Foot Care and Hiking
Spring is the best time to enjoy the beauty of Mother Earth. Some people spend a lot of time walking around in parks, running around the neighbourhood, and hiking to easy or difficult trails. Regardless if you are a beginning hiker or an experienced one, sore feet and blisters are the common foot conditions that develop.
Cause of Common Problems When Hiking
Blisters are caused by constant friction and moisture. Some trails have sand that permeates shoes and socks, which leads to abrasion. The heat coming from the ground could also bake your feet when walking or running for a long time. Some trails have snow and icy stream crossings – leaves feet cold and constantly wet. All the friction between shoes, socks and feet tend to lead to the development of blisters.
In order to prevent foot problems from developing during the hike, it is best to prepare accordingly before getting on the trail. Before you go on a hike, it is best to learn the proper hiking form and pay attention to your gait. Strengthening foot exercises are also a must to prevent foot pain from developing. When packing your bags, make sure you will bring a lightweight pack as this lessens the impact on your feet each time you take a step. Be sure to get the proper pair of trail shoes and insoles. Some people tend to wear thin liner socks layered with thicker socks as this combination reduces friction. Other people opt for wool or toe socks, while others use nylon socks. You can choose to experiment with different types of socks to know which one works best for you.
During the Hike
While hiking, make sure to pay attention to your feet and give them the proper love they deserve. If you are starting to feel that your feet are getting heavy and tired, make sure you take a few extra minutes during breaks to take off your shoes and allowing your feet to cool, or your socks to dry out. When you do this, you are also able to identify potential problems on your feet. If you develop a blister, you have to bandage it immediately. Make sure you clip long toenails and you also have the option to change your socks during the day, especially if they get wet. Before putting your shoes back on, make sure you shake out the sand and dirt from both the shoes and socks.
After the Hike
Make sure you inspect your feet again for any problems. You may also do some stretching exercises that will relax your feet. When stretching, include your calves and Achilles as this reduces foot pain and also prevents problems. If your feet have been wet all day, make sure you allow them to dry and heal overnight. Before going to bed, massage your feet with rash cream or moisturizing lotion and make sure you change into dry and clean socks.