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5 Things: Happy Hiking Feet

Autumn is my favorite time to go for a hike. I always try to take a trip somewhere to catch some mountain views of colorful foliage. I pack some food, plenty of water, and some extra layers and head out early so I can get to the summit by noon for lunch.

This kind of hike takes about five hours, and it can wreak havoc on your poor feet. Here are some tips to keep your trotters pain free.

  1. Buy hiking boots that cover your ankle. This will keep your ankle stable and prevent it from turning or twisting. Also make sure they fit properly and have a rugged sole that will grip on wet and uneven terrain. Break in your new hiking boots with shorter hikes before committing to a day-long hike.
  2. Give yourself a pedicure before your hike. What I mean is to make sure your toenails are cut short and square. Long toenails can bruise or cut into the skin.
  3. Wear wicking socks to prevent your sweaty feet from staying moist and causing blisters.
  4. Pack band-aids or moleskin pads in your lumbar pack just in case you feel a blister forming.
  5. Rest your feet. When taking breaks for water or lunch, take off your boots and socks and let your tootsies air out. You can also elevate them to help reduce swelling.

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Spectra Spectra 8 years
I always make sure my toenails are at least clipped and filed before I run because I have had too many issues with my toenails cutting my other toes and making me get blood stains on my socks...not fun.
Beaner Beaner 8 years
Love smartwool socks. They make thin ones perfect for hiking.
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
That's some good advice. I never really thought about toenail irritation, since I always keep my nails short. I also haven't heard of those socks before. I'll have to check them out.
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