Hiking can be a great family or solo activity to explore the outdoors. It is also great for your health to be outside and active. Taking care of your feet while your hiking is critical to staying active and comfortable – sore feet can be a real hindrance to enjoying an otherwise great hike. Here are 10 tips for keeping your feet healthy before, during, and after that exciting hike.
Foot Care Tips to Prepare for Your Hike
Prepping for a long hike is critical for success. Just as you would not go on an extended hike without preparing your gear or getting into shape, taking care of your feet is important as well.
- Walk barefoot – walking around barefoot before your hike can help strengthen your feet. This particular kind of foot exercise can help with your sense of balance as well, improving your balance while wearing your hiking shoes or boots.
- Choose proper footwear – evaluate the type of hike that you are pursuing carefully when choosing your hiking gear. Some more rocky or broken terrains may require tough boots, while easier hikes may be a better fit with lower-intensity hiking shoes. Summer hikes may not require the warm, fully supportive hiking boots that will keep your feet protected during the winter.
- Break in your hiking shoes/boots – getting your shoes broken in is a critical step towards a good result. Choose quality footwear, test it before you buy it, and go on shorter but similar hikes so your shoes are prepared for longer treks. This can help prevent blisters.
Tips to Keep Your Feet Healthy While Hiking
- Stretch – stretching is not just for arms and legs. Stretch your feet as you start the hike to prevent cramping and pain later on.
- Remove anything that you can feel in your shoes – this prevents blisters and bruises from occurring during the hike.
- Stop if something is wrong – if you feel something in your shoe or a hot spot developing (often because of wet socks), stop and take the time to fix it. Even just a small stone can do bad things to your foot while hiking.
- Elevate your feet and legs when you are able – raising up your legs and feet when you are resting can help relieve blood flow and swelling.
- Let your shoes and socks air out during longer breaks – mealtimes can be a great time to let your feet breathe and air out the shoes and socks. Even in warmer temps, your feet can sweat and dampen the shoes and socks. This tip can make a big difference in helping to keep your feet healthy while hiking.
Tips for Caring For Your Feet After A Hike
- Massage your feet – after your hike, massaging your feet can help the blood flow for healing. You can also find any bruises or cuts that may have cropped up on the hike.
- Clean your feet after the hike – wash your feet with warm water and gentle soap after the hike to prevent any fungal infections from developing.
Find a Hiking Foot Doctor in Brooklyn, NYC
If you have any questions about preparing for a long hike or need a preventative checkup to make sure your feet are in good working order, Best Foot Doctor has an office in the Brooklyn area of New York City (NYC) that can service your foot care needs. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment.