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Illustrations by Mr Angelo Trofa

Given that your feet spend the best part of the year tucked away in some (admittedly rather dashing) brogues, it's easy to overlook their upkeep in favour of the body parts that are more often on display. By summertime, however, months of negligence and incessant pavement pounding will likely have turned your feet into a pair of hooves, something even you can't bear to get to grips with, let alone present to the world. Without the necessary preparatory measures, the simple act of donning a pair of sandals can therefore become a public offence. This season, don't let ingrown and discoloured nails, corns and calluses dull your sartorial edge. Here, I've compiled a few handy DIY tips to help make your sandals and flip-flops a viable, almost pleasurable option this summer.


Get a little too enthusiastic with the clippers and you could end up causing all sorts of podiatric problems. Not only does over-clipping - or, worse yet, picking - at the sides of your toes increase the risk of ingrown nails, but exposing too much flesh also leaves you wide open to infection. Trim the white part of the nail that extends beyond the nail bed - never risk going any deeper.

Spending a fortune on a pair of hi-tech trainers is a great way to upgrade your gym routine. Get the wrong fit - or even lace them up incorrectly - and you'll traumatise your toenails with persistent chaffing. Unsightly, bruised or sometimes completely non-existent nails are caused by the big toe forever rubbing up against the front of the shoe. Get fitted.

As bizarre as it sounds, your feet expand throughout the day - this is especially noticeable in hotter climes. The neat pair of kicks you slipped on at 9am may therefore end up being less accommodating by mid-afternoon. It's always advisable to get a professional to measure you up, even if you think you know your size. Failure to do so could land you with some nasty blisters from a bad fit.

More of a fashion faux pas than a podiatric disaster, sandals and socks are an absolute no-no. Even in an ironic, geek chic sort of way.

And what to wear once prepped...


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