The great summer weather is here, and it’s the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy nature. There’s plenty to explore with nature’s endless beauty, but you also have to be careful.
Slippery stones, uneven paths, and roots that grab at your feet can send you sprawling, and you don’t want to end up on crutches this summer! Let’s go over some tips to avoid foot injuries when hiking.
Hiking too much or carrying too much weight can lead to foot fractures, broken or sprained ankles, or generalized pain. With some thoughtful preparation, however, you can enjoy the outdoors while staying safe from foot and ankle injury. Here are three tips:
- Wear hiking boots. Sneakers don’t do the best job when hiking. Running shoes don’t provide enough support. Luckily, there are well-made boots explicitly designed for hiking. These provide proper foot and ankle support and protection. Just make sure they fit correctly.
- Keep your feet dry. Try to wear clean socks and change them when they get wet with sweat. Socks damp with perspiration set you up for annoying blisters and fungal infections. You can also apply foot powder before you set out to help keep your feet dry.
- Don’t overdo it. For people that are fit and used to exercise, a long hike is probably safe. However, many of us were quarantined due to COVID and have-not had much exercise for the past several months. Too much activity too soon, too long a hike, or carrying a heavy backpack can stress your lower limbs and cause an overuse injury. Try to go easy until your muscles can adjust to the new activity.
If you sustain an injury or have foot or ankle pain while hiking, make an appointment with one of our expert podiatrists.
If you have any issues with foot health, contact Step by Step Family Foot Care in Parsippany, New Jersey. Our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Debra B. Manheim, offers treatment for foot and ankle disorders, biomechanical analysis, and functional orthotic fabrication. For more information and answers to your questions and schedule an appointment, contact us at (973) 917-3785.