There are few things more satisfying and physically healthful than hiking. Doctors know the importance of strenuous physical exercise, and anthropologists agree that the human body was made to walk long distances. So, it may seem counterintuitive to worry about the possible negative health effects of hiking. However, any time you put stress on your feet, there is the possibility of some negative health effects. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps you can take to mitigate these risks and improve your feet’s health and safety. After all, what’s the point of going anywhere if your feet aren’t happy?
First of all, make sure you have a good foundation. Get a pair of hiking shoes that really fit you. Don’t settle for wearing the same size that you always have, just because you think it’s best. Go to a professional shoe store, not a big chain store. There, get someone who is knowledgeable about shoe measurements to accurately determine your true shoe size. Often people will find that they have been wearing shoes that are too small for years. Getting the right-sized shoe can have a dramatic effect on your feet as well as your back. You may suddenly find that your stamina improves after getting better shoes.
Next, find a pair of high-quality hiking socks to wear on your hikes. You can purchase the best ones from a reputable online source that used modern technology like Tech Spun. All too often, hikers will wear socks that are too thin, only to end up with blisters. Or, they wear socks that do not wick away moisture and end up with rashes and sweaty, uncomfortable feet. The right socks can make the difference between a fun, all-day hike and a few hours of agony.
Finally, see a professional if you experience pain or irritation. Improper posture or gait can lead to a lifetime of back problems and pain. There are often small adjustments that you can make that will save you a lot of trouble. Sometimes extra arch supports are needed to help your feet. Seeing a doctor can help you prevent or treat common ailments like bunions, corns, or fallen arches. It’s worth the effort to get these taken care of professionally.
Hiking is wonderful exercise for your body and mind. Just be sure to treat your feet well too.