How to break in your summer shoes and sandals -- without cuts and blisters.

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Come warm weather, most women get a bad case of summer sandal zeal: We can't wait to break out our newest strappy numbers and wear them all day. The problem? At the end of that day, our feet are likely to be cut, blistered, and downright uncomfortable. To help you avoid summer sandal foot bummers, try these tricks.

Start slow. It's truly tempting to wear a gorgeous pair of new sandals for a full eight-hour day, but doing so invites painful problems. Instead, wear sandals for an hour or two at a time to start. This will allow you to break them in gradually.

Add padding. Shoes with very thin straps are notorious for cutting into heels and toes, leaving painful welts and cuts in their wake. To help make these straps comfortable, head to the shoe repair shop for foam pads to place on the thinnest parts of the straps. Pads help cushion your skin and literally hold the strap away from it a tiny bit, reducing the likelihood of cuts.

Have shoes stretched. If you have time before you christen your new sandals on the street, consider having them stretched at a cobbler. A shoe expert can expertly stretch shoes (this takes a few days) to add a bit more room.

Add an elastic gore. If straps and buckles are too tight, a cobbler can sometimes add a length of elastic to make them give with the movement of your foot.

Try preemptive blister pads. These silicone bandages adhere to the skin and stay put. Position under a thin strap or troublesome buckle to protect skin before blisters appear.

Give feet a day of rest. Even if your feet can handle a full day in strappy sandals, give them a breather the following day with a pair of more practical and comfortable mules or slides. Doing so gives skin time to heal any minor cuts or raw spots before you wear your sandals again.

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Liz

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nice tips! i just saw an ad for these sandal things that are thin and you attach them to strappy sandals and stuff. i guess they're padded or cushioned.

 

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