Now that the weather is cooling down if you like to get exercise outdoors hiking is a great way to get you moving. However, hiking can come at a price if you don’t take care of your feet and ankles. To eliminate foot pain and treat existing injuries there are certain steps (quite literally) you can take ahead of time. A few include visiting a podiatrist if you have an existing injury, wearing lightweight and breathable shoes, buying and wearing socks that provide enough cushion, and removing your shoes and elevating your feet if you plan on going strenuous and long hikes. Take care of your feet and ankles and you will enjoy hiking injury free.
What to Do If You Have an Injury
If you have had a previous injury or currently have an existing injury take it easy. Hiking is possible if you take care of your feet and ankles going forward. A podiatrist in Kansas City can diagnose and treat many types of foot and ankle injuries such as stress fractures, tendinitis, ankle sprains, and more. If you’re not sure what the problem is make an appointment and get a diagnosis before you do a lot of hiking and outdoor activities. The last thing you want to do is cause additional harm to an injury that’s already causing you discomfort.
Take Frequent Rest Breaks
If you don’t have any injuries it’s still important to take frequent rest breaks. If you hike on uneven terrain or long distances your feet will hurt and swell. Why does this happen? Your blood flows to your feet in response to the constant movement of your feet stepping again and again on the rocky trail. To counteract the pain and swelling, especially if you’re going to be on a really long hike, take your shoes off and elevate your feet during every single break. This will help your feet feel better, and allow the blood to drain back into your legs and get rid of swelling.
Lightweight and Breathable Shoes
Hiking shoes may seem ideal to wear when you’re hiking, but if you plan to go on a lot of hikes look for comfortable shoes such as cross-trainers and trail-runners that are better suited for both shorter and longer hikes. Lightweight boots that won’t cause blistering is important and at the same time they should also provide ankle and foot support. When picking out a hiking shoe also look for a pair that is flexible, breathable, lightweight, and of course fits your feet well. Don’t forget to also buy a shoe that is a half a size larger so that when your feet swell your shoes won’t feel too tight.
Choose Socks with Cushion
Just like the shoes that you choose for hiking, you should also select a pair of socks that are breathable and have cushion. Your socks are what will provide protection from abrasion and also help decrease the impact your feet receive while hiking. Find a pair of socks that aren’t too thick and provide plenty of comfort to your feet. What’s more your socks can come up over your ankles a bit; keeping out debris should you ever fall. Overall enjoy your hiking and keep your feet and ankles strong and injury free!