Wandering Tip: Fix Sore Feet
If you've ever hiked a few miles, you've probably experienced sore feet. If you've hiked a lot, you've probably had a lot of sore feets. Being the rookies that we are, we started off hiking wearing tennis shoes. When you're bouldering over rocks and need your feet to maintain a good grip, this is not always the best option. Nor do they offer the necessary support for a multi-mile trek - either under your foot or around your ankle. We learned quickly, and landed a couple of lucky pairs of hiking boots for a great price at R.E.I., and have continued to learn the tricks of keeping happy feet on a trail. Here are some quick tips that we have learned recently:
Choose The Right Socks:
Wear snug, comfortable (soft) socks. Ideally, some made for hiking with good sweat wicking ability and quick dry features. We love the WrightSock brand of socks. They say they are blister-free socks, as they are a double layer technology. It's like two thin socks put together. Not only does it help with blisters, but it also helps with cooling and keeping dry toes. We also wear thicker R.E.I. Co-Op socks - basic athletic socks with a soft cushiony bottom. Choose the right sock for your feet, but consider the great features that can come along with socks these days!
Lacing 'Em Up:
This was a surprise to us, but shoes can be laced in a multitude of fashions for various purposes. This was discovered after one particularly long and excruciating painful hike. My (Andrea's) foot had a massive blister on the heal and my toes were bruised from the downhill climbs. I assumed the socks were to blame, or maybe my boots were too roomy, until I read an article on how to tie hiking boots. Do a quick search of "heel lock" or "heel loop" tying methods and you'll find the right tie. Along the way, I also discovered that I could leave "windows" in the laces on top of my foot to alleviate some pressure pain I had been having. These lacing techniques saved a lot of pain. Research how to tie your boots, and maybe it'll help you, too!
End Of Hike Relief:
If you do longer day hikes, especially in warmer environments, we recommend having a pair of sandals in the car or back at camp. It's always a relief to come out of a long hike and take off the hot boots and sweaty socks, and let the toes air out a bit. We always have flip-flops in our car for the end of a long day of hiking.
Be Prepared for Ouch:
In reality, blisters are a part of life if you take long walks in the wild. It's always best to be prepared for when sore feet strike. I always have a patch of moleskin in my first aid kit. This material can be cut-to-fit for the sore spot, leaving a small window for it to peek through. This keeps the spot from continuing to be rubbed and made more sore. I also pack along the Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister Cushions. They completely cover the blister and add padding. I've had success with them staying attached in my boots, unlike regular bandages which only last an hour or two.
Do you have any tips on how to keep feet comfy on the trail? Let us know if you do!
(This is an unsolicited review. R.E.I., Band-Aid, and WrightSock gave us nothing and did not ask for feedback.)