Beat everything from tough calluses to bunions with smart buys to help keep your feet soft, smooth, and germ-free for sandal season.
Unless you're willing to shell out for regular pedicures, getting your feet sandal-season-ready can be a challenge. Luckily, a few affordable buys (all sold on Amazon!) can help keep your feet smooth, healthy, and callus-free. Below, Miguel Cunha, DPM, founder of Gotham Footcare in New York City, shared the essential over-the-counter products he often recommends to patients.
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Bare 40% Urea Gel
Thick calluses or cracked heels? Try urea gel. "I inform my patients to apply this gel evenly throughout both feet at night, wrap their feet with plastic wrap, and wear socks to bed," says Dr. Cunha. That plastic wrap is key, he explains, since it promotes penetration of the gel into the foot to help break down that rough, tough skin.
Amope Pedi Perfect Electronic Foot File
When you wake up the next morning after using the urea gel, Dr. Cunha suggests using this foot file to help exfoliate. "[It] removes the thickened and callused areas of the foot that have been broken down and softened by the urea cream overnight," he explains.
Toe Spacers by Vive
After months of squeezing your feet into boots, your toes may need a little love. Enter toe spacers: "[They] help relieve discomfort and promote blood circulation to enhance nourishment and healing of the forefoot and toes," Dr. Cunha says. This set includes four supersoft, flexible spacers to extend the space between cramped toes and prevent ailments like bunions from getting worse.
Lysol Disinfectant Spray
No, you shouldn't use it directly on your feet. But Dr. Cunha does recommend patients apply a disinfectant spray on their shoes to reduce risk of infections caused by a virus, bacteria, or fungi (plantar warts, athlete's foot, or cellulitis, for example). This is especially important on shoes you typically don't wear socks with—we're looking at you, slip-on sneakers. "Lysol spray kills 99.99% of viruses and bacteria," Dr. Cunha says. "I commonly inform my patients to use [it] to eliminate germs by sanitizing their shoes, shoe inserts, and shower floors regularly."
Insoles can help alleviate and prevent foot pain, which can worsen in the summer months, thanks to less-supportive shoes and walking longer distances. "Although I prefer to recommend custom foot orthotics over pre-fabricated insoles, some health insurance companies do not provide coverage for custom orthotics, and they can be expensive when paying out of pocket," notes Dr. Cunha.
This pair from Superfeet boasts a lightweight design and a springy inner core that molds to your feet with every step. "[They] have a low profile design which can easily fit into most shoes, and durable polyurethane foam, making them resilient and firmer, ultimately making the insole last longer," he adds.