Happy feet for summer in Summit County
Special to the Daily
Sunshine, barbecues and summer soirees are just around the corner in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Vibrant images of sunsets, afternoon strolls down the bike path and clear, starry nights swirl in our minds. Of all these beautiful images that occupy our daydreams, gnarly feet isn’t one of them.
If your poor phalanges have been crammed into ski boots for the past six months, they are no doubt in need of some well-earned attention. As you were hitting bumps or cruising down Vail’s back bowls, the health of your feet may not have been first and foremost in your brain. Missing toenails, chapped cuticles and dry, cracked heels are standard foot fare for the mountain adventurer.
Alas, flip-flop season is here, and your bare toes will inevitably be making an appearance at a rooftop patio near you.
You could have your feet professionally pampered with a pedicure, but there are easier ways to maintain sandal-worthy feet all summer.
First, keep your nails trimmed. This is especially important for active mountain dwellers.
The Mayo Clinic suggests regularly trimming and filing your nails. Using sharp manicure scissors or clippers, trim your nails straight across and then round the tips in a gentle curve with a nail file. This may be easiest after bathing, when your nails have softened a bit from the warm water.
While you’re in the shower, use a soft pumice stone to remove any dead skin from your heels and smooth any rough spots.
The Stepping Stone from Lush Cosmetics ($4.50) is a “scrubby citrus delight with pumice and sea salt.”
Gently rub the stone back and forth, applying only light pressure. It will work like sand paper, taking off layers of rough skin and wearing down calluses. Be cautious to stay clear of cracked heels.
This pumice treatment will expose new skin, so the next step is to protect this new layer of dermis with a moisturizer.
Daily application of nourishing foot lotion will keep your feet soft and supple all summer long.
Foot Relief from Aveda ($21) is a soothing cream created to soften dry patches and smooth calluses.
The blend of active herbs, exfoliating fruit acids and plant-derived oils such as jojoba and castor absorbs quickly, leaving your weary feet invigorated and ready for your next hike.
Don’t let your cuticles be an oversight. They provide a protective cover for new nail growth and play an important role in the health of your nails.
Formulated for cuticles, the Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream from Burt’s Bees ($6) uses sweet almond oil and cocoa seed butter to soften your cuticles and vitamin E and sunflower oil nourish brittle nails.
Our dry Colorado climate also tends to lead to painfully cracked heels.
True Blue Spa Cracked Heel Treatment from Bath & Body Works ($20) will help restore your heels to a less vulnerable state.
This serious spa salve is filled with glycolic acid to slough away dry skin, while the shea butter leaves your feet softer with every use.
Don’t forget, your feet are your most valuable piece of adventure gear. By using these simple steps you can keep them feeling and looking good all summer long.