We are continually told how great walking is for us, it helps our mental health, it’s great for out inner body and it can help our outer body look pretty good too by building muscle and helping to keep you slim. This of course is all true, except the one thing that most people don’t mention is how rough it can be on your poor old feet!
In order to enjoy our walking to the fullest we need to make sure that our feet are happy too, after all they are doing a lot of the hard work whilst we are hiking, so lets show them a little gratitude and look at 10 ways that us walkers can look after our feet.
1.Be Sure To Warm Up Before Walking
Take the time to warm up your muscles and limbs before your walk, including those feet which are often overlooked. Put your boots on a little before setting out so that your feet have time to get used to them. At the end of your hike check your feet for any problems starting so that you can take preventive action
2.Choose Well Fitting Walking Shoes
Make sure you are wearing a pair of walking boots or shoes which are suited to your particular feet. We are all different and this means that what works for one person may not work for another.
It is also a good idea to choose your walking shoes to compliment whatever walk you are taking and what the weather conditions might be.
We love a bargain as much as the next person but when it comes to walking shoes it is usually worth paying extra to have a pair of quality boots rather than saving a few pounds but suffering during your walks.
3.Do A Pedicure
It might sound like odd advice, but do a pedicure the night before your next walk. Keeping your toe nails nice and short and smooth prevents them rubbing on the toes next to them which can be really painful.
Blisters are the creation of a bubble of skin and can be very painful, in fact painful enough to put an end to your hike. They are caused by repeated rubbing between the foot and the boot or sock over the course of a walk.
Make sure to put on your socks carefully so that there are no creases because something as simple as this could end up giving you a blister.
If you have previously been prone to blisters then it is wise to either put Vaseline on the affected areas to try and avoid any friction building up, or even use specially designed blister plasters which are absolutely brilliant at stopping you from getting blisters in the first place.
5.Wear Proper Walking Socks
Make sure you buy walking socks rather than ordinary socks as they are usually reinforced where it is needed, especially the soles. Choose socks that are the right size which helps to avoid creases building up as we talked about above.
Wearing two pairs of socks is a good way to avoid direct rubbing between your foot and boot. You can use a thinner inner sock instead which does the same job.
Be sure that the socks are appropriate to the temperatures you'll experience and are breathable to allow the evacuation of sweat.
6.Consider Shoe Insoles
Get yourself some really good insoles that can moulded to the shape of your foot. The goo quality insoles absorb shock better, prevent rubbing and help maintain your feet in a good walking position.
7.Get A Foot Massage
Once you’ve completed your walk and you can finally get those waling boots off your feet then think about treating yourself to a foot massage. Not only will this feel really dreamy it will also get the blood flowing around your feet and will help with any aches and pains.
8.Use A Foot Spa
If you’ve got a foot-spa stashed away in a cupboard somewhere then now’s the time to use it! A nice soak in the foot-spa can help to restore your weary feet. Warm water is soothing will help to soften up calluses and reduce cracks, plus adding a squirt of washing up liquid can reduce bacteria and help to moisturise.
9.Epsom Salt Soak
If you have hot spots or blisters on your feet, add a half cup of Epsom Salts, bath salts or even regular table salt to the water in your foot-spa.
This will dry out the blisters and help toughen up your feet.
Be sure to rinse well afterwards though and then moisturise your feet as it will dry out the skin otherwise.
10.Put Your Feet Up
Blood and fluid tend to pool in your lower legs, especially when you’ve been walking on them for long periods of time. Lying down with your feet up after a long hike will help reduce the swelling.