Things to Do in the Magic Valley This Summer When Your Feet Don’t Hurt (and What to Do If They Do)
Sure, we may be a little biased. But in our book, not much beats the late spring and summer in the Magic Valley and Southern Idaho.
For starters, the weather is perfect, especially if you love to spend as much time as possible outdoors. There’s also the location: most of us barely have to venture more than a few miles from our front door before arriving at the perfect place to camp, fish, hike, or hunt.
And of course, we’ve got great events for every taste going on all summer long:
- HWY 30 Music Festival. Lovers of country and Americana music should not miss this family-friendly, 3-day weekend of great music, good food, cold beer, and even a bounce house for the kiddos. Oh, and real bathrooms, too! (June 20-22)
- Boise Music Festival. Okay, not technically in the Magic Valley. But it’s definitely worth the day trip for this 12-hour music extravaganza featuring local acts, as well as national acts like Tenille Townes, Color Me Badd, and Pitbull. Bonus points—it’s a family-friendly affair, and kids under 12 are free! (June 22)
- Jazz on the Canyon. Two nights of beautiful scenery, wine tasting, delicious treats, and jazz music at the Windsor Nursery—with a full dinner and show on the second evening. (June 26-27)
- Twin Falls County Fair & Magic Valley Stampede. No late summer in the Magic Valley would be complete with a trip to the Twin Falls County Fair! Carnival rides, rodeos, motor sports, bull fighting, live music, petting zoos, educational shows, and so much more! (August 28-September 2)
- Thousand Springs Festival. Snake on up (sorry) to Ritter Island in September, where you can enjoy a stunning mix of both artistic and natural beauty. Explore the work of over 90 regional artists and enjoy live entertainment, artisan demonstrations, and a variety of food and beverage options. Then, feel free to wander a little deeper into the park and explore scenic waterfalls or enjoy a ride in a canoe or on a horse-drawn wagon. (September 21-22)
But Will Your Feet Be Up to the Task?
That’s the real question, isn’t it?
See, whether it’s attending a regional festival or art show, or spending a weekend hiking the canyon, we Southern Idahoans love to spend as much time as we can on our feet, being active—with other people, with nature, or both.
And that becomes a big problem if your feet aren’t up to the task. Foot pain makes everything you want to do difficult—sometimes even impossible. And soon, you’re cutting that hike short, or skipping the annual hunting trip with your buddies, because you already know you’d be lucky to last 20 minutes hauling all your gear.
On top of that, a few tough days on your feet can actually lead to foot problems if you start getting careless about how you protect yourself. Common summer-related foot problems include:
- Heel pain. Long days and vigorous physical activity can overstretch and overstress your arches, plantar fascia, and heels. The problem is magnified if you aren’t wearing shoes that properly support your arch and cushion your soles.
- Blisters, corns, and calluses. Another common side effect of wearing improper shoes or sandals? Skin irritation caused by constant friction and pressure. Blisters and corns especially can be quite painful, especially if they’re located in weight-bearing areas or between the toes.
- Fungal infections. Of course, keeping your feet trapped inside sweaty shoes and socks in the summer heat can come with its own problems. Damp footwear makes an inviting environment for the types of fungi that can cause athlete’s foot and fungal toenail infections—not to mention wart-causing viruses. But going barefoot isn’t much better, as you can pick up the infection from contaminated surfaces, too—especially locker rooms, pool decks, gyms, saunas, and other public spaces.
- Another risk of going shoeless or wearing sandals is sunburn. People often forget to put sunscreen on the tops of their feet when they go out, and that can lead to some nasty burns. And since you’re less likely to check your feet regularly than, say, your face or shoulders, you might be slower to notice the emerging warning signs of skin cancer there.
Protecting Your Feet This Summer
If you want your feet to stay healthy and comfortable this summer—so you can check every item off your summer fun to-do list with confidence! — follow these quick tips.
- Wear comfy, supportive shoes or sandals. Your best bet is usually going to be a breathable, comfortable walking shoe that fits your feet properly. Sandals are okay, too, as long as they provide good arch support and don’t slide or flop around on your feet. Don’t go barefoot and skip the flip flops for anything more than simply lounging by the pool.
- Change socks and shoes regularly. Don’t walk around in damp footwear! Change your socks multiple times per day if you have to, and rotate shoes each day to give every pair extended drying time. Other related tips? Opt for moisture-wicking socks, bring extra pairs with you if you’re going out, and use an antiperspirant on feet and in shoes.
- Don’t forget the sunscreen. Apply liberally to all exposed areas of skin, including the tops and even bottoms of your feet. Check your feet regularly for abnormal-looking moles or freckles that may be irregularly shaped or changing in size.
- Choose your salon with care. Summer pedicures can be relaxing and great fun, but they can also increase your risk of developing an infection. Only choose spas that sterilize all equipment between uses and employ licensed nail technicians. Bringing your own tools is a great idea, too.
- Drink plenty of water. You probably already know it’s important to stay hydrated. Well, that matters to your feet, too! In fact, your feet are often one of the first to suffer symptoms of dehydration, including painful cramps.
- Get any foot pain or problems checked right away. Here’s the thing about foot pain—most of the time, if you don’t do anything about it, it’ll get worse. If you’re starting to notice stabbing heel pain in the morning, or a toenail that’s starting to look infected, or any other issue, do not wait for the pain to get unbearable before you get the help you need.
At Canyon Foot & Ankle, we serve Magic Valley residents with full service foot and ankle care, including advanced treatment options like laser therapy. You don’t have to drive out to Boise or Salt Lake City to have access to the most cutting-edge care—you can find it right here, in your community.
To schedule an appointment at one of our locations, please call the office closest to you:
- Twin Falls: (208) 733-0436
- Burley: (208) 678-2727