Consider This, Guys, When Breaking Out the Sandals

Posted June 13, 2018 4:42 p.m. EDT

Men, are you wearing sandals this summer? Before flashing some toe, there’s some footwork to be done.

Dr. Suzanne Levine, a podiatric surgeon at Institute Beauté, a medical spa on Park Avenue, wants men to change their minds when it comes to their feet. “I’d like them to think about treating their feet the way they do their face,” she said.

That includes scrubbing, buffing and getting regular trims. Here are some feet tips.

1. Hello, Mr. Toes

“The most important thing men can do this time of year is just look at their feet,” Levine said. A visual once-over may sound simplistic, but she stresses that few people take a good, long look at their feet.

Six months of cold dry weather, not to mention constricting boots and scratchy socks, have no doubt caused havoc. Once you’ve surveyed the damage, you can start to revive those tired dogs and bring them back to life.

2. The First Rule

“The most important thing is to moisturize,” Levine said. “That is the key to having good skin and preventing infections.” Lather up your foot with a rich, nourishing cream — anything containing urea and glycolic acid will work and is readily available over the counter, like Eucerin Intensive Repair Lotion. “If you’re not going to do anything else, please moisturize.”

3. Get the Right Tools

To keep toes looking neat, use a toenail clipper and follow the nail’s natural shape. That also reduces the nooks and crannies where fungus can hide, said Jenna Rushing, a nail technician at the Hammer and Nails, a mani-pedi salon for men with locations nationwide.

Levine added that tight shoes can also be a breeding ground for fungus. “If your shoes don’t fit properly and there’s too much pressure on the toe, you can end up with damaged nails or blood underneath the nail,” she said.

For extra credit, buy a pumice stone and exfoliate your heels in the shower. “Even just one minute a day can cure a multitude of problems,” Rushing said.

4. Call the Pros

If you’re not handy with feet, seek professional help. Pedicure salons are a Google search away. Truman’s Gentlemen’s Groomers, which has two locations in Manhattan, offers a basic treatment ($57) that includes clipping, filing and buffing, as well as an exfoliating scrub to attack those unsightly calluses or bunions.

5. No Sweat

Keep shoes dry to ward off bacteria and fungus. Try not to wear the same pair of shoes on consecutive days, especially gym sneakers, so they can dry out. A sprinkle of foot powder like Gold Bond between workouts can also absorb sweat and keep nasty germs at bay. Levine warns to not walk around barefoot in the locker room, as it’s a prime place to pick up athlete’s foot.

6. Flaunt Those Ankles

For guys who want the “no sock” look, make sure it’s just a look. “It’s not normal to put your foot in a shoe and just perspire like that,” Levine said. Instead, wear low-cut socks to keep a dry, hygienic barrier between your foot and shoe.

And if you’re going to show some ankle, make sure they are Instagram ready. “If you have ashy ankles, it’s a total disaster,” said Brittany Clancy, a spa manager and stylist at Truman’s Gentleman’s Groomers in New York. The solution? Moisturizer. Better yet, use one with SPF. “You can get melanoma there, believe it or not,” Levine said. “Do not forget sunscreen when your feet aren’t covered.”

7. No Flip-flopping

It’s not only sandals these days. Men are rocking Tevas, clogs, shower shoes and, of course, Birkenstocks. But one summer shoe should be avoided: flip-flops. They lack arch support and frequent use will leave feet wider by summer’s end. “Those should only be worn at the beach,” Levine said.