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A podiatrist’s go-to shoe for a day at the zoo

Last Modified: May 23, 2024

Family Medicine


This post was written by Ashley M. Bojrab, DPM, FACFAS, ABPM, CWS, PPG – Podiatry.

Warmer weather has arrived, and outdoor activities are in full swing. One of my favorite ways to spend a sunny afternoon is visiting the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. This can mean a long day on your feet–not only for adults but also for children. I always recommend taking the proper precautions so you can keep your focus on the exhibits rather than sore feet.

A podiatrist’s tips for comfort on the go

Forget the flip flops – Unfortunately, these sandals are not supportive enough for walking long distances. Instead of flip flops, wear an athletic shoe with a strong sole. This goes for adults and children.

Don’t break in brand-new shoes – New shoes can be stiff for the first few outings, which often leads to pain, rubbing and blisters. Break in the new sneakers before you take them for a long-distance day out.

Wear socks – Not only do socks help absorb moisture and debris, but they also prevent friction and reduce the odor of the feet. Plus, they give a little extra cushion, which is key for prolonged standing and walking. Avoid spandex, nylon or printed socks, which collect moisture and hold in bacteria. If you’re worried about overheating, wear light-colored shoes and clothing to help keep you cool in the hot summer sun. Also, a mesh-style shoe allows air to circulate.  

Have backups – On a recent trip to the zoo with my kids, I saw children running and playing in a splash pad. They were mostly barefoot on a rocky surface. As a podiatrist, I would advise parents to plan ahead and bring a pair of water shoes for this purpose, to prevent an injury to the bottom of their little ones’ feet. You can also bring a second pair of dry shoes and socks for them to wear when they’re done playing in the water. 

My hope is that these tips help you and your family stay safe in the sun while being kind to your feet. If you have any concerns about your child’s feet, be sure to speak with your pediatrician or podiatrist. We are here to help every step of the way!


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