“Stay Cool” isn’t just an old 70’s term. With temperatures reaching record highs in the Spring, we can expect this summer to be a scorcher. It’s time to start thinking about ways to stay comfortable and cool in your shoes. While flip flops and sandals are an obvious choice when it comes to keeping our feet cool and happy, many of us have jobs and hobbies requiring something more. Safety toe boots, dress shoes, hiking boots, and walking shoes are often a necessary part of our daily lives, and the wrong choice of shoes can make the summer heat unbearable. Fortunately, we have some helpful tips to keeping your feet cool and dry:
- Alternate shoes. Switching out the shoes you wear at least every other day is
the best way to keep your feet cool and dry. This may sound like a clever sales pitch to sell two pair of shoes, but we’ve got science to back it up! Consider this: The average pair of feet have 250,000 sweat glands, and these glands can produce up to 8 ounces of water every day! That’s as much as a recommended average glass of water–thirsty? Most of this moisture is absorbed into your shoes, and when you take your shoes off and throw them in the closet, they don’t have time to completely dry out before wearing them again the next morning. Putting your foot in a wet shoe first thing in the morning is a recipe for discomfort. Built up moisture can make shoes deteriorate faster, and the moist environment also contributes to intensified shoe and foot odor. Alternating shoes allows the footwear to dry completely, thus creating a more comfortable (and less smelly) environment. It also helps your footwear last longer, saving you money in the long run! If you can’t alternate your shoes every other day, you can take the insoles out at the end of the day to help the shoes dry faster.
- Ventilate. Many of today’s modern shoes designs allow air to pass through the shoes to keep feet dry. Air movement is key to keeping you cool and dry, so look for
shoes with key words like “ventilate,” “breathability,” and “air mesh.” For example, the Merrell Moab Ventilator has lots of mesh in the upper to allow your foot to breathe. Ventilation is great in the summer, but remember that high ventilation usually means that you’ll get wet faster in the rain or dewy grass. Fortunately, if your ventilated shoes get wet, they will typically dry faster too.
- Moisture wicking materials. For those of you with jobs requiring a more professional look, some companies have developed moisture wicking technology to add to casual or dress styles. There’s a plethora of moisture wicking materials built in to shoes today. Materials like Cambrelle and Climasphere are specifically designed for temperature and moisture regulation. This isn’t just built in to work boots, but dress shoes too. Take the men’s Ecco Atlanta for example. Ecco’s Comfort Fibre system is on the bottom of their removable leather insoles and is designed to pull moisture away from the foot. This not only helps keep your feet dry, but also helps the shoes dry faster. Clarks has developed the Unstructured Line of shoes, featuring the company’s Air Circulation System (ACS). Considered “fresh air for your feet,” ACS increases airflow with intake vents built into the sole which bring in fresh air, and exhaust vents throughout the shoe to expel moist, warm air. The result? Better airflow, and a comfortable and dry foot environment!
- Less is better (sometimes). Many shoe companies tout the fact that their waterproof materials are breathable. We agree that most of them are, but the more layers you put in a shoe, the more they retain heat. If they are keeping out water, they are more likely to keep in heat. We recommend avoiding waterproof membranes if your goal is to stay cool. If you must have a waterproof shoe or boot, you should purchase one with a breathable membrane (like Gore-Tex), but try to find a light weight one that has some ventilation like the waterproof version of the Merrell Moab Ventilator.
If you follow these tips, you should find much more comfort in those dog days of summer. So get out and enjoy the heat with the help from all of us at doddsshoe.com!