THIS summer's set to be a scorcher. But before you think about flashing some flesh and putting those feet on display, think about your tootsies.
After months of wedging our toes into tight winter boots and shoes, many people will have forgotten what their feet look like. The thought of wearing sandals and flip flops might fill them with dread - especially those who suffer from verrucas, or unsightly bunions.
But the summer doesn't have to be scary if you start looking after your feet, says the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.
June marked the society's Feet For Life Month, so there's no better time to give those neglected toes some TLC.
Wear the right shoes
Most foot problems are caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes, so make sure you dress your feet for the right occasion, says podiatrist Alicia Lai.
"In summer, people love to wear flip flops and sandals, but they don't provide much support. You've got to match the shoe to the activity you're doing.
"High-heeled shoes are great for going out, but they put pressure on the ball of the foot and squeeze the toes together, so don't wear them if you're walking long distances," Lai advises.
"Women love wearing ballerina flats these days for commuting, but they have zero support on them. We often find that having a slight wedge or heel to the shoe is better. It releases tension off the ball of the foot and ligaments."
When you're sightseeing on holiday this summer, try not to wear slip-on shoes if you're going to be walking for hours.
"In slip-ons, your feet have to work harder to keep the shoe on, so look for stability features, like something that wraps around the back of the heel."
For comfort and a mini workout when you walk, why not try a pair of FitFlops, from £44, www.fitflop.com, or Sole sandals, from £49, www.yoursole.co.uk.
Say goodbye to smelly feet
The average pair of feet produce half a pint of sweat a day, according to the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, so it's no wonder they smell!
Following a simple footcare routine can help cut down the sweating, says Lai.
"Letting your feet breathe is always a good thing, so in summer wear sandals, and make sure you alternate shoes daily so they're allowed to dry out.
"Gently wash your feet and moisturise daily. Use a mild soap and warm water, rinse well and dry thoroughly, especially between the toes."
Make sure you change those socks or tights every day to keep your toes fresh and prevent odours from building up.
Lai says if you're wearing socks, choose natural fibres like cotton.
Invest in a foot deodorant, such as Flexitol Foot De-Odour, £5.49, Boots and Waitrose, or try Fragrant Footings Scented Insoles, £12.95, www.relax-uk.com.
Banish those blisters
Blisters are a common summer problem, and happen when we dig out our summer shoes and then have to 'wear them in' all over again.
If your shoes start to rub, fluid will build up between the layers of the skin to act as a buffer in order to prevent further damage.
Lai says: "In summer, people start wearing flip flops, which rub between the toes, they often don't wear hosiery or socks, so blisters can be more of an issue.
"If you do have a blister, then obviously follow the usual footcare, and cushion it by popping plasters on to avoid the rub. It should heal in time, but if you're worried, seek attention."