One of the best all-around healthful exercises you can do is hiking. A hiking program can reduce hypertension and your risk of heart disease, help reverse the course of type II diabetes and assist in managing weight control as well as anxiety. Plus … it’s fun!
It’s also economical. For simple day trips, all you need is a good pair of hiking shoes or boots, comfy socks and environment and weather-appropriate clothing. But what are the 2 essentials that most of us need for safe, comfortable and fun hiking? That’s right – our feet!
If you don’t take good care of your feet while hiking you’ll be miserable, and a miserable hiker won’t enjoy the outing and won’t gain any physical or mental health benefits from the exercise. Stavros O. Alexopoulos, DPM recommends these foot-care tips for hiking with a smile:
- Select trail shoes from a reputable hiking apparel store. Have your feet professionally measured for best fit.
- Take time to break in new hiking boots or shoes. Walk around the neighborhood or go for a very short hike.
- Choose acrylic socks made for hiking that wick moisture away from your feet. Your socks should be higher than your shoe tops to prevent chafing and rubbing.
- Take along extra socks and change them when your feet become wet or damp.
- Toss some light sneakers into your overnight bag to take a break from your hiking boots at your evening campsite.
- Keep your toenails clipped short so they won’t cut into their neighbors.
- Clean out any accumulated dirt or rocks from your shoes each time you take a rest break.
- Take along a small foot care kit to treat any blisters you may get.
Hiking Trail Information
Our National Parks are fabulous resources for hikes of all kinds. Check out the top 10 National Park hikes from National Geographic Magazine.
But you don’t have to go far to enjoy beautiful hiking days. Illinois has its share of trails that can be invigorating or peaceful – or both. Many are accessible by individuals with disabilities and also welcome your 4-legged friends. Visit the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website to learn more.
Let Us Help with Hiking Foot Problems or any Foot or Ankle Pain
If you’ve come home with more than a little sunburn and lots of photos – in other words, foot pain or problems from hiking – please give us a call. Dr. Alexopoulos, board certified podiatrist can help with any type of foot or ankle injury, condition or disease. Please call our Chicago office at (773) 561-8100 or request an appointment via the website. You don’t have to suffer from hiking foot trouble – call us today!