As much as we love strappy shoe season, the combination of sweltering heat and sandals that rub you the wrong way can be a bummer for your feet. So pamper them with these cool products. Plus, learn how to beat these other summer beauty horrors.
1. Antiperspirant Spray
Even if your soles don't sweat much, just a little bit of moisture in the air can cause the leather straps of your sandals to chafe your skin, resulting in painful blisters. Mist your feet with deodorant-like Secret Spring Breeze Antiperspirant Aerosol ($4.49)-to keep them dry and happy. Plus, find out if your deodorant can lose its effectiveness.
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2. Blister Blocks
Band-Aid Blister Block ($7.49) is tiny enough for your purse (it's about the size of dental floss) and lets you target specific areas on your feet where you're prone to get blisters. But it's only a preventative product...if you've already got a nasty blister, try a "second-skin" product, like Spenco's 2nd Skin Blister Kit ($8.75).
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3. Gel Inserts
Not only do gel inserts feel really good in your shoes, they let you wear them way longer before your feet start aching. And while Dr. Scholl's might sound like something your dad would buy, they've got their super comfy new product, Massaging Gel: Outrageous Comfort Dual Gel Insoles for Women, out in drugstores ($11.99).
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4. Foot Cushions
If you aren't the "gellin' like a felon" kind of girl, foot cushions are a stylish alternative. Whether they're for your tiptoes, your entire insole, or your heels, they look like they're actually part of the inside of the shoe. We're fans of Foot Petals (prices vary), which were founded by a fashion industry veteran who got tired of spending her day in painful heels.
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5. Foldable Ballet Flats
These cute kicks are small enough to fit in your clutch, making the walk home after work or a night out way less torturous. Designed by two recent NYU undergrads, City Slips ($24.95) weigh just five ounces, have durable soles, and come with a bag that expands to carry your high heels. Score yourself a pair at Bliss Spa or online. Plus, check out these other flats we love.
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Even if you try one or more of the above, your busy schedule might mean your tootsies are still tired after a long week. Try washing your feet nightly, and then use this energizing citrus soak once every 5-7 days: Submerge your feet in a bowl of two cups orange, grapefruit, or lemon juice (or a combo) and two cups warm water. After 5 minutes, the citric acid will have softened up the dead skin. Slough your heels and the balls of your feet with a pumice stone, and then massage your entire foot with an oil-based sugar scrub. Rinse it off, and slather on a body or foot balm. Ahhh...
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.