Any time of year is the best time of year for getting outside and having fun. But long days standing and walking can definitely take a toll on our feet. So whether you’re walking, dancing, hiking, or relaxing at the beach or cottage, make sure you’re taking good care of your foundation. Here are our recommendations for the perfect footwear to take with you and the best ways to pamper those tootsies.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT FOOTWEAR
If fitness hiking or trekking are part of your activity plan, we definitely recommend light hikers. Unless you’re planning on crossing the Andes, in which case get a pair of proper mountaineering boots. Light-weight hikers provide ankle support but if your ankles are relatively strong, then we suggest a light hiker running shoe. Here are some more tips for finding and fitting the perfect hiking shoe.
Your footwear will depend on the intensity of your walking, but typically a pair of good trainers should suffice. These differ from light hikers in that they are lighter but provide less ankle support.
We know you absolutely love that pair of 6-inch stilettos. But before you plan to wear them all night long at that exotic night club, consider what they’re doing to your body. Wearing heels forces your ankles to bend forward, a movement that restricts circulation in your lower limbs. They also stiffen your Achilles’ tendons, put additional stress on the inner sides of your knees, and force your back to sway unnaturally. This process taxes your lumbar muscle, leaving you with a sore lower back. Save your spikes for that special night out and only walk around in them for no more than a few hours. Perhaps wear them to the nightclub and then change into comfortable flats or sandals.
While relaxing, your footwear could include anything from slippers to flip flops, sandals to bare feet. Obviously reserved for lounging poolside or at the beach or in your hotel room. We do not recommend going on a 5-km hike through town wearing flip flops. These types of footwear typically do not have any support so they should be reserved for relaxing activity. However, it’s still a good idea after spending a day in them, to enjoy a foot soak (see below).
CHOOSING THE RIGHT FOOT CARE
The first thing you want to do before you set about a whole day on your feet is to prepare your feet properly.
Remember to cut your toenails back, because if they’re too long they’re going to hammer against the end of your shoe. Make sure the corners of your nails are filed nicely so that your toes fit in your shoe, and when they’re continually moving for balance they don’t dig in and scrape each other.
Depending on the structure of your feet, you may also want to invest in orthotics, which will help counteract fallen arches, over-pronation, or excessive supination. Consult with your doctor before purchasing any orthotics as the wrong kind will end up doing more damage.
Blister Care and Prevention
Unless you run or hike regularly, chances are your feet are going to be negatively affected by a long march through a forest, on a beach, or through a city. And the last thing you want is painful blisters. If you’re planning a long walk or hike we recommend the first thing you do before putting on socks is apply Friar’s Balsam, or Tincture of Benzoin, to the heel of your foot. At Mountain Trek, that’s the colorful potion we dip Q-tips into and swab on the heels of your feet to anchor bandages on. You can find these at any pharmacy.
Our second recommendation is to use a tape called Mefix. Mefix is much thinner than MoleSkin and takes up barely any room in your shoe. We cut this tape to a 2 ½ inch length, round the corners so your sock doesn’t peel it off, and then stick that from the sole of your foot over your heel bone, working up the Achilles. Any friction that occurs as your foot goes up and down gets absorbed by the tape rather than your skin.
Another product to use is called Molefoam. It’s a fuzzy foam pad that protects from pressure in our shoe. We cut little donuts and place them over bone spurs, bunions, callus points, and any place you’re worried about the pressure you normally feel in shoes.
In extreme cases, you might also want to invest in Lamb’s Wool. At Mountain Trek, we use this product for some guests that get blisters because their toes are overworking for balance. Simply weave the wool in between the toes so there’s something to alleviate friction and absorb moisture so the skin doesn’t get too soft and rub or peel off. Lamb’s wool can be purchased at your local pharmacy.
Soak Your Feet in Healing Salts
Finally, whether you’ve just gone on an all-day hike or have lounged on the beach with your feet in the sand, there’s nothing better than a foot soak at the end of the day. Fill a basin with hot water, add a teaspoon or two of Himalayan bath salts and then slowly immerse your feet. Better yet, fill an entire bathtub with water and a 1/4 cup of bath salts and immerse your whole body. Then all you have to do is relax, enjoy the warm sensation and let the salts go to work on your body.
These are just a few of the benefits of Himalayan bath salts:
- Detoxifies the body by balancing systemic pH
- Improves hydration by providing trace minerals
- Improves the mineral status of the body
- Reduces muscle cramps by improving minerals and hydration
- Helps balance blood sugar
- Supports hormone balance for everyone, no matter what hormonal issues you face
- Helps balance blood pressure because it provides unrefined, mineral-rich salt in an ionic solution
- Improves sleep by supporting blood sugar and hormone balance
- Acts as a powerful antihistamine
- Supports weight loss by balancing hormones and improving energy
- Supports thyroid and adrenal function
What is Mountain Trek?
Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out below: