can also be filled with foot pain for many of us, as our toes take an extra pounding.

And it's an added burden our tootsies could well do without, as figures from the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists show that 75 per cent of us suffer from foot problems.

'When the weather warms up our feet widen as they're exposed in sandals," explained consultant podiatrist Dr Tariq Khan.

"This means they pick up more fungal infections and injuries, while flatter styles, such as flip-flops, can end up overstretching the legs, back and ligaments, triggering pain." There's also a go" chance many of us are squeezing into the wrong size shoes. Figures out this month revealed that, thanks to a rise in obesity and the population getting taller, the UK's average shoe size has increased by two sizes since the 1970s.

And as the majority of adults have not had their feet measured since childhood, there's a good chance you're wearing "The wrong size.

"The problem is that not many shoe shops measure adult feet," says Dr Khan. "It's worth finding one that does so you can get the correct size." Exper" agree the ideal summer shoe should give your toes room, have a strap or laces to prevent your foot slipping and a cushioned sole, plus a heel of about one inch.

So are summer heels a "big no-no? "Like most things, they are fine in moderation," says Dr Khan.

Treat those feet..

1 Plantar fasciitis An inflammation of the band of tissue that runs along the underside of the foot, causing pain under the heel.

Fix it: Rest, good footwear, heel pads, painkillers and stretching exercises are all good.

2 Heel spurs A small bony growth or "spur" that grows on your heel bone, which causes inflammation and heel pain.

Fix it: Exercises, improving footwear and anti-inflammatory medication can help.

3Corns Thick, hardened layers of skin that develop on bony areas of the feet.

Fix it: If painful, see a chiropodist.

4 Ingrown nails When nails get imbedded in the skin. Fix it:

Soaking feet in salt water can help to prevent infection and reduce swelling. See a chiropodist.

5 Bunions Painful bony swellings at the base of the big toe.

Fix it: You can buy pads that ease the pressure on the big toe joint.

'When the weather warms up our feet can widen'

Put Your Best Foot Forward; Planning to Bare Your Soles in Sandals This Summer? then It's Time to He 1

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