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Jun 06

APMA Staff

Footcare: Hiking Edition

by APMA Staff

Footcare: Hiking Edition

If you can’t handle the heat, protect your feet!

June 21 will be the first official day of summer. Industrious hikers have already grabbed their wide-brimmed hats and begun to lather on the sunscreen. Sunglasses are also a must for eye protection.

But what can a person do to protect their feet? Is it as easy as picking out a pair of comfortable hiking boots and hitting the trail?

Of course not. If there’s anything you’ve learned from this blog, it’s that feet are temperamental and prone to tantrums. Employ these safety techniques to ensure that each little piggy remains comfy and safe.

1.Break Your Boots In

Never let a hiking expedition be the testing ground for a new pair of boots. After you’ve visited a local outdoors shop to get fitted for a new pair (which you should always do since boots purchased online can look great on paper but fit awfully in person), take the time to break them in.

Wear them while you go on errands, walk around the neighborhood, attend classes, or pick up the kids from school. If your feet start to ache, wear your normal shoes for a while and pick up the boots again at a later date. This also provides time to choose a preferred method of lacing your boots. REI recommends the surgeons knot, window lacing, and toe-relief lacing.

Also consider purchasing insoles, especially if you have very flat or arched feet. Think of it as a way to customize your hiking boots to your unique foot shape.

2. Practice Proper Foot Hygiene

Keeping your feet healthy and clean is always important. However, it becomes all the more dire when preparing for a lengthy hike. Continued pressure on your feet will make any current foot conditions worse, so get those injuries healed as soon as possible.

Keep your feet moisturized to avoid any problems with cracking skin (you wouldn't want sweat to get into those cracks), and, most importantly, clip your toenails.  Too-long-toenails can dig into your skin and cause infection.

This one is fairly obvious, but keep your feet clean! Any dirt or grime will just end up causing problems for you.

3. Take the Proper Precautions

Remember when we recommended taking your boots for a test drive before bringing them into the field? There’s another reason for that. Repeated use will help you learn about any areas in the shoe where your foot rubs against the fabric. On a long hike, this repetitive rubbing can cause painful blisters.

Prevention is easy. Various athletic tapes are available to protect these problem areas. Just tape the spots that cause issues and eliminate the friction. Also, consider foot powder or antiperspirant spray on your feet to further reduce general friction due to sweating.

Have any more questions about preparing your feet for a hike? Visit our clinic in Edmonds, WA

The trained specialists at Ankle & Foot of Edmonds can answer all your questions. Call 425-775-6996, or complete our online form to set up an appointment.


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