Foot Care for Hikers
The fall can be a good time for taking hikes. There are several parks and nature preserves in which you can enjoy a beautiful hike in the Dallas area. We’ve got some tips for caring for your feet, which we hope is informative for new hikers and hiking enthusiasts alike!
- Preparation: Start slowly and on an easy trail. Taking on a difficult hiking trail can lead to pain, swelling, and other symptoms of injury. Try some easier trails in the neighborhood, which is a great way to test and break in your hiking shoes.
- Toenails: Check your toenails for any signs of cracks or thickening, like with fungal toenails. Treat any toenail issues before attempting any long or vigorous hikes. Also, trim them so that they are not too long (which can cause pain at the base of the toenail) and not too short (which can cause swelling at the tip of the toes).
- Toes: Check your toes before putting your hiking your shoes on and take care of any issues like foot fungus or cuts. While hiking, excessive sweating or shoes that are too tight can cause blisters, corns, or calluses. Be sure to bring some bandages or pads to protect any skin issues.
- Arches and Heels: Warm up and protect arches and heels by stretching your feet. Make sure your hiking shoes have excellent arch and heel support, which help your feet to stay in the right position while hiking. This is especially important if you suffer from plantar fasciitis or flat feet pain.
- Stretch and Warm Up: Give your feet and ankles time to adjust before engaging in a vigorous trail by stretching and warming up your feet and ankles.
- Hydrate and Eat Healthy: Bring enough water and healthy food on your trail, especially if you are going on a long hike. Heat or steep terrain can make you expend much more energy. If your body is tired or dehydrated, your feet will be affected too.
- Soothe your Feet: After a long hike, your feet will want some TLC. If they are a bit swollen, you can use ice or a cold compress. For achy feet, a warm foot soak with Epsom salt can do the trick. It doesn’t hurt to get a foot rub either.
Wondering if hiking is okay for your feet due to pre-existing conditions? Got an injury while hiking? Consult with our podiatrist at Texas Foot Works, Dr. Jonathan M. Kletz. He will assess your feet and ankles for a proper diagnosis and provide quality foot and ankle care. Schedule an appointment today at any of our Abrams (Dallas), Athens, and Gun Barrell City, TX offices!