Take care of your feet, the unsung heroes of your travels

Planning for an international trip is half the fun. Looking through brochures, deciding where to stay, maybe buying some new clothes, and organizing your packing list, electronics and travel documents are all part of the excitement. But, hold on there; have you given any thought to those two critical objects at the bottom of your legs?

City touring or wilderness hiking can mean your feet will walk many thousands of steps in a day. Follow these tips to help prevent blisters, inflamed bunions or other over-use injuries that can impede your travels.

It’s all about friction

Blisters form from pressure and repeated rubbing on the skin. Wearing two pair of thin socks transfers the friction from your skin to the sock and can help prevent blisters from forming. Pack enough extra socks to wear doubles, but test ahead of time to make sure double socks work with the shoes you are bringing.

Pack moleskin or other cushioning pads

It’s far easier to find preventive or treatment options for a blister at home than when you are in a different country. Blisters can pop up quickly, but take days to heal, making walking difficult. Bring moleskin or other cushioning pads with you; at the first sign of skin redness, apply a pad and keep it there. And if you do get a blister, don’t pop it, as this can lead to infection.

Plan ahead for foot care

Make time in your itinerary for a relaxing shower or bath before bedtime after a day of walking, and then moisturize your feet with a good, thick moisturizer designed for feet. Skin dryness can aggravate painful corns but regular moisturizing can help, and will also aid in the treatment of cracked heels.

Be a friend to your feet, and they’ll be good to you. Happy walking!

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