Ultimate Guide to Protecting Your Feet at the Beach

The sand, sea, and sun are the ingredients for a perfect beach holiday. Walking on the sand, letting your feet get wet by the waves, and getting under the sun at the beach is relaxing. Walking on the beach is a nurturing activity for both the body and mind. Unfortunately, these activities can be a recipe for disaster to your feet, and once your feet got injured or even uncomfortable, it can ruin your whole vacation.

Here are some ways to protect your feet from injuries, sprains, sunburn, and more:

1. Warm up on a solid surface.

Before you take a long walk at the beach, warm up first on the pavement or boardwalk. This will help warm up your feet and stretch your muscles and ankles before you trek.

2. Get barefoot only when walking on short distances.

It’s always great to feel the sand between your toes with the waves lapping over your ankles as you walk through the surf. The sand can even help smoothen out the calluses on your feet and help soften dry skin. However, it’s best to go barefoot on shorter distances only, especially if you’re not used to walking at the beach regularly. Walking barefoot in the sand in longer distances can result to muscle and foot pain as your range of motion is extended further than normal. Sometimes, it can also cause plantar fasciitis, so it’s best to wear proper footwear if you’re walking the distance.

3. Wear sunscreen on your feet.

We all know the sun’s rays can be harsh and harmful for the skin. But most beachgoers neglect to rub sunscreen on their feet, leaving it unprotected. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your feet, as people assume that their sandals can protect it from sunburn. Your feet need sunscreen too, just like the rest of your body. When you’re tanning, apply sunscreen to both the tops and soles of your feet so the sun doesn’t singe on the bottom of your feet.

4. Avoid walking barefoot in hot sand.

When you see a strip of golden or white sand in front of you, it can be tempting to rush barefoot in the beach. Occasional beachgoers often forget that sand can be hot and burning for the soles of your feet, which can cause pain, blistering and redness. Hot sand is a leading culprit for burns on the feet at the beach, so keep your sandals on unless you’ve checked the temperature of the sand.

Sometimes, there can be irritants lurking in the grains of the sand – anything from trash, sharp shells, harmful chemicals and pollutants that get washed up on the shore from the water. You don’t want to get bacterial infections and athlete’s foot from your vacation, so make sure you’ve got a barrier between the sand and your feet.

5. Do not paddle unprotected.

While paddling in the sea, it can be difficult to spot dangers lurking by your feet. Sharp items, bottle tops, glass shards, shells, and corals can easily pierce through barefoot skin. Sturdy water shoes are essential to prevent cuts and grazes. If you have wounds or broken skin on your feet, avoid swimming and paddling. Seawater can contain bacteria that can enter your body, causing infections.

6. Keep a safe distance from sea creatures.

Steer clear of sea creatures that may sting or cause injuries to your feet. For instance, weever fish spines may get lodged into your feet causing pain. This fish releases venom, causing unpleasant symptoms.

Jellyfish stings can be really painful, but if you do experience that, use vinegar to rinse the sting before pulling out the offensive tentacles with tweezers. Rubbing the area and applying cold water can make it worse. Meanwhile, if you get zapped by stingray, pull the barb out of the saltwater and disinfect your wound. The pain can be strong for the first 90 minutes after the zapping, and soaking the foot in water as hot as you can tolerate can help decrease the pain and remove the venom.

7. Opt for rubber beach sandals rather than leather.

Sandals come in different fashionable styles, but it doesn’t mean that they must become beach sandals. While many fashion sandals can look cute, it’s better to save them for the resort. When hitting the beach, fashion sandals as well as those made in leather aren’t a great choice. Additional wetness and sand can cause cracks and other damage. It’s better to opt for rubber.

Flip-flops are popular at the beach, but they aren’t the only option. Spending a little more on higher-quality rubber beach sandals will help provide additional support and protection to your feet.

Here are some great rubber beach sandals to wear while strolling on the sand:

8. Remove all traces of sand after taking shoes off.

Once you’re done taking a walk at the beach with sandals or shoes, gently remove all traces of sand from your feet with water, then dry it with a towel before putting it back on again. Also, make sure that there’s not sand hiding inside your shoes and the crevices of your sandals before using it again outside the sand. Grains of sand that’s trapped between your feet and footwear can rub against the skin, which may cause blisters and sores.

9. Wear water shoes for water sports.

When participating in different water sports – including kayaking, paddling, boating, fishing, tubing, ocean swimming, aquatic fitness, hiking on wet terrain and more – it is best to wear water shoes for protection.

Water shoes are specially designed to provide optimal traction on slippery surfaces, like boat docks, deck, and water equipment. The rubber outsoles give a better grip so you can walk safely on wet surfaces.

Water shoes are also lightweight and quick to dry. If you use your regular shoes at the beach, they will get heavy when waterlogged, which will disrupt movement. Non-water shoes may also absorb and retain water, so you’ll experience squishiness after walking out of the beach. This can cause unwanted odor and molds for your shoes, and blisters for your feet. Also, it can look ridiculous. Just don’t wear your sneakers or running shoes at the beach.

These are some great water shoes you can buy online: